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Relationships can be complicated, especially when you have been in one for a long time. So how do you know if you are in an unhealthy relationship? The signs might not be apparent because no relationship starts bad it happens over time. It can be hard to tell if you are in an unhealthy relationship because it becomes normal to you once you live in it every day. 

I will keep it real here and be brutally honest because I have seen too many unhealthy relationships shatters people’s self-confidence, self-respect, and self-love. It is a topic that pisses me off because I know that staying in an unhealthy relationship can ruin someone’s life and even take someone’s life. It is sad but true, and turning a blind eye and wishing it away is not the answer. 

I am here to tell you that being in an unhealthy relationship can do a lot of emotional, mental, and even sometimes physical damage. No one goes out looking for a toxic relationship. It can be the type of people you are attracted to due to past trauma. That is why you must recognize the signs. That way, you can decide to love yourself enough to get out or figure out a way to work to make it a healthy relationship. 

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

Arguing in a unhealthy relationship

Feeling drained

When a relationship sucks the life out of you to the point where you find little to no joy in it, your emotions run on empty. When a couple is constantly fighting or worrying about getting into an argument, it takes a toll on their mental health. It can be exhausting when you are in the never-ending loop of fight or flight mode. 

Lack of trust

No trust, no relationship. It is just that simple. If your partner is dishonest and unfaithful to you, it creates a lack of trust that leads to a lack of confidence. So if you find yourself in with someone you can’t trust, you are either going to checkout mentally or be paranoid every time they leave the house. It’s not a feeling you want to live with, so do something about it. You can talk to your partner or you can leave. 

Constant judgment

When your partner passes constant judgment on you, this isn’t to make you better. It is a way to belittle you and make you feel less than. If they do it long enough, they will wear you down, and you will lose your self-worth. 


Co-dependency is when one person is constantly taking, and the other continually gives. The person always giving will neglect who they are to conform to the person who is taking.  The taking person relies on the giver for extreme validation and support. 

It can get tricky to spot because some people are clingy and need extra attention, but there is a difference. Everyone needs validation sometimes, but when it comes to the point where you are conforming to them and losing yourself, that is unhealthy. 

Abuse in a unhealthy relationship

Hostile environment

Living in a hostile environment can be dangerous because you never know what to expect. If you find yourself in an abusive relationship, you need to get out ASAP. Don’t fall for “I’m Sorry” or “it will never happen again” because it’s bullshit. If someone is that comfortable that they feel like they can hit you, I promise you this isn’t the first time and most certainly won’t be the last.

It can be challenging to get out when you have no place to go, and your partner controls the finances, but you have to find a way. When physical abuse starts, it will never end. It will only escalate as time goes on. Please reach out to someone who can help, and if you feel that no one can help, that isn’t true. There are so many resources at your fingertips, don’t be afraid to use them. 

A hostile environment isn’t always physical. It can be emotional as well. People are crazy and use all kinds of tactics that create toxic atmospheres. Emotional abuse is just as bad and physical because once it begins, it never ends. I also find that once emotional abuse starts, the physical abuse isn’t too far behind. 

“Emotional abuse involves nonphysical behavior that belittles another person and can include insults, put down verbal threats, or other tactics that make the victim feel threatened, inferior, ashamed, or degraded.” – Safehorizon.

Narcissistic tendencies

A narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. A narcissistic relationship is when you are involved with someone who has a deep need for a lot of attention and admiration. They will also have an inflated ego, a sense of entitlement, and an inflated sense of importance. They also have a lack of empathy because everything is about them. 

You might not notice it at first because someone who has a narcissistic personality can be charming at first. It’s all sunshine and rainbows just as long as it is all about them. Once that stops, you will meet a whole different kind of person. They become mean and verbally abusive when they don’t get what they want, so watch out. I found this great article on healthline.com that gives you how to spot a narcissist and how to get out. 

Avoiding conflict

Are you avoiding conflict? If you find yourself saying and doing whatever you need to do to avoid getting into an argument or fight, you are in an unhealthy relationship. When you can’t communicate your concerns effectively in a relationship, it creates stress and resentment towards your partner. 

unhealthy relationship issues


Insecurities are a part of life, and everyone has them. However, your insecurities shouldn’t come from an unhealthy relationship. If you are with someone who is constantly insulting you or whittling away at your self-confidence with snide remarks, they need to take a hike. Because what I found is that people who like to put others down are deflecting their insecurities. Don’t let someone deplete your self-worth because you are fabulous just the way you are. 

Control issues

Control issues are when someone has completely taken over everything in your life, and you lose your independence. Control can take many forms. If your partner isolates you from your friends and family, controlling where you go and for how long can lead to dangerous territory. 

People who try to control your life and how you live it might present it as if they are doing it for your own good. Don’t fall for it!!! They are trying to steal your independence so you become reliant on them. You have to be careful because there are signs you might miss. For someone trying to control you, it is all about how they approach and word what they want to control. 

A perfect example is if they say they will take care of the finances. You might hate having to remember the pay the bills. So when they say they will do it it feels like a relief. Wrong! Sure they can pay the bills, but you have to control your own money. Do not ever give up control of your finances. If they want to pay the bills from one account, no problem, deposit the money into that account from your account. 

I say this because once they get a hold of your money, they can trap you. It doesn’t take much to go to the bank to close one account and open another. The one thing I always insist on is to make sure you have access to your money. 

Emotional disconnect

When you or your partner emotionally check out, it is because the relationship is emotionally draining. In an unhealthy relationship where it turns into a battlefield, more often than not, people start to disconnect. 

You stop caring about spending time with your partner. You can care less about their issues or what they are doing. Sex is off the table because you don’t feel anything towards that person. When they talk, you hear them, but you’re not really listening to what they are saying. The reason is that when you are emotionally disconnected, you are mentally checked out. 

Lack of communication

If you have communication issues with each other, this will lead to conflict and a negative perspective of your partner. When you don’t communicate your problems, there can be no resolution. Poor communication like criticism, defensiveness and lack of compromise in an unhealthy relationship will lead to not wanting to talk at all. The truth is when you don’t communicate effectively in a relationship. You don’t have a relationship. 

Final Thoughts

Relationships are complicated, and it is easy to be in an unhealthy relationship and not even realize it. But to correct it, that will take work from both of you. Recognizing the signs of an unhealthy relationship early will make it easier to resolve the issues and create a healthy relationship. Not all relationships can be fixed, so if you find yourself in an unhealthy one with no light at the end of the tunnel, please love yourself enough to walk away. 

If you want to know out what the signs of a healthy relationship look like be sure to check out 9 Signs of a Healthy Relationship.

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