October 31, 2017 |Gideon

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Not all relationships are created equal. And no matter how much you want to be in one, some relationships cause more grief than they’re worth. While being alone can suck, being in a toxic relationship sucks more. Beware these 10 innocent signs you might be in a toxic relationship.

To improve anything in your life you need one vital ingredient, honesty!

And to improve your relationship you need a boatload of it.

Too many people try and avoid the truth and consequently NEVER create happiness and fulfilment in their lives.

The ancient scriptures teach that truth sets people free and I choose to believe that.

You cannot change what you don’t acknowledge.

And you can’t acknowledge what you choose to remain ignorant about.

So, it’s super important that you ask yourself whether your relationship is enhancing your life or making it more challenging. 

Nothing will change until you decide to take a long and hard look at where you’re at.

Now, I know that toxic relationships can be challenging to leave.

In fact, most relationships (not all though) are hard to leave.

But, if you’re in a toxic relationship, what choice do you really have?


If you choose to stay, you’re bound to mess up your life. Most probably.

And if you choose to go, there’s always the odd chance that you doing so prematurely.

So there’s a risk both ways.

But, if you’re certain your relationship is toxic, then make the freaking choice and get out.

Sooner rather than later!

I get that it’s not comforting to face the world alone, even temporarily.

Being alone could seem scary.

Where do you start again?

What will become of me?

Will I be OK?

Will I meet someone again?

Will someone love me again?

How will I survive?

However, time alone could be the best thing that’s happened to you in a long time.

It could be your chance to really sort yourself out.

It could be an opportunity to rediscover yourself.

Who you truly are.

What you actually want.

How you want to spend your one life (as far as we know) on earth.

But, it ALL starts with figuring out if you’re in a toxic relationship or not.

And if you are, decide what you’re going to do about it.

There are several signs that you may be in a toxic relationship. Here are a few major ones:

A consistent lack of trust.

It doesn’t matter whether you don’t trust the other person, or they don’t trust you.

Relationships are incredibly draining when there is a pervasive lack of trust because there’s never any inner peace.

There is always doubt and suspicion, and no relationship thrives on that.

But, how do you know you have trust issues?

According to EliteDaily.com, there are 5 signs you have trust issues that will ruin your healthy relationship.

They are:

  • You check his/her phone (or emails).
  • You think of worst-case scenarios.
  • Your leash is tight.
  • You cheat (yes, that includes emotional cheating and online chatrooms).
  • You test your love.

When you get into a relationship, make sure you are ready to give 100 percent because that is the price of admission for any healthy relationship.

Make sure you’re with someone you know very well so that trusting them won’t be hard at all.

Also, know yourself and make sure your heart has healed from any past hurt so you can give it your maximum effort.

When you put trust in, you get trust out.

You’re forced to compromise your values on a regular basis.

When you’re put in the position to live outside of the values you consider to be most important, your self-respect suffers.

A healthy relationship makes it easier to for you to be at your best.

A toxic relationship, conversely, chokes the life out of who you really are.

Here’s a simple little test:

signs of a toxic relationship

What do those answers tell you?

How do you feel about it?

And what are you going to do about it?

Compromising on your values usually ends up feeling like the ultimate betrayal, self-betrayal, which can become like a poison poisoning your life.

It might seem innocent initially but given enough time you’ll pay a price.

Make sure you know the cost of this compromising on your values.

Your partner isn’t supportive of your success.

They say you find out who your real friends are during times of distress.

But, the same can be said of periods of success.

It’s not uncommon for friends and family to be unsupportive when you’re doing well.

And the last thing you want is a partner that displays this type of behaviour.

Take a moment and think about your relationship: Is either of you dismissive toward the other?

Especially when one is doing well or having some success?

In a healthy relationship, partners tend to respect each other’s interests and projects.

They celebrate each other’s successes.

They are supportive of one another when one is doing well.


If, however, you’re dismissive of your partner (or vice versa), your relationship could most likely be better.

Not supporting each other’s successes can very easily lead to a toxic relationship filled with competition, constant comparing, and feelings of worthlessness.

Your partner is unreliable.

It’s important to know and feel that you and your partner are on the same “team.”

When that’s lacking, or if you can’t count on your partner, your relationship and life will become more stressful than it needs to be.

It’s also very likely that your relationship will end up giving your self-esteem and worth a huge knock.

Not being able to rely on your partner can definitely lay the foundation for a toxic relationship.

If your partner is unreliable, it might be worth your while to have a heart to heart about that soon.

It’s important to openly express your feelings and allow him/her to respond and start showing up in a more committed way.

And should they end up ignoring or outright resisting you, perhaps that’s a good indicator of where things are at.

Going somewhere else after work is more relaxing than going home.

Home should be our safe haven, in my opinion, and experience.

