By: Collen Andre, LMHC

Toxic partners come with warning signs.

You feel devastated, empty, and ashamed. You are yet again alone and destroyed by another bad relationship with a toxic person.

Why is it that you only see the signs of a toxic relationship after it has ended? Why were you so blind to your partner’s controlling behavior and frequent mental abuse?

It is already difficult to re-build yourself after a failed relationship but re-building from a destructive relationship feels even worse.

But, it is possible to protect yourself from unsafe partners, toxic people, and unhealthy relationships.

Here are 4 signs of a toxic relationship and controlling behavior from an abusive partner.

1. He checks in too much

If you are in a relationship and receiving multiple or successive text messages and phone calls from your partner, it’s time to sound the alarm! The messages could end with emojis, hearts, or cute pet names but the content is focused on where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing.

You ask yourself, “Why are they checking in so much?” If there is not a real concern — such as a sickness or being emotionally upset — there is a reason for suspicion. The partner could be insecure and it may show signs of controlling or stalking behaviors.

  • Controlling behaviors may look like not wanting you to wear certain clothes or spending time with specific people or anyone aside from them.
  • Stalking behaviors can include constantly checking your social media, tracking your whereabouts, and showing up to where you are unexpectantly.

2. You’re losing friends

Are you asking yourself, “What type of friends am I losing?” and “Why am I losing friends?”

You should be worried if you are losing friends too quickly or losing close and long-term relationships. Often times, abusive or unhealthy partners want to isolate their victims.

When family or friends are out of reach, then who is available comfort you when you’re stuck in a toxic and controlling relationship? You are trapped with only your toxic partner for emotional support.

Deep and personal questions asked in the early stages of a relationship can be a red flag, especially if there is pressure.

For example, your partner or date wants to know your deepest darkest secret after a short time period such as a third date or less than a month of talking to each other.

Persistent questioning is masked with curiosity. You may not feel ready to share but end up doubting yourself because of their persistence.

The above situation can be a sure sign of future behaviors when it comes to asking you to do things you are not ready or want to. Pressure to share things can turn into pressure to do things you are not comfortable doing.

4. You feel anxious or nervous when your partner is upset

What do your distressing feelings say about your relationship or partner?

Your feelings may be a sign of your partner’s emotional instability and anger outbursts. Outbursts begin with yelling then escalating to throwing, destroying things, or even punching.

Or, you feel anxious or nervous because your partner may hurt themselves. If they are threatening to hurt themselves there can be a great deal of burden or guilt you experience to help them. A high-stress relationship is not a healthy one.

It is much easier to leave when there have been less time, investment, and emotions.

Lastly, if you are noticing a pattern of toxic partners you may want to ask yourself: “What about these people attracts me to them?”

Seek out help through counseling services to end the cycle of toxic relationships so you can find the healthy love you truly deserve.

If you are noticing a pattern of toxic partners, you may want to ask yourself: what about these people attracts you to them? Seek out help through counseling services to end the cycle.

Call Life Counseling Solutions at 407.622.1770 to set up an appointment or a complimentary 15-minute consultation with me. Or, make your first appointment online by clicking here. 

About Colleen: Colleen values the importance of a comfortable and non-judgmental atmosphere. At the heart of her work, she seeks to create a safe environment in which clients can feel at ease while working through life’s difficulties. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anger management, trauma, and anxiety. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or racial issues. Ultimately, her goal is to help clients uncover the source of their distress so that they can begin to heal.See Colleen’s full bio.

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