15 Behaviors That Reveal a Harmful Relationship

15 Behaviors That Reveal a Harmful Relationship

harmful relationshipLifestyle

All relationships have problems once in a while. But if you’re in a relationship that makes you feel uncomfortable, this should be a red flag to you. Harmful relationships have some common characteristics. Here are fifteen behaviors that show you could be in an unhealthy relationship.

1 – Unhealthy communication reveals a harmful relationship

In a toxic relationship, partners have unhealthy communication. Instead of open, honest communication for both partners, one person dominates the conversations. They may insist on being the one who has the last word or always corrects you when you share your thoughts. Other harmful ways of communicating in these relationships include

  • Sarcasm
  • Criticism
  • Hostility
  • Anger
  • Bitterness
  • Contempt
  • Guilting the other person

You must be free to share your opinions without fear of being judged or attacked. If you do, this is an alarming sign that your relationship isn’t healthy.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

2 – A harmful relationship displays jealousy

Jealousy in a relationship is a big red flag. Many people mistakenly believe that jealousy is a sign of genuine love or care, but jealousy isn’t healthy. Your partner is controlling and possessive. Jealousy is called a “green-eyed monster.”

That’s how bad jealousy is! It’s a suffocating type of love that doesn’t give you a happy relationship. If you see this happening in your relationship, it may be wise to end it. There are dire consequences ahead if you don’t.

ADVERTISEMENT

3 – Those in a hostile union may not be supportive of each other

In a healthy relationship, both partners support one another in their careers, ambitions, or dreams. They want the other person to succeed, even if they need to sacrifice to make it happen. In an unhealthy relationship, there is little encouragement. Instead, your partner laughs at you when you share your dreams. They don’t respect how hard you work but feel angry if you succeed. This competition makes the relationship feel unsafe. You’re tempted not to mention the good you do or anything you’d like to do because you are afraid of being humiliated by the other person.

4 – Controlling behaviors reveal negativity

Some signs your partner is controlling are they ask you where you are all the time, they get upset if you don’t answer their calls right away, or they get angry when you want to go out with friends. A controlling person is manipulative. They act loving, but this gets you to do what they want more than genuine care for you. They may cry or complain that you don’t love them because you want to be with your friends more than them. This behavior is to make you feel bad. You may believe them at first, but after a while, recognize this is toxic behavior. A harmful synonym is subversive. This is an excellent description of what’s going on in this relationship. Subversive means to overthrow, and that’s what a controlling person is trying to do.

5 – Dishonesty in your relationship

Does your partner lie to you? Have you found out they lied about where they were? Do you sense they’re lying about how they feel or what they want? If you pick up these vibes, there is a good chance they are dishonest. Other signs of dishonesty are the following:

  • Accusing other people of lying
  • Avoiding looking you in the eye
  • Leaning away from you when they talk to you
  • Accusing you of lying to them
  • Turning off message notifications on their phone
  • Turning off their location on their phone
  • Hiding transaction receipts

Honesty is everything, so this is an enormous red flag.

ADVERTISEMENT

6. Disrespect is common in a harmful relationship

Disrespect is harmful to a romantic relationship. It essentially says you’re not that important to the other person. If they cared for you, they’d attempt to show respect. Other signs your partner disrespects you includes these behaviors:

  • Interrupting you
  • Never listening to you
  • Excluding you in their decision-making process
  • Telling lies to you
  • Ignoring your boundaries
  • Gossiping about you
  • Being late for appointments together
  • Talking at you instead of talking to you
  • Minimizing your concerns

7 – A harmful relationship might include dangerous financial behavior

If your partner is making bad financial decisions without consulting you, this is a sign of a toxic relationship. Their poor financial choices can come back to bite you if you sign off on loan paperwork or share a bank account. Please don’t ignore this behavior or think they’ll eventually change. Recognize this as a red flag that you’re in a negative relationship.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

8 – A negative partner hinders your other relationships

Have you stopped going to your family’s house on the weekend because of this relationship? Do you feel guilty hanging out with friends? If you’re avoiding conflict with your partner by avoiding your family or friends, this is a sign you’re in a toxic relationship. Your partner doesn’t care about you. They want you to be with them all the time. This clinginess is a sign of jealousy and control.

