For many years, I couldn’t understand why my relationship didn’t last long. Until I realized there was something in me that I had to change.
My trust issues did sabotage my past relationship. Not the proudest moment in my life, I know.
“A toxic relationship occurs when one or both people are prioritizing love over the three core components of a healthy relationship: respect, trust, and affection.” — Mark Manson.
Have you ever stopped for a second and think, maybe you are the one who’s toxic in the relationship? It’s hard to admit that sometimes because we all like to think when something isn’t working, it’s not on us.
But trust me, admitting that you are the toxic one in your past/current relationship doesn’t mean your life is over. Instead, you can use this to reflect and improve who you are as a person, which will eventually make you a better partner.
Here are some signs to see if you are the toxic one in your relationship:
1. You are overly jealous
Believe me when I say there are people out there who will tell you if you aren’t jealous, you don’t love your partner. I was one of them. I grew up in that kind of environment until I moved out and figured out that that’s not how a healthy relationship works.
If you are one of these people, then you need to stop. Checking their text, over-thinking whether they are cheating on you outside the house or not, and eventually acting crazy then push your partner to the edge.
It’s like a rabbit hole. Get out from there as soon as possible.
What you can do:
Jealousy has so many layers, so whenever the feeling comes up, ask yourself why you feel that way? Does it have something to do with your childhood? And write down your thoughts somewhere. It’ll help you control yourself from doing crazy things.
And trust your partner. I know it’s such general advice, but it’s your main choice. It’s not worth following the jealousy feeling because it’s endless, and you’ll only create lots of resentment towards your partner.
2. You are always defensive
I used to like proving myself right and didn’t care enough whether the person I was dating felt hurt or not because of my actions.
Then why is it toxic? I was standing up for myself, right? Well, not necessarily right, mainly because you both are a partner, not a competitor when you are in a relationship. If you are obsessed with being right all the time, you’ll make your partner feel like the everyday conversation is a battle.
What you can do:
When you are into an argument and try so hard to prove yourself right (even if, let’s say, you have good points), push the pause button. Take time off to clear your mind and not let your ego ruin the relationship.
I know it’s easier said than done, but I’m telling you, nothing feels worse than “winning” but seeing your partner hurt by your words. Taking a break during an argument’s heat helps a lot in calming yourself down and can come back later with a fresh mind.
3. You act passive-aggressive
This is something that I did a lot back then, and it has resulted in me pushing too many people away — people who were good to me.
I’d have a problem with their lack of showing affection, and instead of telling them what I wanted, I went with my sassy comments and blaming them right away without explaining what’s going on.
Now looking back, of course, that relationship didn’t work out. There were so much unnecessary drama and wasted time.
If you think you’ve been acting passive-aggressive or worse, blackmailing your partner because you didn’t know how to say it better, then you need to make a change around it.
I understand opening up to your partner can be challenging — especially when it has something to do with them or the relationship. It’s easier to tell them that you don’t get along with your mother and you feel stress, but to say that you’ve been frustrated with your partner’s cold behaviour? Not so much.
What you can do:
So whenever the problem arises, instead of using “you are this or that,” try to reframe the sentence by using “I feel like you’ve been (fill in the blank)” instead.
This small step will help your partner feel more welcoming because you aren’t necessarily blaming them for how you think, but instead, you just let them know and see if you can work it out together.
4. You don’t take responsibility for your own emotions
Do you blame your partner instantly for how you feel? While they might be in the wrong, you are also in charge of your own emotions.
The fact is you can’t depend on your partner to make you happy all the time. It’s your job, not theirs. It’s easier to cling and hope that someone else can take away that bad feeling inside us, but that’s not how it works.
I’m embarrassed to say that I used to expect my partner to make me feel good again because it’s harder to look deeper inside me and ask myself, “what is going on?”
So you know nothing good comes from avoiding responsibilities. This includes the responsibility for your own emotions.
What you can do:
Recognize your feelings every time you don’t feel good or just not in your best state of mind. And do something about it.
Move your body, pick a new hobby, or anything that helps you feel better. Make sure to let your partner know about it; if they love you, they’ll understand that you need some space alone.
5. You try to change your partner
People got into a relationship because they see their partner’s flaws, then they suddenly have this new mission to change them — to the “better.”
I’ve known girls who like doing this to the guy they are dating. It’s like a fun project to them until they became obsessed with it and pushed their partner away.
So if you’ve been noticing this behaviour of yours, then you know it’s time to stop. Imagine you have a particular habit and your partner comes to you asking you to change it badly. Otherwise, they won’t love you.
How do you feel? Rejected, of course.
And maybe you’ll change for a month or two for them, but you know it deep down that you are unlikely to change unless the feeling comes from you.
What you can do:
Let go of the feeling to control your partner by acknowledging that just like you, he/she is imperfect too. It can be frustrating, I know, but you still have the right to let them know, and that’s the furthest you can do.
Instead of changing your partner, it’s so much easier to make changes in your own life. You will have more control, and sometimes I noticed that it triggered my partner to work on himself when I get busy working on myself.
Either you or I am perfect. We all have flaws, and it can be a good thing (only when you are aware of it) because then you will work on it.
Admitting you are the toxic one in your relationship doesn’t mean you are unworthy of love. I used to think that way, but I figured that I’d have still stuck in the same place without the awareness earlier over time.