To love and be loved is all that we ask. Sounds simple, right? However, after going through the search and courtship dance to get into a relationship of a lifetime, how sure are you that you it is not leading your heart to a slow death?
There is this sad reality that when one is actually in a toxic relationship, you have a tough time seeing it as such. It’s like denying one has a health problem until you get rushed to the emergency room. So before the poison totally immobilizes you from saving yourself, take some time to take a few steps back and examine your relationship with your partner. Here are the five red flags that are begging you to stop and acknowledge that your relationship is indeed toxic:
1. Lost of interest in each other
“But you used to care about me!” If you keep saying these words whether out loud or in your head for the multiple times he or she misses out on the little things that were once important to you and to him/her way back when “every little thing about you is magic,” you have to admit that something is amiss.
Face it and talk it over when things are calmer. Good for you if you’re both willing to fix it and help each other realize how the lack of support and concern is affecting your confidence in your relationship.
But if he/she does not care and you end up not caring, too, if he/she cares, what’s the point?
Ignoring it can lead to the second red flag on our list.
2. Loss of trust
Trust is an essential cornerstone of every relationship. It’s the unspoken agreement that reassures you “I’ve got your back no matter what happens.” And that means at the end of the day, you and him/her are each other’s top priority. However, when seeds of doubt are in the way, jealousy and suspicions creep in and they will poison your mind and emotions 24/7.
“Why did he/she not come home?”
“Why did he/she cancel?”
“Is he/she with someone else? Who could it be?” and
“Why is he/she not telling me?”
That last question, if not addressed properly by both parties, can lead to endless fights and arguments.
3. Loss of control
Is it not ironic that when things seem out of control, our first instinct is to set up rules and restrictions? And when defenses are up, the situation gets worse? This is where controlling behavior can kill the fire that once got the relationship going. Unless there is a solid good reason and concern that he/she and you agree upon as valid for following a rule, it can work.
But when too many “requests” and “agreements” are broken, and getting upset, or worse, violent is your only response every time, the toxicity level is high in your relationship. And each day in it makes it harder for you to breathe. The next red flag may be the cause of that.
4. Loss of sense of self
“What have I become?” and “I don’t know you anymore.”
When these words are said with a pang of pain and regret, it is tough to get the poison out of your system. In the course of fights whether they be deafening silence or mind-numbing shouts and curses, we get to the point of victim blaming and undermining each other’s judgment. A wall is growing and you feel imprisoned by the relationship instead of feeling nurtured by it.
Then you begin to doubt yourself and your choices. In the isolation, you wonder what happened to your once happy and loving self. The people close to you will notice and the real ones will be honest enough to tell you that you are not okay. Your relationship is officially killing you. It may be time to take a long hard look at yourself and your partner and face the final red flag.
5. Loss of love
“Do you love me? Do I love you?”
You expect an immediate “a thousand times, yes” to that question but one long pause and an honest “no” is the final red flag that should make you end it and head out to the nearest exit. But, toxic relationships tend to drown you in it. The promise of changing for the better or working it out is the bait that keeps you lingering in it. By the way, violence and abuse will never equate to love no matter how many times your partner sweet talks you to stay. Get out before you actually end up in the hospital or worse, a coffin. Love is love. And it means choosing love that is real.
These are generally the five signs that make a relationship toxic. If you recognize these in your relationship, get help or get out.
Kill the relationship before it kills you. That way, you can heal and live to love another day.