July 21, 2020

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How to know if you are in a toxic relationship

Toxic relationships exist and they are dangerous for your physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Have you ever wondered if your relationship is toxic to your overall wellbeing?

Are you beginning to feel things are not the way they are supposed to be in your relationship?

Maybe you are beginning to feel like you deserve better!

Many times, toxic relationships are hard to identify, but it’s also easy to identify behaviors that are blatantly out of line.

You may be asking: how can I make my relationship strong? Here are 16 ways to make your relationship stay strong.

Rainie Howard offers ways of escape in this resource; Addicted To Pain: Renew Your Mind & Heal Your Spirit From A Toxic Relationship In 30 Days.

Why is it so hard to leave an abusive relationship? Why is it so hard to move on?

In this article, we are going to show you some signs that signal an unhealthy and toxic relationship.

Many of us have gotten ourselves into situationships!

Quite frankly we often tend to stay in these relationships even when we know that we’re getting all the red flags to leave or demand changes.

Not only that, but we also continue to allow others to step on our hearts and feelings when we have the choice to leave.

According to John Mark Green; “Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.”

I get it, sometimes it’s confusing because you find yourself in a love-hate relationship.

Toxic people give you hopeful moments of happiness and moments of unexplainable deep stress and distress.

And you think that is the ideal way love is supposed to be, but it’s not at all.

Sadly though, many times before we get our Moses, we have to go through a couple of the Pharaohs.

No one can boast of a perfect relationship, in the personal or the business sphere.

But “The wrong person will give you less than what you’re worth, but that doesn’t mean that you have to accept it.” – Sonya Parker.

According to Ginnie Love Thompson, Ph.D., a Florida based Psychotherapist, “Every single relationship has a level of abuse. Nothing is perfect – there’s always some work to be done.”

For the most part, a good relationship should make you feel secure, special, happy, cared for, respected, and free to be yourself.

My friends, true love will never leave you feeling empty, drained, depleted and distraught.

feeling of emptiness in a toxic relationship

And if for any reason you do? Then you’re in a toxic relationship.

A California – based communication and psychology expert, coined the term in her book Toxic People, defined a toxic relationship as “any relationship (between people who) don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s disrespect and lack of cohesiveness.”

Let me tell you a couple of ways to identify if you’re in an unhealthy toxic relationship.

If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to make some big changes.

“Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.” – Oprah Winfrey

The first sign of a toxic relationship is Confusion.


As God’s word says, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33).

It is always good and very important to pay close attention to identify if the person you are in a relationship with is bringing clarity or confusion to your life.

When a person continues to give you less effort and is also showing signs that he/she doesn’t want to “get serious” about a relationship, then they are most likely wasting your time.

They expect much and give little. They feel entitled and act like they are doing you a favor.

If you don’t know where you stand with someone in a relationship, then you should let that person go.

Trust me, also believe that there is always someone out there who will not leave you confused.

The second sign of an unhealthy relationship is Dishonesty


If your partner is constantly lying to you, you are discovering little lies here and there, telling a partial truth, or doesn’t even communicate his/her whereabouts, these are all big red flags.

When you are in a relationship or dating, you should know that HONESTY is the first sign of loyalty.

Honesty breeds TRUST over time in a relationship.

Always consider if the person you are with is honest about EVERYTHING.

Most toxic people don’t follow through on their promises. They are “sweet and smooth talkers.”

They say one thing to make you happy this one moment and then revert to their old ways.

Rachel Sussman, LCSW, a marriage and family therapist in New York, says “There’s the constant push and pull.”

Every dishonest gesture between partners undercuts a little bit of the relationship.

The third sign of a toxic relationship is fairly easy to identify.

Lack of commitment

No Commitment – If the person you are with doesn’t want anyone to know they’re dating you, then you’re pretty much a secret and he/she is liable to do anything.

They don’t talk about the future after you’ve been together for some months or they are comparing you with their past relationships.

They are not committed, period! And that’s a BIG red flag.

No, they don’t have to post you on social media 20x a day, but it should be made known that they are in a relationship with you.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t always guarantee that they will be faithful, but it does give clarity that they can potentially be honest.

It shows they value you as a person.

Dr. Clinton McLemore― a leading expert on interpersonal relationships― gives you a powerful roadmap for promoting healthy and productive relationships and how to have some value for your relationship.

You may already know this, but if your partner is DISRESPECTFUL, this can be a huge red flag.

Being disrespected in a relationship causes much emotional confusion and distress.

Mutual respect fosters individual growth and development.