9 – Constant tension stems from a harmful partnership

When you’re around your partner or worrying they’ll be mad at you, tension is stressful. Living constantly on edge is a bad sign that this relationship could cause you injury. It affects your mental and physical health. You may give in to drinking too much alcohol or overeating. If you’re living in a constant state of fear and tension, your relationship is not healthy.

10 – A toxic partner will ignore your needs

Does your partner ignore your needs? Do they plan things without you? Do they make financial decisions without consulting you? These are signs they are more aware of themselves than they are you. When your partner doesn’t care if they include you in their life, this relationship won’t succeed.

11 – A harmful partner is critical of your friends

If your partner belittles your friends and family, it’s a sign they don’t accept the essential people to you. Their tendency to criticize your family and friends could be rooted in their insecurities. If you see this in your relationship, it’s a sure sign of a toxic relationship.

12 – Outbursts of anger arise from a harmful partnership

Does your partner have outbursts of anger at you? Do they yell or maybe even throw things when they’re mad? These are signs of an unsafe person who has lost control. They aren’t safe to be around, and you shouldn’t feel you need to stay in this relationship. At some point, your partner may feel remorseful for their behavior and beg you to forgive them, but sadly, they don’t attempt to change once you forgive them. The cycle of anger and abuse will be without actual resolution.

ADVERTISEMENT

13 – Threats may come from the most dangerous type of relationship

If your partner threatens or intimidates you, this is a sign of an abusive person. They may threaten verbally or physically. A mean person also manipulates. After their threats, they may apologize so sincerely that you think they are sorry for what they’ve done. They may make you feel guilty for thinking of breaking up with them by saying you’re a hypocrite because you get angry. As much as you want to believe your partner, it’s best if you get out of this relationship immediately for your safety.

14 – You sense something is off

Suppose you sense something wrong with how the person relates to you—good chance you’re right. Trust your gut even if you can’t explain your feelings about the other person. If you feel uncomfortable, get out of the relationship.

15 – A hostile relationship causes a lack of affection

Romantic relationships should include appreciation. A loving caress, a kiss, or a smile across the room are all regular displays of love in a healthy relationship. A lack of affection is harmful and could mean your partner isn’t interested in you. If you notice this, don’t ignore this behavior. It’s revealing.

ADVERTISEMENT

How do you know if you are in an abusive relationship?

You must acknowledge signs of an abusive relationship. If you notice your partner is controlling, this could indicate abuse. Other warning signs of abuse include

  • Humiliating you in front of others
  • Blaming you for everything
  • Verbal threats
  • Name-calling
  • Mocking

Heavy alcohol use and violence go hand in hand. Studies show that partner abuse is often connected to heavy drinking. Drinking causes loss of control and fight response. Other factors that are linked to partner abuse are

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Personality disorders
  • Drug use
  • Having been abused by another partner

Final Thoughts on Getting Out of a Harmful Relationship

If you suspect you’re in an unhealthy relationship, here are steps you should consider.

  •  Keep track of what’s going on: Write about what is happening. It can help you get a clear picture of the toxic nature of the relationship. Seeing the patterns of negativity will help you take the next step.
  • Safety is critical: If you’re in a toxic relationship, your safety is vital. If your partner has threatened, you shouldn’t be alone with them. Always have a trusted friend with you as you leave. Call the local authorities if you don’t have anyone to help you. Go to a safe location. Don’t tell your partner where you’re going and ask your friends not to say to them.
  • Break all communication: Stop all contact with them. Please don’t talk to them on the phone or social media. Don’t let other people convey messages to you. You may need to change your phone number. This is a hassle, but it’s important they can’t reach you or leave threatening messages.
  • Don’t go back: Even if you still feel you love the person, don’t get back into the relationship with them. You don’t need to put yourself in this harmful relationship again. Toxic people rarely change unless they put an enormous amount of effort into it. If you are still in danger, get a restraining order for your safety. It would be best if you acknowledged things are badly broken, and you can’t fix them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Jennifer is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Before she started writing, Jennifer was an elementary school instructional assistant, home educator, and missionary. She has a BA degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida, Tampa. She's a member of Redeeming Grace Church in Fairfax, Va. When she's not writing, she's hanging out with her family and dog, Sam. Member of: American Christian Fiction Writers Fellowship ACFW; Capital Christian Writer Fellowship CCWF

Follow Me:

Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility