There are few things as mentally and emotionally draining as having to interact with a toxic partner. The signs aren’t always obvious, however, as many toxic partners are talented manipulators and skilled at hiding their misdeeds. Beyond that, there’s also a chance that you see the signs but refuse to recognize them, or don’t even know what to look for at all.
The following should give you an idea of what signals you should be on the lookout for to alert you to a toxic partner, and some steps you might want to consider for dealing with the issues.
A Lack Of Compassion
Normal people know how to empathize with others and “put themselves in another’s shoes.” Not so with a toxic partner, as they’re likely to skimp on the compassion and say or do things to intentionally harm you — both mentally and emotionally. This lack of compassion also bleeds into some of the other behaviors toxic partners display.
Making You Doubt Yourself
Have you noticed your partner belittling you, putting you down, or outright insulting you, but in a way that grants them some plausible deniability about them being mean. “I was only joking,” they might say, or “you’re getting too worked up about nothing.” These are subtle signs that they may not have your best interests at heart, and might even be actively working to undermine your confidence.
Abusing And Controlling Every Little Thing You Do
A gross imbalance of power can be a sign of a toxic relationship, and a toxic partner might use that to try and control you in a multitude of ways. Ask yourself, is your partner attempting to control who you see or separate you from your friend groups? Are they trying to sever your financial independence? Are they emotionally or physically abusive?
On that last point in particular, it’s important to draw a line, especially when that power imbalance is stark. Legal experts, like Spanish speaking personal injury lawyer Kathleen Alvarado, say such situations can lead to serious domestic strife, so it’s important you recognize the signs and safeguard yourself before something happens if you can.
Steps You Can Take
If you begin to notice a pattern of toxic behavior, you should seek help as soon as possible. You don’t deserve to be abused by a toxic partner, and while ending a relationship may be difficult, it’s often preferable to the alternative of staying. Reach out to individuals and support groups that can offer a hand, such as experienced sex crime defense attorneys or the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and take steps to free yourself and reclaim your life.