All relationships can be challenging and encounter good days and bad days from time to time. All couples have their differences and see and feel things uniquely which frequently gives rise for the need to reconcile an on-going range of differences.
It is important that we do not legitimise or ‘paper over’ these differences; particularly where they cannot be easily resolved. Relationships dominated by conflict may have elements of toxicity that should be monitored very carefully. A toxic relationship is one where one (or both) of those involved don’t feel supported, where there is conflict and where one person seeks to actively undermine the other (sometimes subconsciously).
There is competition within toxic relationships and generally a lack of respect from one party to the other. Toxic relationships are generally unpleasant and mentally draining for those involved; to the extent that the negatives consistently outweigh the positives. Toxic relationships are emotionally, physically, and mentally draining for those involved and can be very damaging if allowed to persist.
Those who constantly seek to undermine, humiliate, control or cause harm to their partner, whether intentionally or not, clearly have issues that need to be supported; so much so that it is possible that they may be suffering with a mental health disorder which may be a contributor to their actions.
Toxic relationships can of course be a result of an imperfect or inappropriate pairing, for example two people who require absolute control are clearly not a good match, but if this is the case relationships that are clearly not healthy should not be allowed to continue if it is causing harm to one of both participants.
There are numerous warning signs that a relationship maybe toxic, the most obvious being any form of violence, abuse, or harassment. Behaviours such as this should be addressed immediately and not be tolerated or legitimised under any circumstances. Often however, the warning signs are more subtle or emerge over time.
The most obvious signs of a toxic relationship are that the relationship is often unfulfilling, fails to provide adequate happiness, is signified by sadness, anger, fear, or anxiety.
Individuals may observe changes in their own mental health, and disposition as warning signs that they are possibly in a toxic relationship. These changes can include diagnosable conditions such as anxiety or depression etc. Moreover, toxicity often results in someone feeling nervous, anxious, or uncomfortable around their partner and frequently feel unable to assert yourself or voice your concerns.
Finally, those in toxic relationships should also ask for help and advice from close friends and loved ones, those close to a situation are frequently the last to see it and are sometimes less aware of changes in their behaviour or they simply get used to behaving differently.