4 Signs That Your Relationship is Toxic

You met someone and they seem really great, or at least they did. You've had some fantastic times together, some intimate moments, and you've even thought at times that this might be "the one". But lately, you're beginning to feel very differently. Something about this relationship doesn't seem to be right and you're not really sure what it is.

Sure you've had some disagreements, but everyone has those right? Maybe you're thinking that you just need to try harder or be a little better for the relationship and then things will pull together. You might even feel like the challenges that you're facing in the relationship are your fault.

Certainly, both partners need to be responsible for the success of the relationship and bring their best efforts to it to have it work. You being willing to look at what you can improve is a great place to start, but is there something more? If you have a feeling that what's happening in this relationship is not "right" or "normal" or there seems to be something unsettling about the whole situation, trust your instincts and look a little deeper.

You are right to look for Love and find it. As far as we're concerned it's the best thing in life. But it's also very important to recognize that not everyone is worth your Love, time, and devotion, and you'll only want to invest that in someone that is worthy of it.

You are also completely right to identify toxic behaviors in your partner and if they show no desire to improve or change, you are right to leave. Life with someone who exhibits these behaviors will certainly be painful and heartbreaking, and you're too good for that.

In this post, we're identifying 4 key toxic behaviors that are unacceptable in a healthy relationship. These behaviors do not create an environment in which Love can thrive. So if you recognize yourself and/or your partner exhibiting these as behaviors, you know there's some work to be done.

1. In every conflict, they turn it around on you.

Now, we're not suggesting that your partner should never point out any of your "stuff". In a successful relationship, you will want your partner to point things out that you can improve on individually and as a couple. You know each other better than anyone, at least you will once you've been together for a while, so of course they'll have supportive insights to share.

But in a toxic relationship, this looks very different. A toxic person will be absolutely unwilling to accept accountability and they will always make it your fault. As soon as you bring something up--a concern, an insecurity, a doubt--they will immediately turn the attention back on you and you'll end up wanting to defend yourself while their behavior gets overlooked entirely.

Someone that does this is trying to set up the relationship so that they never have to assess their own conduct. If they can make you constantly look at yourself, they won't have to look at their own behavior. What is often very confusing about this is they will bring up valid points, so you may tend to think that they are right. The validity of their points is not what's in question--sometimes their points will be valid and at other times not. What is in question is that they invalidate your points.

Here's an example. You might say to your partner something like: "Honey, it seemed like you were flirting with that other woman and that made me uncomfortable."

And he might respond with: "What are you so insecure about?" or "Why are you accusing me of that?" or "Why don't you trust me?" What he is doing is putting the attention on you and removing his conduct from questioning. Even more so, he is attempting to invalidate your experience and take away your voice in the relationship.

Perhaps there IS some area of insecurity for you to look at, but if he's using that as a way to deflect accountability for his own actions, this is toxic behavior and you will not be able to feel safe in the relationship.

An accountable and understanding response would show you that he is interested in your experience and he'll want to know how he can help you feel safe in the relationship.

He would respond with something like, "That wasn't my intention Love. I apologize for making you feel that way, and I can pay closer attention to my behavior in the future." or "Tell me more about that. What was it I did that made you feel that way?"

When you bring something to the table for the two of you to look at, a Loving partner will be open to looking with you. If you cannot voice a concern and discuss it without having it thrown back on you, you will never be able to feel safe in the relationship.

2. In disagreements, they seek to hurt you.

All disagreements are an opportunity to grow closer to each other by teaming up to overcome your differences. In a relationship, you want to work as a team to resolve these challenges in a way that you both feel safe, seen, heard, and honored.

Disagreements are guaranteed, there is no way around them. You should not try to avoid them but rather, as a couple, become skilled at working through them and grow closer to each other on the other side of them.

A toxic person will use disagreements as a way to hurt you and by doing so, gain power over you in the relationship. There is no "wrong" in a relationship disagreement; there are simply two different points of view. Mature couples recognize this and they don't feel the need to make the other person wrong. In fact, because they understand that both perspectives are valid, they seek a resolution that validates both points of view without dishonoring their partner.