It should be the place where we go to be ourselves with those we love.

It’s not supposed to be a place where you have to walk on eggshells because of your partner.

I mean, what’s worse than spending a stressful day at work but deciding it’s better to go and sit in a coffee shop alone than going home to your partner?


When that starts happening, you need to ask yourself what is going on.

And this would be a great time to start being honest with yourself.

If going somewhere else is more relaxing than going home, perhaps your relationship is running the risk of becoming toxic.

Home, with your partner, should be a place that fills you up rather than poisons your life.

A lack of affection.

Physical contact and closeness with your partner, are always good indicators of where your relationship is at.

I appreciate that some people believe intimacy changes over time.

But, the principle that physical closeness is still a good indicator of how partners feel about each other, still holds water in my book.

Why would I say that?

Because, in my experience, there’s typically a lack of closeness when affection wanes.

When couples stop touching each other (and I don’t mean in a sexual way, but also don’t exclude it), it is usually a sign of bigger problems at hand.

When you stop touching each other physically, you have to consider what that means.

It’s important that you ask yourself why you no longer want to touch each other.

And also, what are you going to do about it.

Because left alone, it’s most likely not going to improve by itself.

You resist confiding in your partner.

When you have something sensitive to discuss, it’s great to be able to rely on and share it with your partner.

Personally, I love sharing stuff with my wife.

I know she’s got my back, and she is reliable.

I also value her opinion.

So, I’m biased on this one.

I truly believe that if you find yourself hesitant to share with your partner, it could be a sign that your relationship isn’t all that healthy.

Ideally, your partner is also your best friend.

And you share stuff with your best friend.

There are no secrets.

I repeat that …

There are no secrets in a healthy relationship. None!


If you find yourself resisting confiding in your partner, you have to start wondering why.

The could be many reasons for this of course.

But sometimes it’s just a sign of being in a toxic relationship.

And if that’s the case, perhaps it’s time to move on.

The relationship is harmful to any children involved.

Relationships should enhance the lives of the children involved.

Frightened or discouraged children are a warning sign.

Especially if it’s the result of the dynamics between you and your partner.

Kids should not be scared because they are unsure of what’s going to happen between mum and dad tonight.

Children should not feel worthless because that’s the message they get from your constant fighting.

Children should not feel unwanted because that’s how you treat each other.

The moment you start noticing that your relationship with your partner is impacting your children negatively, it is time to seriously look at what you’re doing.

Toxic relationships can poison children.

It can mess them up as well as their futures.


As a child, they had no choice coming into this world.

That was your choice as a parent.

So it is your responsibility to do what you need to do to make sure they become the people they can be.

It’s your job to unearth their potential.

It’s your job to protect them.

And if a toxic relationship is going to prevent that, it’s also your responsibility to do something about it.

You feel unsafe with your partner.

No relationship is worth risking your safety.

Please read that again.

Make your health and well-being a priority in your life.

There is no point in being in a relationship with someone while losing yourself as a result of it.

The moment you start feeling unsafe with your partner, it is most likely a sign that you’re caught in a toxic relationship.

Being married to someone should be the last place you feel unsafe.


There is no excuse, absolutely none, for feeling unsafe with a partner.

You can think of other people with whom you’d rather be in a relationship.

Do you find yourself wishing you could be in a relationship with someone else instead of with your current partner?

A friend, coworker, or coach?

If you do, let me be honest and brief then.

Something is seriously amiss and wrong if you’re imagining yourself with someone else.

People in healthy relationships do not imagine being with someone else.

They are content.

They are committed.

They are happy.

That doesn’t mean you cannot appreciate the looks, talents and abilities of someone else.

It also doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the company of someone else.

But, fantasising about being with someone else instead of your partner is not a good sign.


It’s definitely a very bad sign if you act on these fantasies.

This will most likely turn your relationship toxic and poison whatever is left between you and your partner.

You might as well end the relationship if your heart’s not in it anyway.

I know it’s harsh, but it’s true.

However, there is a caveat.

If your thoughts are wondering because you’re feeling unfulfilled but would love to get your needs met in your marriage, then that’s another story.

This is if your hearts left the relationship completely but you’ve just not done so physically yet.

You’ve stuck around for many reasons like the kids or out of duty, but not love.

Last thoughts

After reading this, if you believe your relationship is toxic, take the time to investigate further.

After all, this is your life we’re talking about here.

Perhaps even the lives of others as well.

And if you don’t want to go about this on your own, then be willing to get help from a relationship professional, too.

Toxic relationships aren’t worth your time, energy, inner peace, happiness and life.

Ensure that you’re taking the best possible care of yourself and those you love.

If that requires spending some time reflecting on your current relationship, then so be it.

Also remember, I’m here for you if you need any help or support.

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About the author


Gideon is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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