Why do you keep getting these odd text messages from your partner?

They always seem to be messaging you about where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with. It’s like they can’t help themselves and just don’t trust you…to do anything right.

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Do you hear warning bells going off yet?

It could be that you’re in a toxic relationship—a relationship that is not healthy at its core.

Spotting the warning signs or “red flags” of a toxic relationship isn’t always obvious at first. That’s why it’s helpful to consider these qualities of toxic relationships.

They Try to Control Your Every Move

One important red flag of a toxic relationship is controlling behavior. This is when your partner seeks to manage what you say and/or do.

For example, they want you to report constantly about your whereabouts or they need to “approve” your social activities.

Other aspects of controlling behavior might include:

  • Prohibiting you from communicating with friends or loved ones
  • Restricting your purchasing power by taking complete control of the finances
  • Saying what you can and can’t wear
  • Not letting you leave the house or property unless they’re with you

Their Personal Life Is a Mess

Another red flag for a toxic relationship is whether your partner’s own personal affairs are a complete mess such as:

  • Unemployment or moving from job-to-job frequently
  • Outstanding bills that need to be paid
  • Inability to manage their own finances
  • Money shortage (always asking you or others for it)
  • Lack of goals or plan for their life

Keep in mind, however, that this isn’t always the case. Plenty of toxic people seem to have their lives put together. It’s sort of a facade, per se. But pay special attention to where they place responsibility or blame when something goes awry.

They Use the Silent Treatment

Have you ever tried having a conversation with your partner only to get the “silent treatment” in return? Perhaps they even disappear for days at a time only to return into your life as though nothing ever happened.

Shutting down or disappearing altogether can be incredibly infuriating and frustrating for you, to say the least. Why don’t they say anything? Don’t they care?

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The reality of the situation is that this has nothing to do with you at all. Instead, it’s about your partner’s ability to adequately deal with stressful situations and willingness to roll up their sleeves to do the real emotional work.

When they give you the silent treatment, it’s because they are unwilling to emotionally commit to the situation.

They’re Untrustworthy

It’s possible you’ve noticed their intense reaction when they’re caught in a lie, denying or defending themselves. They may even cast blame on you for their shortcomings.

Or maybe you’ve discovered they’re consistently unable to follow through on their promises. In fact, you might have given up entirely on your partner actually keeping their word. Yet, they’re deeply offended when you reveal your distrust in them.

They might even expect or demand you put your trust in them. If you don’t they might resort to some form of “punishment” such as withholding affection, support, or commitment.

When you can’t trust your partner, how can you build a loving and caring relationship together? The truth is you can’t.

All lasting relationships need trust. You have to know your partner will be able to follow through with their promises and is telling you the truth. Otherwise, you can’t build a relationship that will survive the years to come.

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They’re Abusive

Finally, the biggest red flag of them all is when your partner is either physically or emotionally abusive to you. Meaning, they purposefully say or do hurtful or threatening things in attempts to claim power and control over you.

They’re not interested in your welfare or well-being. Instead, they’re looking out for their own self-interests. In short, they don’t actually care what happens to you so long as they get what they want.

Now, that may be hard to hear, but the truth of the matter is that abuse has no place in a loving and caring relationship. If you believe your partner is abusive, get help now. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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There are many warning signs that indicate whether a relationship is toxic. However, they may not always be easy to spot when you’re in the middle of them, even after years of being in the marriage or relationship. But if your gut is telling you something is wrong, listen and seek out help immediately.

And if you realize you’re in need of a high quality Columbus OH counseling practice, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled Columbus therapists can support you to help deal with a toxic person in your life. Together, we can find positive ways to manage their negative impact, inviting healing and peace into your life again.