8 Signs of a Toxic Relationship


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The concept of toxic relationships is a very difficult topic to discuss. You need to be sensitive to people’s feelings, but at the same time give them a dose of reality.

It’s both disappointing and unfortunate to see how many abusive relationships are happening on a daily basis, but are thought to be normal.

It’s important to note that you don’t need physical violence in order to have an abusive relationship. And don’t forget, both men and women can be guilty of this.

If you recognize any of the 8 signs that I discuss in this week’s video, then you truly need to take a step back, put your emotions aside, and ask yourself what your partner is truly bringing to your life.

Watch the video now and discover the 8 signs of a toxic relationship:

There are obviously thousands of more signs that can be seen as red flags to a negative relationship – but some of these are passed off as “normal.” People don’t realize that they are being mentally or emotionally abused.

Please, please, please – have the respect for yourself to walk away from a situation like this. It may be hard and you may be afraid to confront your partner about your feelings (another red flag), but you will thank yourself in the long run.

Tell me in the comments, have you or a friend experienced this type of treatment? Share your stories of strength and help us inspire others to walk away from negative situations.

To your happiness,

Summary –

1. You always feel guilty but you don’t know why

Is your partner always making you feel as though you did something wrong, but you genuinely can’t understand why? Sadly, there are people who seek out issues to complain about and when they can’t find one they create one. This person is not going to change so don’t waste your time and get out of the toxic situation.

2. Your partner is obsessively jealous

It’s okay to occasionally be a little jealous. In a way, jealousy says they care about you, but too much can be controlling. If their jealousy means you can’t talk or hang out with others then there is a big problem.

Someone who is illogically jealous is a big red flag. Through their jealousy they will whittle away your social life down to nothing but them. So if you see this… run! Jealousy as manipulation is a dangerous tool from a toxic partner.

3. You’re paranoid about leaving your phone around

If you’ve genuinely done nothing wrong, but are still worried about your partner snooping through your phone then you should realize something is wrong. If they sneak through your phone they have crossed the line and invaded your privacy. Trust is an important part of a healthy relationship. Worrying about your partner looking over your shoulder is a sign of disaster ahead.

4. It’s always your fault

Nobody’s perfect and no relationship is perfect. Disagreements will arise, but the cause should be shared equally. If you partner accuses you of causing every issue every time then you need to leave now. Healthy relationship are a two way street, whereas a toxic partner will always blame you. There is no reasoning with them and they won’t hear your side.

5. You’re always the one going back

The frequent pattern of breaking up and getting back together is by itself a huge red flag and unhealthy for any relationship. When you’re the one always running back and the only one apologizing then things are toxic. Healthy relationships are about compromise and taking responsibility for your part.

6. You’re never good enough

Has your relationship caused you to lose self confidence?
Does your partner discourage you from following your goals and dreams?

If you’ve answered yes then your relationship is toxic. Even if it’s indirect, your partner should not put you down. A healthy couple will support and encourage each other, build each other up, and cheer each other on.

7. You no longer do what you love

Do you have passions and hobbies that your partner doesn’t approve of?

If what you’re doing is inherently innocent, they should have no issue with it. Every relationship requires compromise, but if you’re giving up everything you love then you essentially become a willing prisoner. It is not healthy or normal to sacrifice your passions in an effort to avoid a fight or conflict. That is toxic manipulation and not a strong relationship.

8. You never know when they’re going to explode

Are you always walking on eggshells because you don’t know when your partner’s next insecurity will arise in the form of a fight or accusation? This is a form of intimidation and abuse. You deserve a relationship in which you feel free to speak your mind without fear of consequences. Making you feel small from their explosive rampages is a sure sign of a toxic relationship.


  1. Stephanie on January 23, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Honestly I see myself clearly enough now to know that this was the pattern in my marriage— but I was the “toxic” one. I was married 17 years. I was the primary breadwinner, and I constantly had to fix bad checks (some over $10,000), I was always finding pornography on his phone, on our cable bill with small children; he eventually had two affairs. So these are the things he would say about me! I was jealous, I was suspicious, I did not trust him, he was not trustworthy. Ironically, I had to beg for sex. No matter how many times I fixed our financial problems, to the tune of $280,000 and repossessed trucks and trailers and wrecked motorcycles (most he bought without my consent and trashing my good credit), the cycle happened over and over. Even now I receive phone calls from people he owes money to, remodeling jobs he hasn’t finished, car and trailer titles he never paid taxes on so that the buyer cannot transfer the property. My life was utterly exhausting. In June I bought my own small house. I took back the property he had financed in my name and sold it. We divorced. His very young girlfriend is now pregnant. He’s been as far as 4 months behind on child support. Slowly, with two jobs and two kids–at least now I feel like I’m beginning to make my own way, just above the water….but I certainly don’t want to repeat this pattern. I know that I lost myself in him, I know I became the ultimate enabler. What advice do you have for me? How can I build healthy relationships going forward? I have joined a DivorceCare group, which I love.

    • Basia on January 24, 2017 at 3:15 am

      Hi! You are strong, wise – a super woman! I posted my comment below and I would also recimmend to you the book “Co-dependent no more” by Melody Beattie 🙂 eveything wil be bettrr and better every day 🙂

    • Amy on January 24, 2017 at 11:26 am

      I could have almost written this myself. After 26 years, I’m now a 48 year old nursing student with 3 kids in welfare and have no idea if child support will show up. BUT, I graduate in May and have great hope for a future that is so much more peaceful. You know it’s bad when your kids comment that it’s so much more peaceful now. No more tiptoeing around to avoid his wrath.
      It’s amazing to me that every need we’ve had has been supplied, sometimes out of the blue, since he suddenly walked out advising he’d no longer pay any bills. I had just started school and worked part time. But it’s worked out.
      I did divorcecare online for the first year, it was great.
      And Codependent No More is a great read. So is Why Does He Do That? By Lundy Bancroft

  2. Ann on January 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    These are all true James! Walked out of a toxic marriage after 23years! I am now free, my kids too for 6 years now, and we’re now all living a safe, happy and peaceful life. Excellent video. Thank you

  3. Basia on January 24, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Hi! I was married for 7 years with my boyfriend from the grammar school. It was romantic love and he became a great journalist. However the moment we got married he quit the job and started to be ill for… next 7 years. He pretended and I believed it. He left me for a younger girl leaving me with 30,000 euro debt. It took me 6 years to pay the debts and to get better. Now I am in a realtionship for 1,5 year and… I can see the signs that worry me… he is alcoholic and does not want to admit it. (Later I also got the news and mu ex husband and his whole family are alcoholics). Last week a friend gave me ab book “Co-dependent no more” by Melody Beattie. Hurray! Now I know – I am co-dependant… always helpful always forgiving… and that is not the way I need and want to live :). Thank you James for starting this subject 🙂

  4. Cathy on February 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    I can pick out some or all of these signs in every single one of my serious relationships… what do I do with that? Is it me??

  5. Mary Rodriguez on February 22, 2017 at 10:03 am

    You deserve a slow clap. I really admire girls who are strong and can stand from the root of heartache and heartbreak. Though it is good to have a complete family, it is better to live a happy life at the end. And if marriage can just cause you pain, I myself will opt out and live my life to the fullest, especially if there are my kids who will complete my life. Again, salute to you.

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