4 Early Warning Signs That Your Relationship Is T-O-X-I-C

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Early Warning Signs That Your Relationship Is Toxic
Love, Heartbreak

If you notice any of these behaviors, get thee OUT.

Are you a man in a relationship who feels that your partner doesn't talk to you in a way that deserves your respect? 

Are you a woman in a relationship who feels shut down and silent because your partner does not want to talk to you?

Being in a committed relationship can cause different forms of dilemmas. The basics are to be found related to the problems of communication. Dr. Gottman and his research team observed over 600 couples in a study that was longitudinal, meaning it existed over a period of time — more than a decade to be exact. 

From this research, Dr. Gottman claims that he, within 2 minutes, can predict if a relationship is going to end in divorce.

RELATED: 3 Scary Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship And Need To Get Out

There are 4 critical aspects that come up as toxins in relationships. These aspects are so critical that he calls them the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, meaning that at the end of the day, they decide if the relationship is going to survive. 

Here are the signs of a toxic relationship that you need to pay attention to:

1. Criticism

When you feel that you have a complaint about your partner, it's important to express it as a complaint. If you don't, then your argument is going to come out as a criticism and your partner might feel assaulted, rejected, and hurt.

Some examples of how criticism might sound:

  • "You always spend our money."
  • "You don't want to meet my desires."
  • "You are unfaithful."

As you see, there is communication here that is not built on respect for the other partner. When we have respect, we take responsibility for our own emotional needs. Criticizing is different than offering a complaint or critique.

What you might want to say instead is:

  • "I'm scared when you buy expensive items without having the conversation with me. I thought we had an agreement to consult with each other before spending more than $100."
  • "I'm trying to find a way to communicate what I want in bed and I really need to feel your support on making it happen." 
  • "I'm really feeling disappointed since I thought we had an agreement to have a conversation before indulging ourselves with other sexual partners."

RELATED: This Is The Single Key to Effective, ZERO-Arguing Communication

2. Contempt

When we communicate in this manner, it's really about mocking the partner and treating them with disrespect. It's not only expressions of what you can hear, it's also visible in our body language through mimics and eye-rolling.

Being exposed to contempt makes you feel worthless and despised. Contempt is also the single most predictor of divorce, according to Dr. Gottman's study. Therefore it has to be eliminated. 

"You mean you are tired! What about me? I've been home the whole week taking care of the kids, the house, and the dog while you've been away working. And now you just want to rest on the couch and relax?! Spare me, I don't need another child."

3. Defensiveness

This might be the most common of them all. We all feel defensiveness when we are in situations where we feel unjustly accused. But, in fact, it's also an expression of the argument that we do find in many situations. Look, for instance, to politicians. More often than not, they end up in arguments based on defensiveness. 

When the relationship is on the rock, defensiveness is very common. Our excuses just tell our partner that we are not taken them seriously. 

She: Did you buy the milk?

He: How could I have the time to? Why didn't you do it yourself on the way home?"

The right way to respond to this situation would have been "Oops I'm sorry that I forgot that honey. Obviously, I got too many other things to handle on my way home. Just give me 10 minutes and then I go to the grocery store. Let me know if there is something else you want." 

4. Stonewalling

It happens when the partner withdraws from communication. It's like when one person closes down from the other. It's a disconnection. When we have a disconnection, we have no communication and no connection.

For natural reasons, it's not a good indication to experience this behavior in a relationship. 

If you recognize yourself and your partner in any of these, well, I'm sorry to say that your relationship may be in danger. The toxic behavior happens because of a lack of respect.

When there is no respect, there can be no trust. When there is no trust, there is no relationship. 

Are you discerning any of these toxic behaviors in your relationship? It probably means, it's time to re-evaluate what this relationship means to you.

RELATED: The #1 Relationship Killer (That Nobody Ever Talks About)

Maria Appelqvist a podcast host, author, teacher, coach, sexpert, and healer. Connect with Maria and learn how she can help you create conscious love and bring that out in your relationship with your partner.