8 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship WITHOUT Realizing

A relationship will pass through some stages, and after many chemical reactions and endorphins characterize the first one, the next stage will take place. This is the one that is going to challenge the bond and show if the two people go along well with each other long-term, not only in chemical terms. What distinguishes a healthy relationship from others is the level of admiration, friendship, and commitment that remains intact over time.

Ups and downs are coming even in the most loving couples when it comes to connection and intimacy. But what if you’re stuck in a toxic relationship right now and don’t even realize it? There are, however, some signs that can indicate a toxic relationship that should put you on guard to consider the future and to wonder if a breakup is the only ending of it. Our specialists are here to tell you how you and your partner can work on the issue or if it’s time to move on. Living a life full of emotional turmoil is not good for you, so you need to decide for your good.

toxic relationship
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Let’s see the signs of a toxic relationship that maybe you don’t even realize.

1. A toxic relationship will take your voice away

You feel like you’re unable to speak up. You keep your thoughts and opinions to yourself most of the time because you feel like you’re not allowed to have your needs, feelings, and perspectives heard. And when you finally dare to speak, you’re getting overpowered by your partner, and this can come in the form of mocking, dismissing, or making you look and feel small.

A healthy relationship offers you security when it comes to communication. Even if your partner may not understand exactly what you’re trying to express, you can see they put effort into it,  pay close attention, and genuinely try to understand your needs. They never dismiss your feelings, opinions, or thoughts, and they never try to dictate your next move or thoughts.

2. You’re unable to make decisions

When it comes to daily decisions, do you have control over the way you dress, and speak, the places you go to, or your goals and wishes? Or do you prefer to go with the flow and follow their way to not get them upset?

Our specialists are saying that when your power of decision is taken away, this is a sign you’re in a relationship with a controlling and possessive partner. Being stressed about the next negative reaction of your partner represents a huge indicator of a toxic relationship.

3. Compromises

There are rare moments when you feel like a compromise is happening in your house. Most of the time, you feel like you have zero influence on major decisions, and your partner’s attitude makes it clear that his priorities and what he likes come first, starting from deco art objects to intimacy schedules. Your preferences are not considered, and bringing them up will lead to a confrontation where you are treated like a stranger.

toxic relationship
Photo by Ariya J from Shutterstock

4. A toxic relationship leads to No Boundaries

You have your boundaries ignored all the time. For example, you may ask your partner not to call or text when you’re at work because there are strict rules for avoiding personal communication. They don’t respect this, and they bomb your phone anyway. You may ask them to not share some of your problems and issues, and they do it anyway, or they may try to poke for as many details as possible about a situation that you don’t want to talk about, even if it is not related to them in any way.

In a balanced relationship, a person will only make decisions based on listening to the other fully and lovingly. If the decision is not made equally and mutually, this is a sign of a toxic relationship. toxic partners only care about their comfort and security, so it’s unlikely for them to try to understand their partner’s needs.

5. They guilt-trip your evolution attempts

You may feel like whenever you try to unleash your potential, you’re being stopped. This can work through invalidation of your emotions or manipulation when it comes to your next moves, such as running a marathon, improving your diet, or spending more time working for your career. You may have your efforts dismissed and labeled as being selfish and detrimental to the relationship.

This is happening because toxic partners feel threatened by their partner’s progress and success. Their insecurity will lead them to take actions that make you feel ashamed; they ridicule you, and they use hurtful language, disseminating your confidence, destroying your momentum, and pushing you back to stagnation.

A healthy relationship will be the foundation of your full potential. Your partner supports you out of love, and they encourage you to engage with the world to reach your potential. You should never feel like your relationship diminishes your aspirations or makes you feel small. A partner who loves you will strive to ensure your life is happy and well-rounded and offer you all the support and understanding.

6. Hidden truths

When you feel like their explanations don’t add up and you stumble upon shady stuff such as mysterious bar tabs, an undisclosed bank account, or suspicious emails, this may be a sign you’re stuck in a toxic relationship.

Their excuses don’t seem to be part of reality, and they may bring you confusion and the need to navigate through weird facts every day. Each turn will reveal another path of uncertainty, and when you seek clarity and try to confront your partner about the issue, you may experience deflection, manipulation, and the refusal to address the concerns directly.

Because healthy relationships are rooted in a deep friendship leading to authenticity and trust, you should know that when something feels off and dishonesty is normal between you and your partner, your relationship may be on the toxic side.

7. Isolation

Being a part of a relationship shouldn’t alter your individuality. A sign of being in the wrong relationship is your partner’s intention to undermine your sense of self and cut you off from others.

When you created the bond, you were two distinct identities with different aspirations, different personalities and skills, and different ways of navigating life. Even if you share a lot of interests or just a few, each person should keep their hobbies, passions, and friends. Seeing your partner’s will to isolate you from society and try to diminish your sense of self represents a significant issue.

“I love you so much and I only want you for myself all the time” shouldn’t work, and this behavior is a form of abuse. Sacrificing your personal goals and connections outside of the relationship will destroy your stability.

8. They invade your privacy and personal space

Another form of abuse is having your privacy invaded. Either they listen to your conversations, or you are questioned in the middle of the night about an old photo on your phone, or they have the habit of searching on your computer; these are signs of unhealthy love. Intruding on your privacy is a form of trying to possess your life and control every aspect.

Our reading recommendation for this topic is this book by June Brockman about the hidden nature of toxic relationships that you can find on Amazon: Toxic Relationships: A comprehensive guide to understanding emotional manipulation in your relationships so you can stop feeling drained, isolated and powerless and break free from the toxicity. 

Read next: Generational Trauma: 9 Effective Ways to Get Off the Hamster Wheel

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