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Are You in a Toxic Relationship? Know the Signs

Updated on February 24, 2009

Most relationships start out with the belief that this will be an intimate connection with a special person in your life. Some of us get lucky and get our wish. Most relationships fizzle out and end without much ado. However, there are those relationships that don't end, but are far from an enhancement to your happiness and your life.

The incident with the popular singers Rihanna and Chris Brown has put the issue of violent relationships in the public eye front and center. Even someone with seemingly perfect lives can get caught up in toxic relationships.

You may be in one of these toxic relationships and not realize it. Sometimes a person becomes so accustomed to the abuse in a toxic relationship that they become numb to its effects. Of course, if a partner physically abuses you the relationship is definitely toxic. But a relationship doesn't have to result in physical abuse to be considered a toxic relationship. Here are some of the signs of a toxic relationship.

Control Issues in a Toxic Relationship

If your partner is controlling, this is a very important clue. Most toxic relationships, if not all, have at least some controlling aspects. There are many ways a partner can be controlling. These may involve restricting your spending, your transportation, even access to friends and family. Your partner may let you go places, but requires a blow by blow account of every moment of your day. Maybe your partner does things to check up on you and see if you're lying. I know someone whose husband used to touch the hood of the car everyday when he came home from work to see if she had gone anywhere.

Related to the above is jealousy. Jealousy is almost always present in toxic relationships. Your partner will try to convince you that it is because he/she loves you so much. Don't believe it. Jealousy is a sign of mistrust and insecurity and nothing else. Sometimes the abusive partner will accuse the other of affairs and of being unfaithful. Often the accusing partner will actually be having affairs.

Psychological abuse often occurs in toxic relationships. This can range from name calling, humiliating you in front of friends and family, and treating you in condescending ways. This is not behavior in a loving relationship. Don't let excuses and apologies permit this type of behavior.

More Toxic Relationship Clues

As mentioned above, your partner repeatedly does things that upset you and later profusely apologizes. The apologies usually seem very sincere. Yet the behavior occurs over and over. This is a classic sign of a toxic relationship. If the apologies keep coming with the same excuses, but the behavior doesn't end, your partner doesn't intend to change.

If your partner has a short fuse or a violent temper, you probably are not in a healthy relationship. Another toxic relationship clue is if your partner always blames you for his or her actions when he is behaving inappropriately.

If your partner grew up in an abusive environment, the odds are greater that they will be involved in a toxic relationship. Abusing drugs and/or alcohol use also increases the odds for a toxic relationship.

Are You in a Toxic Relationship?

If you find these toxic relationship signs similar to your situation, leave. It is that simple. Get out. Toxic relationships usually build slowly. They can become increasingly more dangerous and violent if you stay.

If you will not do that, talk to someone. Find a friend, pastor, someone. Preferably get counseling. And if you ever feel that you are in danger, leave immediately. Don't wait to pack or try to work things out. Be sure to call police as soon as you feel threatened. Don't become a domestic violence statistic.


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