A healthy relationship is built on trust, mutual respect, and communication. But sometimes, even the most well-intentioned people can find themselves in a toxic relationship.
A toxic relationship is one that’s characterized by manipulation, control, and a lack of respect. It can be emotionally and mentally damaging, and it can have a negative impact on your physical health.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, it’s essential to recognize the signs as early as possible to make a change before things get irreparably worse.
This could take the form of verbal abuse, put-downs, harmful sarcasm, criticism, or anything that makes you feel belittled or inferior.
It might happen in each other’s face or behind each other’s back. It might be a constant stream of negativity, or it might be a complete absence of communication.
In a healthy relationship, communication is open and honest. There’s no fear of retribution, and you’re free to express your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
This could be anything from physical violence to emotional manipulation. It might be controlling or possessive behavior or gaslighting—a form of psychological manipulation designed to make you question your reality.
In a healthy relationship, both partners are free to live their lives as they see fit. There’s no place for jealousy or controlling behavior.
In a healthy relationship, both partners respect each other’s boundaries. They’re able to have their own lives and interests outside of the relationship, and they can give each other space when they need it.
In a toxic relationship, one partner might try to control the other’s behavior. They might try to dictate who they can see, what they can do, and how they should spend their time.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, you might feel anxious, depressed, or even hopeless. You might feel like you’re walking on eggshells or like you’re never good enough.
In a healthy relationship, you should feel supported, valued, and loved. You should feel like you can be yourself and safe to express your feelings.
While people in toxic relationships often feel anger, hatred, fear, stress, and sadness, people in healthy relationships tend to feel happiness, love, and contentment.
Toxic Health Choices
Toxic relationships are not just an emotional issue. They can also harm your physical health.
People in toxic relationships are more likely to neglect their health and more likely to engage in risky behaviors.
They might not take care of themselves, or they might turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with the stress of the relationship.
In a healthy relationship, both partners are invested in each other’s wellbeing. They make good choices for their physical and emotional health, and they support each other in making healthy choices.
If you’re worried about the state of your relationship, talk to a trusted friend or family member, or seek professional help. You deserve to be in a healthy, supportive relationship, and there’s no shame in getting the help you need to get there.