If you feel trapped in an unhealthy relationship – as if you’ve lost yourself at some point, somewhere and are forever changed because of it – chances are your partner is emotionally abusive and you need to get out. Even if you can’t quite pinpoint what’s wrong, but you feel sad, irritable, tired, or despondent most of the time, especially when around this person, freeing yourself from the situation you’re in could make a world of difference.
Here are some signs you’re in an emotionally toxic relationship:
Your partner insults you.
Everyone is human. We all make mistakes. However, we should feel like we can talk about the mistakes we’ve made with our partner without worrying that he’ll only make us feel worse about them. Healthy relationships consist of partners who encourage each other, especially during difficult times. If you lose your job, for example, your partner should console you and help you to feel confident, not tell you he told you so, it’s for the best, or remind you that you never felt secure in that position, anyway.
Your partner insults you in front of others.
It’s difficult to be in a partnership in which your significant other insists on degrading you behind closed doors. It’s especially difficult if this demeaning behavior continues, or even gets worse, when you’re around others. If you’re hosting a large gathering, chances are you’re going to be nervous and triple-check that you’ve planned properly. You shouldn’t have to worry about your partner rolling his eyes and saying, “She always does this,” if you’ve forgotten something. Again, your mate should be on your team and try to calm your nerves, not make matters worse.
You never feel like you’re good enough.
No matter how much you do, you never feel like you can do enough to please your partner. Even when you’re certain you’ve remembered all that is expected of you, he continues to put you down. All too often, your significant other makes you feel insignificant. As first, it may be instinctual to try and outdo these expectations in an almost subconscious attempt to receive some sort of positive reinforcement. But, pretty soon, after your ego is deflated time and again, it’s common to begin believing it’s better to stay out of your mate’s way altogether than try to be everything he’s looking for.
You feel totally disregarded.
In the beginning of the relationship, you may have felt like your opinion mattered and your partner took to heart whatever you had to say. In other words, you had equal say in the relationship and you were allowed to have an opinion different from his. If you didn’t like something he was doing, you could express your discontentment and the behavior would stop. Now, the fact that you are an individual doesn’t seem to matter to him anymore at all. Whenever you express an opinion that’s different from his, it’s like it goes in one ear and out the other and he continues on as if you had said nothing at all. If you disapprove of something that’s happening or something your mate is doing and verbalize this, the behavior continues. He may shrug his shoulders and simply tell you to leave if you don’t like it. It’s his way or the highway.
You feel like you have to hide.
Physically, mentally, or emotionally. You feel like you can’t tell your partner anything anymore. You can’t do enough for him. Everything you say or do is wrong so, you begin to isolate yourself and retreat. You stop telling him things. You stop doing things. You even stop coming home altogether. You feel more comfortable when he’s away than when he’s with you. You’d much rather be alone.
You stop talking about the relationship with others.
Because you’re so miserable inside, you feel like you have nothing good to say about it, anyway. And, you avoid conversation about your partnership. This is particularly common if you feel ‘trapped’ or unable to leave. Maybe you’ve made the decision to go down with a sinking ship. This could be because you two have kids, or because you don’t have any friends or family nearby or the finances to leave. Whatever the case, if you feel stuck, you may begin to feel doomed to a life of misery with your partner. When this happens, often, as a defense mechanism, we avoid talking to anyone about what is happening to us, and we even shrug off comments from loved ones that our relationship is unhealthy, insisting everything’s fine.
Nothing matters anymore.
You’ve lost total interest in nearly everything that once made you happy. You don’t want to do anything social. You don’t want to see your friends or family, play the sports you once enjoyed, work out, or go to work. You’d rather stay in bed, be alone, take a nap.
If your relationship has brought you to a point in which nothing matters anymore – you’re isolated from those you love, you’ve discontinued pursuing activities that were once important to you, you feel tired, bored or incapable of thinking clearly all the time – you need to get out. This is a sign that you are experiencing clinical depression. Toxic relationships can easily bring us to this point if we let them, and while it may seem as if you have no way out of the funk you’re in, you do.
Get out and seek help! Happiness is waiting for you on the other side!