Approximately one out of every nine people who are in a romantic relationship say that they are “fairly unhappy” or “extremely unhappy.”
Are you part of this group? Whether you’re married, in a long-term relationship, or have just started dating someone, you deserve to be happy and free from toxic people.
Of course, it’s not always easy to tell whether your relationship is a toxic one.
Read on to learn more about the signs of a toxic or negative relationship and what you can do to fix it if you’re currently in one.
Signs You’re in a Negative Relationship
Many people are in toxic relationships and don’t even realize it. Listed below are some signs that your relationship is toxic or is on the road to becoming toxic:
How does your partner handle conflict? Do they address problems head-on, or do they hold silent grudges?
If the latter sounds more like them, they’re showing passive-aggressive behavior.
This kind of behavior fosters resentment and makes it impossible for you to have a healthy relationship.
Thinking About Leaving
Do you find yourself thinking (or even fantasizing) about leaving your partner on a regular basis?
If your partner’s behavior leaves you imagining yourself finding a divorce attorney and breaking off the relationship, toxicity might be at the root of the issue.
Often, in a toxic relationship, one partner is very volatile and keeps the other partner on high-alert.
Do you feel as though you’re always walking on eggshells when you’re around them? Do you do your best not to upset them or make them angry?
If you don’t feel as though you can be yourself around your partner, you’re in a toxic relationship.
Does your partner discourage you from spending time with your friends or family members? Do they leave you by yourself, or cause you to feel as though you’re alone even in their presence?
If this is the case, your relationship is most definitely a toxic one.
If your partner abuses you physically, verbally, emotionally, or sexually, you’re in a toxic relationship that needs to be addressed. These kinds of behaviors are never acceptable.
Effects of Negative Relationships
In some cases, you can also tell if you’re in a negative relationship based on the way you feel.
A toxic or negative relationship can have serious impacts on your health and well-being. The following are some of the most serious effects you might experience if your relationship is a toxic one:
Being in a toxic relationship can take a serious toll on your self-esteem and self-worth. Because of this, many people stay in toxic relationships much longer than they should. They don’t realize that they’re worthy and deserving of more.
High Levels of Stress
Toxic relationships are stressful, too.
If you’re always walking on eggshells around your partner and worrying about what you’re saying and doing, you’re going to have higher levels of stress hormones than is healthy.
This, in turn, can lead to frequent feelings of anxiety, as well as issues like exhaustion, insomnia, and chronic illnesses.
People who are in toxic relationships are more likely to suffer from depression, too. You may find that you lack the motivation to do anything or feel as though there’s no point in trying to make a change for the better.
How to Handle a Negative Relationship
Now that you know more about what a toxic relationship looks like and how it can affect you, it’s time to address what you can do to take back your power and fix the problem.
Here are some strategies you can use to handle a negative relationship in an appropriate way:
If you’ve realized that you’re in a negative or toxic relationship, the first thing you need to do is seek support. You cannot — no should you try to — go through this alone.
Reach out to a family member, a friend, a counselor, or a mentor and talk to them about what’s going on.
Talk About How You Feel
It’s important to talk to your partner about their behavior, too. They might not realize how it is affecting you.
If you can share openly about your feelings, your partner might be amenable to working with a relationship counselor to try and make changes.
Even if this is not the case, you’ve at least said your piece and can move on to the next step.
Make a Choice
At this point, you need to make a choice to either stay in the relationship and commit to working on it or move on.
Both choices are acceptable. They’re also up to you. No one but you can decide how you’re going to handle this situation.
Cut Off Contact
If you decide to move on and leave the relationship, it’s important to cut off all contact.
Your ex-partner will likely try to get a hold of you, so block their number and email address.
Resist the urge to respond to them, too. You may feel tempted to talk to them and try to appease them, but that’s not your job any longer.
Know Your Worth
Last, you must remember your worth.
This is important whether you decide to stay with your partner or want to seek more info on dating someone else and leaving that relationship behind.
Remember that you have value regardless of your relationship status, and remind yourself that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness at all times.
Continue repeating these messages to yourself and, eventually, you’ll start to believe them.
Move Forward with Your Life Today
Despite what you may have been told about marriages and partnerships in the past, it’s important to know that you don’t have to stay in a toxic or negative relationship.
You deserve to feel happy and safe with your partner.
If you’re seeing signs that your relationship is turning into a toxic one, or if you’re starting to experience the negative effects of a toxic relationship, it’s time to take action.
Keep this information in mind so you can start turning things around and shedding the relationship that’s no longer serving you.
When you’re ready to move on and start looking for a new relationship, be sure to consult the dating resources on our website.
You’ll find tons of helpful articles here, including this one, that will help you navigate the dating world and find the right person for you.