Lack of respect messes with your image and gives you a sense of insecurity about yourself.

Lack of respect does not bring out the best of you.

In fact, it makes you not feel like yourself around them.

You see, when a man/woman tells you very hurtful things, those things don’t just go away, they stay grounded in your heart for some time.

intuition toxic relationship

Better to be with someone that will build you up, even when you don’t feel or look your best.

Here’s one that most people don’t take into much consideration – Uneasy Feeling.

Follow your intuition, if you feel like something is off or you are feeling any type of anxiety and fear in a relationship or anything in general.



Listen to that small voice!

Most times our inner selves will tell us the truth before it surfaces.

I think, a lot of times, most of us know when something is off, but we choose to find out the hard way.

Listen to that small voice in your head. God will never lead you wrong.

A sixth Sign that you’re probably in an unhealthy relationship would be a Lack Of Change In Behavior.

change in behavior toxic relationship


Let me give you an example, if a person constantly does the same thing over and over without changing.

And he/she knows that it bothers you, then they clearly don’t care about fixing the problem, or making you happy.

A person can apologize, but if their actions don’t match, then something is not adding up.

When they are wrong, they try to rationalize their behavior or blame others for it.

True Repentance should come with a change, they say!

Dependence would definitely be another sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Do not get me wrong, it is okay to take care of your partner.

But when taking care of your partner becomes a full-time job and they are not putting in the same effort, then you are basically dealing with a child with all related stresses.

Do not sacrifice your time and efforts on a selfish and self-centered person.

By all means, don’t.

Some people will be in a relationship with you just because it’s beneficial for them, while the whole time you could be losing out on an amazing partner who will give you the world and more.

Don’t settle for someone who is full of excuses as to why they are not where they are supposed to be because anyone can support themselves if they are willing.

Now I think it’s time we get on the topic of Abuse; another sign of signs of a toxic relationship.

Abuse toxic relatonship

There is more than one kind of abuse. There’s physical abuse, mental abuse, and narcissistic abuse.

If you’ve ever encountered any of these types of abuse, I just want to let you know that you are worth so much more!

Mental abuse is the first sign of these 3. Why?

Because once you allow a person to abuse you mentally – control your mind -which can be verbal – arguing, disrespect, or just their actions, this will eventually lead to physical abuse.

Sometimes people hide what they really feel behind words and hidden agendas until they get comfortable enough to abuse you physically.

Physical abuse could lead to death. No, I am not being dramatic.

If you are in a relationship where you are getting abused, at what point do you think the abuse will end and at what point do you think this person will stop?

There’s never an excuse for abusive behavior, especially when it comes to love in a relationship.

Love is the strongest drug and if you are with a person who is seriously in love with you, but abuses you, at no point does that make it right?

None, for neither of you!

Leave that relationship as quickly as possible, especially when you are not yet married.

time to leave

Lastly, Narcissistic abuse is the most underrated type of abuse out there.

This is the silent abuse.

This is where the person will have you thinking you’re doing everything wrong in the world, but you’re doing everything you possibly can to the best of your ability.

They mess with your mind. You can’t impress them.

“Beware of narcissistic people. They’ll tell everyone you’re crazy, only to cover up their trickery. ” ― Mitta Xinindlu

“Narcissists are very retaliative if they believe another has achieved what they desire, exposed their insecurities, or refused to be under their control.”   — Lorraine Nilon

I think most people have gotten a piece of this kind of abuse.

Not only because it’s so easy to miss, but also because it plays with your mind in so many ways, and most importantly it is a disorder.

Trust me it is very torturing.

Here’s a couple of signs that you’re in a narcissistic relationship:

You have low self-esteem, you feel as though you’re going crazy, you become depressed or anxious.

Nothing you do is ever good enough.

When you try to leave they pull you back in, their attitude towards you changes rapidly.

Guys, this is only a couple ways a narcissist abuses you and I think it is the most horrible of them all.

Beware of these toxic relationships! They are very hard to recover from. Not impossible, but hard!

Now that we’ve discussed the different types of abuse in a relationship, we should move forward with other signs that indicate you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Which brings me to Control.

If you are dating someone who seems to be very controlling you should be careful, controlling people want you to do exactly as they say or else… and this is not a safe place to be.

When you’re in a relationship, it should be equal, even though a man is dominant over the woman he should never make you feel as though you don’t have a choice or a voice.

You should still be entitled to do what you want and have some sense of independence as long as it isn’t disrespectful towards your relationship.

