man ignoring wife in a toxic relationship

15 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship

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Most of us have had a toxic relationship in our lives.  Some of us have even reached the point where it hurts our mental health.

Most relationships don’t start off toxic or abusive. Many of us don’t even know we are in a toxic relationship because it will happen so gradually.

It can take years before we realize we are being treated like crap. Usually it is because the changes are tiny, you don’t even notice.

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I have had a couple of physically and mentally abusive relationships.  Once I finally found myself in a healthy, loving relationship, I began to evaluate my past relationships, so I could understand what made this one different.

I found that all the toxic ones had a pattern and I ignored the signs.

Looking back, these are the signs I ignored but shouldn’t have:

1. They Never Have Anything Good To Say About You

They never compliment you, never tell you they love you, never brag about you.

When they get around other people, all they do is complain about you, even jokingly.

Someone who never has anything nice to say about you shouldn’t be with you. Plain and simple.

2. They Call You Names

Anything like dumb, stupid, bitch, asshole, whore, worthless, crazy, all fall into this category. I don’t care how mad someone is, name calling is not acceptable.

Name calling is only done when a person can’t think of a better argument and wants to tear you down.

This shouldn’t be tolerated, even if the person apologizes after they calm down.

3. They Demand Your Life Revolve Around Them and Their Needs

You have a full time job but are expected to call in whenever they want you to do something for them.

They refuse to let you relax when you have time off because they have a list of things you need to get done right that second. You can’t even get any sleep because they keep you awake, doing stuff for them that they had the time to do themselves.

This can affect your physical health!

It is stressful to be at someone’s beck and call and if you don’t get sleep, you are at risk for many illnesses, weight gain, and trust me on this: car accidents.

You aren’t a slave! Don’t allow yourself to be treated like one.

4. They Never Ask About Your Day

Now we all have a hectic day where we simply forget to ask. But when they stop asking about your day altogether, or they tell you to shut up when you talk about something that happened at work, it means they aren’t interested.

They don’t care what happened to you that day, which in turn, usually on a deeper level means they don’t care about you very much.

5. They Use Blackmail

They want you to do something that you don’t want to do. When you say no, they use something against you to where you feel like you have to do it.

Example: My ex owned a business and a couple members of my family used to work for him. When I didn’t want to do something, he would threaten to fire one of my family members. Anyone who would threaten someone’s job has no morals and has no reason to be in your life.


6. They Refuse to Help or Be Supportive

This can be something as simple as someone wanting to eat healthy. In a supportive relationship, the partner would try to do it with them or at least see if they could help in any way.

An unsupportive partner would bring home McDonalds and eat junk food right in front of the person trying to eat better or even mock them about it.

If you are having a bad day, your partner should give you a hug, not tell you to shut up.

In a partnership, you support each other with whatever the other needs. If someone isn’t doing that, they don’t care enough about you. It’s that simple.

7. They Expect You to Be Superman/Superwoman

If you have a job, do all the chores, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, errands, taking care of kids/pets, and they don’t do anything to help, this is an unhealthy partnership.

Both partners should be putting forth effort. One partner should not be doing everything themselves. It will eventually lead to feeling unappreciated and resentment will build up.

In a toxic relationship, the partner who does less will usually make the other person feel guilty to where they feel they must do everything. This is not right.

8. They Joke About Things They Know Hurt You

One of my exes used to joke about other women. His big thing was constantly telling me he wanted to sleep with my cousin. He would do it in a joking manner. I was protective of this cousin and that’s why he chose her to joke about. He thought it was hilarious how upset I got when he would do it.

Looking back, I should have took that as a sign to RUN. People who love you don’t joke about things that hurt you.

9. They Put a Wedge Between You and Everyone Else

Some family members and friends are toxic and can affect your mental health. Usually only an outsider can point out how miserable certain people make you. This is okay.

The toxic relationship is waking up and realizing you have NO ONE. Your partner has turned you against every single person you know: friends, family, etc.

How It Works

Your partner falsely claims your family member or friend did something to you/said something behind your back. You in turn believe them and shut that person or people out. It happens to every single person in your life. Your best friend is gone, you aren’t speaking to your parents or siblings, even all your extended family. There is literally no one left.

Putting a wedge between you and EVERYONE in your life is usually the first sign of abuse. This is because the abuser wants to be able to control you and they can’t do that if they know you have other options.

This also happens when your partner wants to seem like the “hero” to you by being the only one left, so they can use it to his advantage later by making you think they are the only one who cares about you.  This is considered a toxic relationship.

10. They Don’t Allow You Access to Money

If you are married, you generally have joint bank accounts for household expenses and purchases.

If your partner refuses to put your name on accounts, doesn’t allow you to buy anything you need, or guilts you into withdrawing money out of your account to pay for their stuff, this is a big control issue that needs to be addressed.

In abusive relationships, this is the partner’s way of making sure you aren’t able to go anywhere.

