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9 Warning Signs That You’re In A Toxic Relationship

woman alone upset

Do you feel like you’re always apologizing even though you didn’t do anything wrong?

Does the guy you’re dating constantly make you feel insecure, or criticize you whenever you succeed?

Do you get called labels like “childish” or “jealous”, even when you’re behavior is totally reasonable?

If the answer to these questions is yes, you may have walked into a toxic relationship without even realizing it. 

To find out whether your relationship is doing more harm than good, look for some of these 9 signs…

You probably won’t have all of them, but if you have even a few you’ll know there are definitely toxic elements about this guy that should make you consider leaving:

1. He doesn’t like to see you succeed

“You just got a promotion, babe? Huh, so I guess that means you’ll be spending even more time at work? That sucks.”

If he can’t enjoy seeing you succeed, or he always needs to bring you down a peg, there’s a good chance this is a toxic relationship.

A real man should be your greatest supporter, and want what’s best for you in the long-term. When either of you win, you both win. That’s how a great relationship works.

2. He gets jealous of ANYONE else in your life

man trying to look at girlfriend's phoneDoes he get in a bad mood whenever you hang out with a friend for the evening without him? Does he tell you not to spend so much time with close family or people you love?

This is a definite sign of controlling, jealous behavior, and it’s one of the biggest signs of a toxic relationship. When a guy is insecure, he’ll often try to isolate you from other people for fear of losing his power.

No man who truly cares about you will want to drag you away from the most important people in your life. 

3. You feel like you’re always “walking on eggshells”

Are you scared to speak your mind because you know that one wrong word could send you into a huge fight?

Being afraid to talk about your problems aka “walking on eggshells” around your partner, is usually a sign that you’re with a guy who overreacts to everything.

The cornerstone of great relationships is feeling like you can always be honest with each other when something’s wrong and work it out together, rather than ignoring it out of fear for their reaction.

 4. He insults you when you argue (or any time!) 

man annoyed with girlfriend

The B-word, the F-word, or heaven forbid the C-word. Whatever it is, there’s no reason that a guy should be throwing out nasty insults and labels just because you’re in an argument.

This is one of the big signs that you’re in a toxic relationship: when you’re constantly disrespected and made to feel like you’re a horrible person.

It doesn’t even have to be profanities – maybe he just keeps calling you “selfish”, “dumb”, or ”stupid”. Either way, these labels are indicative of emotional abuse, and if your partner repeats them long enough you may just start to believe them.

5. He’ll make his insecurities YOUR problem

He’s jealous? That’s your fault. He feels insecure that he doesn’t earn enough money? That’s because you belittle him and hold him back.

A toxic guy loves to make you the root of all his problems. He’ll accuse you of holding him back and blame you for all his shortcomings in life. And the last thing he’ll do is look at his own behavior, because that would mean taking responsibility for his life and admitting failure.

6. He always threatens the relationship when things are wrong

couple standing on bridge looking away from each other

This is a classic move. Some guys know that they have a woman who will do anything to hold onto them, and they exploit it.

Whenever he’s dissatisfied, or has a minor problem – he’ll threaten the entire relationship, knowing that you’ll beg him not to leave. These kind of guys prey on neediness, and subconsciously look for women whom they can control in this unhealthy way.

7. He’s always suspicious

He sees you texting, and immediately gets in a bad mood as if you’ve been doing something wrong. Or you come home half an hour later than you said you would from work and he suspects you of being with another guy.

Suddenly, you feel like you have to keep apologizing and proving your innocence even though you haven’t done anything wrong. One of the biggest signs of a toxic relationship is feeling guilty 24/7 – so if that’s happening to you, you know it’s time to leave before things get worse. 

8. He makes everything about him

couple having an argument on the couch

Some guys are narcissists.

For this guy, life is all about his ambitions, his struggle, and what he deserves. Meanwhile, whatever your hopes and dreams are fall by the wayside because he never factors them into his decisions. He may also have a big ego and need constant validation and attention, while giving you nothing back in return.

This often happens with men who seem successful on the outside, but who emotionally neglect their partner by thinking the world revolves around them. 

9. He gets moody whenever you act independently

The final toxic guy on our list is the guy who wants to have you dependent on him: maybe financially, emotionally, or physically.

This man will hate it when you’re able to take care of yourself without him, and he’ll instinctively try to keep his control over you by shutting down or criticizing your attempts to carve out your own independence. He’ll try to take charge of any part of your life for fear of you striking out on your own.

So there we are, 9 huge red flags that tell you if you’ve entered into a toxic relationship and need to get out now.

If you’ve never been in this situation before, it may be surprising to realise it’s happened to you. But don’t worry – just know that this behavior is totally unacceptable, decide to take back your life, and see this toxic relationship for what it is.

The sooner you let go, the sooner you’ll be free from this poison and can make space for a healthy, happy relationship based on love and mutual respect.


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11 Replies to “9 Warning Signs That You’re In A Toxic Relationship”

  • My ex is one of these guys and even though he has just started dating someone, he will continue to say mean and nasty things to me to the point that I had to change my number. When I did that he started emailing me. I am receiving constant theats and last week he took it to another level when he slashed my tires and created a slow leak in my moms back tire. Thank you for sharing this as you nailed every single quality of his character and there is every reason to protect myself and make sure thus guy keep a healthy distance.

    1. Do keep a record and if needed report to police, get a restraining order. Idk how effective that would be with someone who truly wishes to physically harm you, but if he’s halfway normal it might be a wake up call to back off. A police officer serving a stay away order can leave quite an impression. Bullies go after females and their mothers, but back down pretty quick when confronted by a bigger dog.
      In the same vein, lie. Tell him you have a boyfriend, and … whatever comes to mind were it true. Watch him tuck tail and run.
      Best to you ~

  • I was seeing someone for almost 3 years. And he is the poster child of a narcissist, and embodies every one of these traits. However, I know he can be quite the opposite and I feel that is genuinely a part of who he is. He recognizes these things as an issue, and time and time again agrees to work on it. But it has deteriorated me, mentally and emotionally. I love him so much, and of course, this break up has been beyond difficult. But I am afraid that in walking away, I am abandoning someone who wants to change, but struggles with the adversity of accepting one’s own flaws, and committing to the work it takes to change.

    It just so happens that his brother went through the exact same circumstances with his ex and he went on a downward spiral into drugs, and the law. And everyone in their immediate family circle and friend circle, has acknowledged that he needed her. She was such a vital part of his life. It just so happened that it sucked the life out of her, so she left.

    I would be devastated at the very thought that something like that would happen to him, but at the same time, I am absolutely exhausted and emotionally damaged.

  • Great Advice Stephen and this doesn’t just go for relationships it goes for Friendships as well as family members too!!

  • These are all responses from a partner that has been lied to and cheated on by a partner that refuses to admit they have done anything wrong. Of course it’s a toxic relationship. How could it not be. Both partners have a lot of work to do.

  • Can you pls help me I have been with my partner 4 22yrs also we have had 6 beautifu kids together bt i do all the jobs around the house work night shift support kids schooling the lot there is no equal team work only with me and my children . Things have changed for the worst I have read about toxic relationships and my partner is everything on the list.
    I often feel sad alone empty and depressed as you said no self-worth please help me leve him by doing your 5 step plan all I want is to be happy and to feellove and effection what I am entitled to hope 2 hear from you soon sori about the novel..

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