9 Signs Your Relationship Is Sucking the Life Out Of You


Author: Mika Maddela


Are you in a toxic relationship? Would you know if you were?

We recently surveyed more than 100 YourTango Experts and discovered that 89 percent of them felt that half (or more!) of all people are in toxic relationships. So we asked them, “What are the most common, telltale signs of a toxic relationship?”

Topping their list of responses was “You spend more time fighting than enjoying each other,” with a whopping 82 percent of the vote. But that’s not the only sign of a toxic relationship. Here are nine more:

1. He seems hostile all the time.

Is he/she angry a lot of the time? If you feel you’re living with a lot of tension, feeling stressed and not able to express yourself the way you want, your relationship isn’t healthy for you. You want to feel the safety and security to express your authentic self. —Dr. Marian Stansbury

2. He puts you down.

Does your significant other criticize or demean you? Are you on edge most of the time because you feel that you can’t please your partner or do anything right? Does he/she make fun of you or criticize you in public, in front of friends or family? Does he/she act superior towards you or mock you? These are all warning signs of an unhappy, dysfunctional relationship. —Dr. Marian Stansbury

3. He purposely avoids you.

Does it seem he doesn’t want to be around you? Maybe he/she gives double messages that make you feel confused (e.g. saying, “Of course I love you” while not behaving in a loving manner). When he doesn’t want to be physically affectionate, you end up feeling rejected. Meanwhile, he complains that you are too needy. —Dr. Marian Stansbury

4. He refuses to change or talk about problems.

Is your partner open to being influenced by you? Is he/she self-reflective? When you express how you feel and ask for what you want, does he/she listen and make an effort to meet your needs?

If he/she refuses to acknowledge that your feelings and needs are important, and refuses to go to counseling, you may be stuck in a toxic relationship. Then you need to ask yourself, “What do I need to do for myself to be happy and satisfied with my life?” —Dr. Marian Stansbury

5. He fights dirty.

Name-calling is a definite sign of toxicity in a relationship. Attempting to hurt someone with words isn’t the way to resolve conflict or communicate hurt feelings. Problems usually escalate quickly when name-calling is present, and it makes it especially difficult to create intimacy and connection in the relationship. —Keri Nola

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