Three signs you are in toxic relationship. PixelsThree signs you are in toxic relationship. Pixels

In a healthy relationship, everything just kind of works. Sure, you might disagree from time to time or come upon other bumps in the road, but you generally make decisions together, openly discuss any problems that arise, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.

Toxic relationships are another story. In a toxic relationship, you might consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner, according to relationship therapist Jor-El Caraballo, which can suggest that some things need to change.

Maybe the relationship no longer feels at all enjoyable, though you still love your partner. For some reason, you always seem to rub each other the wrong way or can’t seem to stop arguing over minor issues. You might even dread the thought of seeing them, instead of looking forward to it as you did in the past. Three signs you are in toxic relationship

You don’t feel safe.

And I don’t mean physically (although that applies too). I’m talking about a sense of emotional safety. Can you openly share your thoughts and feelings with this person? Does your voice matter? Or do you feel like you’re always editing yourself, afraid of what they’d do or say if you were radically honest?

A healthy relationship gives space for people to be imperfect and accountable at the same time. You can tell each other the good stuff and the shameful stuff and openly talk about who has hurt you. You can be fully seen and still be fully loved.

You don’t feel safe. Pixels
You don’t feel safe. Pixels

Now let’s be clear: In most cases, you wouldn’t share your deepest hurts with your in-laws the way you might with a trusted friend. Safety has levels, depending on the relationship. It takes wisdom to discern the depth and differences of each relationship.

Toxic Relationship make you feel neglected and exploited

I live in the woods in Middle Tennessee. Since we have so much space outside, we planted a garden. Imagine this with me: What if I left my plants to fend for themselves, never watering or weeding or fertilizing? Things wouldn’t end well.

Not to sound like a hippie, but people need nurturing just like my garden. If your partner doesn’t honor and tend to your basic needs—not because you can’t do it, but because they care about you—then you’re not in a healthy relationship. Chances are, you’re not only being ignored—you’re also being exploited in a toxic relationship.

Toxic Relationship make you feel neglected and exploited. Pixels
Toxic Relationship make you feel neglected and exploited. Pixels

You feel like you’ve lost yourself

Toxic people tend to absorb, manipulate and mold people to fit their own agendas. Their plans and interests dominate the relationship. You often find yourself doing things you don’t want to do just to please them—violating your core values, going places that make you uncomfortable, or spending time with people who set off your anxiety alarms.

Never forget: You hold the power. It’s up to you—not your partner—to recognize these patterns and set healthy boundaries. It’s your job to say no, assert yourself, and live in alignment with your values. But toxic people will often become resentful, frustrated or angry when you set boundaries or live your values.

You feel like you’ve lost yourself. Pixels
You feel like you’ve lost yourself. Pixels

Quick note: This is often hard to see on your own. Give your friends or trusted loved ones permission to speak into your life when they see you disappearing into someone else’s life. Those closest to us can often see things we can’t.

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By Aussa

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