One thing we all ignore is our Own Comfort in a relationship.

If you don’t feel comfortable without makeup or wigs, etc, then you aren’t with your soulmate,

You see real true love should not be identified by how good your makeup looks, or how laid your hair is,

but when you can wake up barefaced, and 100% natural, you’ve found someone that accepts you for you!

Don’t ever change your image to be with someone.

Beware of the person you’re with is charming when they want to be, real love should always be present, not just sometimes.

Real love is Unconditional. It shouldn’t be based on performance.

real love relationship

If they are more charming to everyone else than you, then you probably have yourself a cheater.

Never stay with someone if they make you feel ignored and invisible.

In a toxic relationship, nothing gets resolved.

Most discussions end in arguments. There’s zero tolerance and accommodation for the other person’s feelings.

They always assume the worst of the other person.

It is one thing to say you’re in a relationship with someone that you’re uncertain about,

but it is a completely different thing to be with someone who doesn’t even give you the attention you deserve.

Trust me, someone who really wants to be with you will not make you feel ignored or left out.

They will always make time and always check-in, busy or not.

“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church.

Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:22-25.

This is a clear biblical representation of how God intends for us to love each other in a marriage relationship.

God did not intend for us to be in relationships where our hearts are being abused, our love is taken for granted, and our images distorted.

That’s not biblical!

That is what the devil wants. Satan wants us to be abused and broken, but God wants us to be loved and made whole.

The word “perfect” in 1 John 4:18 means “complete” or “mature,” and the love that is referred to is God’s, selfless agape love.

An unconditional love that is not based on performance.

This is the type of love that should exist in every relationship.

It’s sacrificial love – bearing one another.

At no point should we doubt that unhealthy relationships are all that God has in His plan for our love lives.

God wants the best for each and every one of us, and I think we should want the best for ourselves as well.

If we stop settling for less, God will truly give us a Kingdom man/woman.

Pastor Joel Osteen once said that everything you need to be happy is in you.

Happiness is a choice and should not be dependent on somebody else.

“The hardest part of being in an emotionally abusive relationship, it’s actually admitting you’re in one.” – Anna Akana


When you are with someone who persistently makes you unhappy, suffocates those precious parts of you, makes you feel lesser than who you are,

you must be alive with your eyes wide open to the damage they are doing.

You owe them nothing, you owe yourself everything.

Everyone deserves to thrive, to feel no intimidation, and to feel safe, and you deserve to be happy in your relationship.

 Don’t allow yourself to be in toxic relationships. 

You should be able to identify signs that indicate that a relationship may have become, or always was, toxic.

Sometimes you just have to learn how to be alone and patiently wait for true love to find you or vice versa – Most of the time when you least expected it.

Soulmates are real, and you will be at peace when your true soul mate comes into your life.

If you know how much God loves you unconditionally, then you will know how much he cares about your situation.

Lastly, are you:

Currently, trying to get over a heartbreak?

Are you trapped in a toxic relationship?

Do you desire to leave a toxic relationship?

It is possible!

leave toxic relationship

When you have tried all you can, you just have to make up your mind and heart that you will not accept that anymore.

With prayer, self-care, people that care, and self-love, you will overcome any phase you are going through.

Sometimes telling yourself that; I’m going to stay positive,

Believing that God created us with a great destiny, and

conditioning our minds to rely on God’s plan,

We feel better, we attract better, and we are living again.

Don’t get so consumed in an unhealthy relationship until it starts to affect your mental health.

It’s like a low-grade fever that may eventually evolve into a high fever.

When you really stop and think about it, a toxic relationship brings about some levels of fear and anxiety.

These could lead to depression and feelings of hopelessness.

12 best secrets to a long-lasting relationship will help you to identify the good attributes of a healthy relationship.

It’s not too late to let go and start new. All you have to do is try.

“The broken heart will heal and you will have peace like never before.”
― Tracy A. Malone

The best is yet to come.

Wishing you all the best in your relationships and sending tons of love and positivity your way!









  1. Reply


    Amazing post. I was in an abusive relationship and the warning signs were all there. I was just not in the right state of mind to realize it and thought I could fix it. I did eventually leave him, but I should have left at the first warning sign. This is very well said and so true. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Reply

      Joann Azuike

      Thank you so much for visiting. Your comments are very valuable and I’m sure will be beneficial to many. Don’t allow a toxic relationship experience to stop you from loving and being loved again. Take care & stay blessed.
      Self Care: 17 Ways To Take Better Care Of Yourself

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By Joann