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Women & Relationships

7 Deadly Signs of a Toxic Relationship

News Flash! If you’re reading this right now and you’re in a relationship, there is a very good chance your relationship will not work out. Most people do not marry the first person they date. Chances are, you will start and finish a few serious relationships before finding “the one” and tying the knot. It’s normal. The average guy has six relationships before finding his wife. These experiences help you understand what you like and what you need in a relationship. Pro tip: Sometimes, what you want and what you need are not the same things, but that’s another lesson for another day.

Since almost everyone will likely experience several failed relationships, it is important to recognize the signs that the relationship is doomed so that you do not waste unnecessary time trying to repair something that is forever broken. Remember, a failed relationship does not have to be someone’s fault; it just may not be a good fit. You cannot fit a square peg into a round hole.

To help you be more efficient in life, and to assist you in avoiding unnecessary heartache, we have laid out the seven most deadly signs that your relationship is toxic and is in need of a quick end. As a bonus, we’ve included some solutions to these issues in case you are only experiencing only one of these seven and you believe you can salvage the relationship. Remember, if more than one of these things is occurring in your relationship, pull the rip cord and be done with it.

1) You’re wrong, and she’s keeping score: She somehow spins things so that you are always in the wrong, and you end up having to apologize for upsetting her every time. Even when it’s clearly her fault, she will manage to get some kind of apology out of you.

Why It’s Toxic: The relationship blame game scorecard develops over time because one or both people in a relationship use past wrongdoings in order to try and justify current morality. By doing this, not only is she failing to solve the current issue, but she is also digging up guilt and pain from the past to manipulate you into feeling wrong in the present. If this continues, both partners end up spending most of their time attempting to prove that they are less guilty than the other, while ignoring the actual problem. How can your relationship survive if you’re both constantly on trial?

To avoid this: Issues must be dealt with independently (unless they are really connected). If you decide to continue to be with her, you must be okay accepting all of her prior actions. If not, you are leaving them susceptible to being opened again, setting you right back to square one. Do not re-open old wounds; they will never heal!

2) She blames you for how she feels: Let’s get one thing straight; the only person in charge of her emotions is her. So, when she tries to blame you for “making her” feel a certain way. just know that she decided how she wanted to process that information, which impacted how she ultimately felt about it. Her decision to process information in that way is completely in her control. You cannot make her feel any way without her consent.

Why It’s Toxic: Blaming our partners for our emotions is a form of selfishness and a true example of not maintaining personal boundaries. Setting a precedent that you are responsible for how she feels at all times (and vice-versa) will cause you to develop codependent behaviors. In time, all activities must be negotiated and compromised. If she gets upset, your personal desires go ignored because it is your responsibility to make her feel better, no matter what! This ultimately breeds resentment. If it becomes an expectation that your life revolves around her emotional well-being at all times, you will become very bitter and uncaring towards her feelings and desires.

To avoid this: Always be responsible for your own emotions and hold her to the same level of expectation. It is good to be supportive of her, but that is very different than being obligated to her. The moment you accept culpability for her mood, you open the door to being manipulated.

3) She’s insanely jealous “because she loves you”: If she gets mad when you talk to, calls, text, hang out with, or sneeze in the vicinity of another, you have a problem. This mindset leads to her reading your emails, looking through your text messages, or even following you around town and showing up to places unannounced.

Why It’s Toxic: Some people figure that if their partner wasn’t jealous, it somehow means that they aren’t loved by them. Wake up! It is manipulative, controlling and it creates unnecessary drama. It also sets a demeaning tone of mistrust by implying that you are either a) incapable of controlling your impulses b) a liar or c) not really committed to her.

To avoid this: Have a discussion about trusting each other until you have a reason not to. Once you have a reason not to, end it. Sure, some jealousy is natural, but excessive jealousy towards you is a sign of her own insecurity and feeling of unworthiness, which will eventually push you away from her.

4) You are just another character in her world: She’s the director of your relationship, and before you can think of making plans of your own, she has a handful things planned for you. If you refuse or resist, you are the bad guy because you are not prioritizing her feelings. She has opinions on all aspects of your life: what you wear, do and say; who you and your friends are; why you do what you do and why you go where you go. If she somehow does not have a say in these things, she works towards wanting to change you. When your attention is not on her, she makes sure it is so that you don’t forget who’s boss. Get the picture?

Why it’s toxic: You are a grown man. Do you really want someone telling you what to do and who to be? There are some guys that do, but most of us are not programmed this way. The resentment will build. You may begin to question your value. Then, you will push back and it will be World War 3.

To avoid this: This is probably her personality, and she wants a beta male that she can control. Find the nearest exit and run.

5) She expects you to be her “on demand superhero” You are at her disposal, immediately, for all things she needs. You are expected to know everything, and provide solutions and resources to all her problems in a moment’s notice. If, for some reason, you’re unable to be Superman 24/7, she tries to make you feel like a failure of “less of a man” because of it.

Why it’s toxic: You are both adults, and a relationship is meant to be a 50/50 partnership. It is hard enough taking care of your own responsibilities as a man; why do you have to take on her problems? It will wear you down, both physically and emotionally. You will start to feel inferior, tired and depressed. Plus, the more you give, the more she will expect. Remember, you are her partner, not her father.

To avoid this: Give her space. Encourage her to solve her own problems. Express confidence in her. Do not make yourself readily available. She has to be able to carry her own weight. Say if you got hit by a truck; how would she survive? She needs to equip herself to be a grown, capable adult.

6) She holds the relationship hostage: She has a simple criticism and confronts you by questioning the commitment of the whole relationship. For example, if she feels like you’ve been cold lately, instead of saying, “I feel like you’ve been cold recently,” she will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me all of the time.”

Why It’s Toxic: This is emotional blackmail, which creates needless drama. Minor hiccups in the relationship should not be positioned as a major commitment crisis. You both should know that negative thoughts can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the entire relationship. Without this, you will suppress your true feelings which leads to mistrust and manipulation.

To avoid this:  Understand that committing to a person does not mean you must like everything that person does and says one hundred percent of the time. You can be committed to her without liking everything about her. Eternal devotion should not be threatened by general annoyances or anger. If you’re able to communicate criticisms towards each another without judgment or blackmail, it will actually strengthen the relationship long term.

7) Passive Aggressive Warfare

What’s worse than a fully manifested psycho girlfriend? A passive aggressive drama queen. You have no clue what you did and why she’s sulking, but she is. Oh, and it is your fault. She will do things to indicate her disapproval without actually communicating directly with you by saying what’s actually upsetting her. Then, these things that she does to piss you off will make her feel justified in complaining about you, causing a fight.

Why It’s Toxic: This shows that she is not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with you, and instead encourages her to pick little fights to open dialogue. She will never feel a need to do this if she feels like she won’t be judged or criticized.

To avoid this: Be open with your feelings and desires, and encourage her to do the same. Let her know that you may not agree with everything she says or believes, but you still support and love them. If they love you, they will follow your lead and reciprocate.

-Your Big Bro