11. They Always Seem to Be Mad at You and You Don’t Know Why

Your partner is always angry at you, and half the time you don’t know why. You can’t think of anything you did, but they are still mad at you.

This is usually a part of control. Your partner is trying to manipulate you because they know you love them. It gives them a sense of power to know you are always, in a sense, begging for their love.

You should never have to do that.

12. You Aren’t Allowed to Use Their Phone/Tablet/Computer

I am not talking about going through your partner’s phone and reading their email, texts, call log, etc. If you feel the need to do that, you guys need to sit down and talk about why you are having trust issues.

If you want to make a phone call or look up a recipe, and your partner’s phone is nearest to you, you should be able to pick it up without your partner going apeshit.

Ever since the technology was invented, entire families shared one phone, one computer, etc. This should not be a big deal. If the partner goes nuts because you want to use the phone/tablet/computer, they are hiding something.

No if, ands, or buts about it. THEY ARE HIDING SOMETHING, and unless your birthday is coming up and they are surprising you, the thing they are usually hiding is a potential affair.

If you feel the need to keep things hidden, you shouldn’t be in a partnership.

13. They Take Calls Out of the Room/ Text With the Phone Turned Away

Same thing as #12.

Your partner should be comfortable talking in front of you, no matter who they are talking to.

They should not be positioning their screens away from you if a text comes in. In my experience, this is the most common sign your partner is cheating or looking to cheat.

14. They Don’t Take Accountability/Blame You For Everything

You can control only your actions and your reactions to things.

If your partner is blaming you for everything in their life and the choices they made, then they need to get therapy or move on. It’s that simple.

Not one person in this world is completely blameless. Don’t let yourself be at the constant end of their pointed finger, because that isn’t healthy.

The deeper issue for doing this could be a few things:

  • They want to have the ability to control you, so they make you feel inadequate.
  • They feel inadequate themselves, so they try to blame you as a defense mechanism. If they admit they can control their actions, then they must admit to themselves that they aren’t powerless as to what happens to them and which makes them no longer a victim.
  • They resent you for something that is completely unrelated to what they are blaming you for.

No matter what the cause, this is a toxic relationship and it needs to be addressed.

15. They Hit, Threaten, or Intimidate You

This could include hitting, throwing things, pushing you, gripping you to where you bruise, using objects to hurt you, intimidation, threatening to leave, etc.

FYI: Once your partner hits you, it will happen again. Let me shout that in case you didn’t understand: IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

No matter what you say to yourself, how sorry they are, how good of a person they usually are, it will eventually happen again.

Even if they are literally crying because they can’t believe they just did that to you, and swear it will never happen again, and usually they are a wonderful person who always treated you good.

It will happen again.

Once they hit or intimidate you and you didn’t leave, they know you will stay with them regardless if they control themselves or not. The next time will ALWAYS be worse than before, even if it is weeks or months down the road.

You should never be scared of or intimidated by your partner. Your partnership should be built on trust and feeling safe. If you don’t feel safe, LEAVE.

Toxic Relationship Thoughts

These are the signs I overlooked that led to my toxic relationships. I always thought a lot of these were normal, but it was a huge reality check when I found out these were actually signs my relationship was heading towards abuse.

I am lucky I got away from toxic relationships and ended up with someone who showed me what a normal, healthy relationship should be.

Normal, healthy relationships will argue sometimes, but it should never get to the extent of the 15 items I mentioned. And both parties should apologize for their part in the argument once it’s over because it takes two to argue.

My great aunt and uncle told me once that great relationships aren’t 50/50. Great relationships are where both parties are putting forth 100% effort, all the time. I happen to agree with them.

Have any other ways to know if you are in an toxic relationship? Mention them in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “15 Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship”

  1. I’m not sure why I am commenting here other than I am laying in bed right now wondering how all this happened and how I let it.
    My heart hurts and I now have this anxiety ..complete with sweats…shakes and talking to myself out loud ..I have never felt so used..hurt…empty…
    I have been called the c word ..had things thrown at me..yelling and swearing. Being called dellusional is a favorite and told that I have a translater in my head that makes sh*t up. I shouldn’t need counselling to be in a married relationship. He plants seeds of doubt and calls me crazy when I finally react. I havent heard I love you ..been touched romantically or slept in same bed in over 3 years.
    This is soo toxic..and unhealthy. He tells me how depressed he is lonely unhappy he is but does nothing about it.
    I can assure you his behavior does not reflect any of that.i have been blocked ..ignored and shut out in every way for longer than 3 years. He admitted treating me like sh*t for past 2 years.
    Last night I snapped and asked for a divorce.

    1. I am so sorry you are going through that. I know that you are feeling miserable right now. I am sensing you are in therapy because you mentioned it, and I am glad you are, because that is going to be important in keeping you above ground while you navigate this next stage of your life. I am proud of you for understanding that you deserve to be treated better and hope that can happen for you. My thoughts are with you as you struggle through this.

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