It is absolutely crucial for every woman already in a relationship or looking to be in one to learn how to spot early signs of toxic behavior.
That is because this behavior actually does not look or feel like toxic at first,
so we women tend to cope with it, find excuses for it or even worse take it as an expression of love, until it just becomes normal business and suck life out us.
So here are my top 10 signs of toxic relationships that you should really not ignore.
#1. He devalues, abuses, ridicules or belittles you
All forms of abuse are unacceptable and should not be tolerated by anyone in a relationship.
Many women who are in an abusive relationship do not even realize it because they have become accustomed to it and in some cases believe they deserve to be abused.
If he humiliates you in private or in front of family and friends, unleashes his anger on you or puts you down or makes you feel that you are not enough, he is simply trying to feel good about himself by putting you down.
This kind of man has probably unresolved emotional issues, or even suffering from a low self-esteem, but it is certainly not an excuse to accept this behavior.
When people show you who they are, believe them the first time – Maya Angelou
You should pay attention to the first signs of abuse, and not find excuses for this behavior until I become a habit for him…at which stage it is probably already too late.
#2. He manipulates you
You cannot build a healthy relationship with someone who uses manipulation on you to get what he wants…
Now the question is how do you know you are being manipulated?
Well it has all to do with the way you feel in the relationship…
Let me help you a little bit:
- You feel you are not in control of your thoughts and action
- He makes you doubt your sanity by twisting the truth
- He makes you feel guilty of wanting something
- He tries to make you jealous so that you are always in constant fear of losing him
- He uses what is called the triangulation technique, for example by comparing you to other people and painting them in good light just to get you agree to do something for him
- When you confront him with something, he turns around the whole thing, and makes you regret confronting him
- He uses some advance techniques like the silent treatment or gaslighting.
#3. He holds you responsible for all the problems
It takes two to tango, so when problems arise in a relationship, it is rarely one person’s fault.
In healthy relationships, partners tend to admit their share of responsibility and focus more on how to deal with the issue,
but when your partner has a tendency of blaming you for all your relationship issues or even for everything that goes wrong in his life,
you need to realize that he is unable to consider himself at fault and it has nothing to do with you.
He is just the type of person who needs to find someone to blame….and it cannot be him.
He uses the blame game as a defense mechanism to protect his fragile ego because it is too painful to admit his share of responsibility for his own failures.
For this type of people, there is always someone to blame and it is never themselves.
#4. He does not want to commit to you
Think about it this way,
if you are avoiding to commit to a guy, but you still see him, and spent time with him, send him mixed signals just to keep him hooked up because you enjoy his validation,
and at the same time avoiding to answer his questions on commitment, or finding all possible excuses to postpone giving your answer…
you clearly know already that he is not the one for you.
…well it is exactly the same with a guy, if after a while he still does not show any signs of commitment to you, he will probably never do.
Some signs that he is and will not committed to you:
- He avoids the topic of commitment at all cost, he even blames you for being so needy to have some certainty
- He is does not claim you as his girlfriend
- He does not introduce you to his friends or family
- He is not passionate about your relationship
- He is only interested in spending intimate time with you
- He sends mixed signals, leave you in confusion
Men like to put us in boxes, and they do this almost the very first time they meet a woman.
They know from day 1 if they can consider her a potential wife, or no more than a girlfriend,
or even worse no more than a hook up.
#5. He cheats on you
I understand that we all can make one mistake (although I am not excusing cheating in any way),
but if your man cheats on you repeatedly, it is no longer a mistake;
It is a pattern that signals a much deeper issue…
The reason could be that he is not satisfied with you, or does not find you attractive,
or that he has some serious confidence issues that he needs to prove to himself that he is a man by cheating ( I know some guys like that)…
In any case, this is a very toxic dynamic.
The thing to know about this is that this man will very likely continue to do it.
and it does not have to be physical intimacy to be considered cheating,
if you see him watching porn, or looking at other girl’s pictures on his phone, this is also cheating.
#6. He avoids intimacy
If he is avoiding intimacy for an extended period of time by giving you excuses or simply being very absent (work, friends)…your relationship is in serious trouble.
That is because nothing stops a man from intimacy other than having no desire for it.
The truth is that he either no longer desires you or is already cheating on you…
#7. He isolates you from family and friends
If he prevents you from visiting friends and family or using manipulation to keep them away from you or by damaging your relationship….
He is simply trying to isolate you from them so that he can control you better.
That is because your family and friends usually know you better than anyone and can tell when something is wrong in your relationship.
They usually notice things we do not see like red flags as they are not emotionally involved with our man.
A good friend who tells you that you man should not treat you in a certain way or should not ask you to do this is not always jealous of you…
when family member share some concerns with you, you should probably at least listen to what they have to say.
There is usually no smoke without fire.
#8. He makes you dependent on him
A relationship can be described as a co-dependent one when one person exerts herself to maintain the relationship, driven by her need for being with the partner, and fear of abandonment and being left alone.
The other person typically benefits from this dynamic by receiving so too much love, attention, being pleased…etc.
If your life revolves around your partner’s needs and desires,
and you feel you rely on your partner for all your basic needs of love and affection to the point that you are ready to do anything to keep him and you feel your life would be over if lose him,
you are probably having co-dependency issues and you need to seek help from a professional.
#9. You have a very poor communication flow in your couple
How is communication flow in your relationship?
Do you feel you cannot freely talk about your concerns and feelings?
Do you feel you are not listened to? Does he ever tell you how he feels about you?
Or do you actually feel you two speak two different languages…
I personally felt that way with my ex husband, that he was speaking a language I could not understand…very disturbing…
Many couples struggle with communication…so you are really not alone.
But not all of them are aware of its consequences…
some people who perhaps grew up in toxic environments may even believe that it is even normal.
Lack of communication will for sure create a void that will almost certainly permanently damage your relationship.
And if, even after realizing your communication issues, your man is not responsive…you probably need to move on.
#10. He is excessively jealous
It is a natural human feeling to experience jealousy.
It says that we care about the other person more than anything else.
But when this jealousy is excessive, it is no longer just about love.
And in my opinion, men who are excessively jealous are simply insecure.
So if your man is excessively jealous, the issue is with him not with you being friends with other men or being very attractive.
And trust me , you better take that issue seriously because it can turn your life to a hell on earth in the long term if you do not fix it.
For example he can start stalking you, checking on your phone when you are not around, prohibiting you from having male friends or even going out with your girlfriends.
None of this behavior is healthy and should warn you immediately.
The first thing your man needs to do is to become aware of his insecurity and then fix the underlying issue that creates it…
I know it is easier said than done, but there is no other formula…
The good news is that there are things you can do to help him in the process.
You can try and speak to him and make him feel that he can trust you; you can suggest that he may need to seek help from a professional and that there is nothing wrong with that…seeking help does not come naturally to everyone ….
You can show him through your actions that he has no reason to be insecure about you,
but he is ultimately the one who needs to do the work on himself.
What to do now that you realize you are in a toxic relationship
Here are suggestions of how to approach the issue:
- The first thing to do is to speak to someone who you can trust and share your concerns with
- The second thing is to prepare yourself emotionally for a break up
- Third, you can try and speak to your partner and let him know that you are not willing to tolerate it any longer. it is a good opportunity for you to see if he is can open up to you about his issues which are the roots of the abusive behavior and see if he is willing to fix them and become a better person for himself and for you. Remember that nobody changes until they really want to.
- Make the decision to leave him if he is not open to any of these suggestions or he repeats his behavior despite your warnings.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post.
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