17 Grotesque Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

Photo: Daniel M Ernst / Shutterstock
couple arguing

Being in a relationship can bring joy and bliss, but not all relationships are the same.

The signs of a toxic relationship can manifest themselves in various shapes and sizes. But, the end result is always that they diminish you instead of building you up.

It could be that you get along like oil and water or that the other person is not a nice person at all.

In fact, your relationship may be not only toxic but also abusive.

And sometimes, you may be left wondering how to know when to break up with this toxic person.

RELATED: 14 Signs You're In Denial About How Your Toxic Relationship Is

When we say that someone is a toxic person, it doesn't always mean that they are evil or abusive. However, the traits and behavior listed below are evil and abusive. 

Either way, wrong is wrong. Unhealthy relationships don't benefit you in any way at all. 

Here are 17 grotesque signs that you are in a toxic relationship:

1. You feel unable to express who you are.

2. Your partner controls your finances.

3. You are becoming isolated from your friends and family.

4. You feel defensive as if you're continually hiding something to prevent a blowup.

5. You feel that if you were different, then things would improve.

6. Your friends and family have tried to talk you out of the relationship.

7. The relationship has hijacked you instead of adding to your life.

8. You are "staying for the kids" or some other reason.

9. They fight dirty, and/or there is physical abuse.

10. They are critical of you. This includes mean "jokes" made at your expense.

11. You spend more time untangling disagreements than being happy.

12. You don't like the person you are becoming.

13. They make you feel small.

14. Everything is about them.

15. They treat you with contempt.

16. To cope, you've checked out and ignored problems.

17. One or both of you have/are currently cheating, and work hasn't been done to get past it.

Does anything on this list look familiar to you?

If it seems like there are obvious signs of abuse (as in numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 13, and 15) or if your relationship has gone down a destructive and abusive path, I strongly urge you to leave.

Abusive relationships don't improve. The element of control does not get better.

That leaves the remaining problems, most of which center around "losing oneself" in a relationship.

There is a possibility that your relationship has become centered around your partner and a continuous conflict with them.

These problems are still serious, but there is hope to save things between you...if you want it.

RELATED: 10 Things Every Child Needs To Hear From Their Parents To Live A Great Life

Here 5 things you can do to fix the relationship and make things better:

1. Get counseling.

A professional can help you handle disagreements better and smooth out your communication.

They can also get you and your partner talking to each other again.  If your partner refuses to go to counseling, go yourself.

A professional can provide you with impartial insight into your situation. They can also help you regain your voice if you've checked out.

RELATED: 10 Things A Good Guy Won't Do To The Woman He Loves

2. Do something regularly that builds you up.

This tip is good if you feel lost in your relationship. Sacrifice is so common that we often wake up and realize we feel like shadows of our former selves.

The upside is that you can change this problem by making sure that you're doing things to nurture yourself.

Creative pursuits, seeing your friends and family, sports, and hobbies are all ways to regain your mojo.

3. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

One big reason for misunderstandings is that one or both people in the relationship don't make an effort to see things from another point of view.

Without empathy, disagreements quickly turn into extended exercises in the blame game. Try to see their side of things and empathize with them. Look for your part in disagreements.

RELATED: 5 Critical Steps To Setting Boundaries In An Abusive Relationship

4. Speak up.

If you're hurting and you haven't told them, now is the time to sit them down and have a compassionate conversation about the way things are going.

You deserve to have a candid conversation about your relationship. If this is impossible, this leads me to my next point.

5. Decide whether or not your relationship is worth it.

Only you can say for sure whether it's worth it to try and fight for your relationship or break up and call it a day.

Toxic relationships can break you as a person, but there are ways to get your thoughts and needs across to your toxic partner. 

However, in case of abuse, don't pass go, don't collect $200...just leave!

RELATED: Why Abuse Is Not A 'Relationship Problem'

Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves to improve their relationships.