Toxic relationships are the worst. They leave us feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, broken, and constantly shattered, so why is it that we stay?

Sadly, we may not even realize that the relationship we are in is toxic, and we may not understand the harm it is doing to us until it’s over. And while you may believe that understanding our relationships are toxic would be common sense, the fact of the matter is that there are a lot of blinders.
We may tell ourselves that the relationship is just ‘rocky,’ or that our partners will change. Or, we may tell ourselves that love is accepting of others, and unconditional, and while that isn’t entirely wrong, it’s not entirely true either.

While we need to be accepting of the flaws in other people, if someone is damaging our psyche, our perception of ourselves, and our values, we shouldn’t be in the relationship.

And if you were wondering what defines a toxic relationship, then you are in luck.

1. You are constantly defending your partner to others.

When other people make comments about the relationship, you immediately become defensive of your partner. And if you are discussing a problem with someone else, you quickly dismiss their bad behavior to the person, with various defensive arguments. If you have to defend your relationship on the daily, the likelihood of it being healthy is low.

2. You are constantly arguing.

Even the slightest little thing can cause the biggest brawl in 0.2 seconds. If this is the case, you may need to rethink your relationship. While arguments happen, they shouldn’t all the time.

3. You lack communication.

When you try to express how you feel, an argument begins and then ends without any resolution. You are unable to come to each other about anything, and when you do, your conversations are filled with misunderstandings.

4. You never feel like you are enough.

You could go above and beyond in your relationship, and no matter what, you never feel like you’ve done enough. Even on the best days in your relationship, you are left feeling sad, and unworthy of love.

5. You are disrespected a lot.

If your partner is constantly disrespecting you, it becomes a problem. Relationships should make us feel better about ourselves and our life, not worse. And when your partner constantly picks fights, belittles you in front of others, and goes out of their way to overlook your boundaries, this is blatant disrespect.

6. Everyone notices something is off.

People have told you on numerous occasions that the relationship isn’t right. Of course, there will always be someone that is judging your relationship, but when you have a handful of people who think something about your relationship isn’t right, then they may be onto something.

7. You feel like you are being drained.

We should feel energized by our partners, not sucked dry. Not all days will be good ones, but when we are being drained every day by the person we are with, it’s time to think about the possibility of being single.

8. One or both of you has cheated.

No, there is never an excuse for cheating. But, cheating is often the result of an unhappy relationship. And when cheating happens, it almost always adds toxicity to even the best of relationships.

9. There is jealousy.

I hate to sound cliche, but without trust, you have nothing. And when you are constantly worried that your partner will cheat, or have to worry about what they are doing or vise versa, this is a major red flag that something just ain’t right.

10. You have a gut feeling.

Trust your gut. Our gut instincts are usually almost never wrong, and if you just feel like something isn’t right, you are probably feeling this way for a reason.

11. You are being controlled.

Being controlled in a relationship is a red flag of catastrophic proportions. Whether the control is taking place because the person is mirroring their own bad behaviors onto you, or because the person is holding you accountable for their past, you must know that this won’t end well. Don’t ever let someone control you to the extent of isolation and obsession.

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