Toxic Relationships – 5 Signs Your Relationship With Your Partner is Toxic

Relationships always have challenges and require work. Generally, if two healthy and balanced people have the desire and make the effort, the relationship can improve. However, there are relationships and certain individuals within those relationships which make having a happy, balanced relationship virtually impossible. If there is emotional or psychological abuse, for example, the victim feels demoralized, inferior, incompetent and even crazy when under the influence of the other partner. Here are 5 signs your relationship fall into such a toxic category:

1. Your partner insults you, publicly or privately. These put downs may be blatant name calling, or they may be more subtle criticisms about how you do things, who you are, or your health and mental state. In any case, they leave you feeling down about yourself and blaming yourself for the problems in the relationship.

2. Your partner attempts to control what you do on a day to day basis. He or she may directly prohibit you from doing certain things, or may take the tactic of shaming, disapproving, or criticizing your actions. You may feel obligate to make a report of your activities, then justify your choices. You may even find yourself choosing activities you know your partner will approve of to avoid the judgment and backlash from your partner. You may feel pressure not to seek work or education opportunities, anything that might increase your potential for independence from your abuser.

3. Your partner discourages you from seeing friends and family. He or she may again directly prohibit you from seeing certain people, or merely apply guilt, manipulation, and pressure to dissuade you, i.e. “I can’t believe you would choose to spend time with them instead of me.” This tactic serves the abuser in a couple of ways. It asserts his or her control over your life, and it also prevents you from hearing positive messages about you and negative messages about your abuser.

4. Your partner uses sex as a weapon of control and manipulation. This may take the form of a demand for sex and intimacy whenever it suits your partner, regardless of your wants, needs, or mental state. It may also manifest in the opposite way, where your partner deliberately withholds sex and affection in order to punish and keep you feeling rejected and vulnerable on a consistent basis.

5. Your partner implies other non-physical threats for not complying with his or her requests. This tactic may be peppered with occasional rewards or kindnesses, but these are not acts of love, but a way to hook you back into the relationship. Once you are back under control, the abusive cycle begins again.

Are you interested in addressing your life challenges from a holistic standpoint, assessing the physical, emotional, and relationship components?

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Shannon Cook is a personal growth and relationship expert who has written a number of informative articles and ebooks on the topic of toxic relationships and holistic personal growth, including physical, emotional and relationship health.

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