With 6 out of 10 couples reporting to be unhappy in their relationship, it’s clear that many aspects of relationships that should be thriving i.e. sex, trust and affection, aren’t anywhere near as good as they should be.

Often, unhappiness in relationships can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, not finding enough time for one another or, simply, the relationship just fizzling out. But, in some cases, relationships can become unfulfilling, untrustworthy, and toxic. Toxic relationships come in many different forms, so it’s often hard to actually establish whether your relationship is toxic or not.

If you’re unhappy in your relationship and are worried it may have become toxic, below you’ll find some signs to truly identify whether your relationship is toxic, and some simple yet effective strategies on how to cope with it.

Signs that your relationship is toxic

In relationships, especially long-term partnerships, no one likes to admit that things are going wrong – sometimes not even to themselves. However, if your relationship has become toxic it can be dangerous and unhealthy, and the more you ignore it the worse it will get.

If you suspect your relationship is toxic, here are some key signs to look out for that will give you a definitive answer once and for all:

  • You always get the blame – No matter what the situation, if your partner always twists the facts to find a way to make you responsible when things go wrong (even if you’re not to blame in the slightest), this is a classic red-flag of a toxic relationship and shouldn’t go ignored.
  • Playing on insecurities – it’s always the ones closest to us who are aware of our insecurities and faults. So, if in a relationship, it’s likely your partner is aware of them too. But, if they frequently use your insecurities against you and, in certain cases, to control you, your relationship has become toxic and you need to do something about it.
  • Repetitiveness – toxic relationships are often plagued with the exact same arguments over and over again. There may have been an original trigger i.e. one of you cheating, but if the same problem arises again and again and consistently causes the same argument, this is another key sign to take note of.

But, as mentioned, toxic relationships come in many different forms and are never the same. So, for more detailed information on how you can establish whether your relationship is toxic or not, visit anewmode.com to discover more.

Breaking free and recovery

Once you’ve confirmed to yourself that your relationship is toxic, you have one of two choices to make: stick with it, discuss everything with your partner and try to abolish the toxicity from your relationship, or break free and leave. Often, the second choice is the most appropriate when toxic relationships are concerned.

But that’s much easier said than done, especially if you’ve been in this relationship for a very long time. If you find yourself struggling to find the courage to leave, here are a few steps to ensure you successfully break free and come out the other side with a smile on your face.

  • Notice what’s really happening around you – Often, those in toxic relationships will fantasize about what ‘could’ happen instead of actually stepping back and analyzing their situation properly. Living in a dream-world won’t help you, and in these relationships, it’s vital you see it for what it really is to give you that much-needed courage to leave.
  • Don’t make hasty decisions –Take things one day at a time, and make arrangements in preparation for when you do eventually leave your partner. In these situations, it’s important to put your feelings first, and only make decisions that will benefit you and make you happy.
  • Allow yourself to grieve – finally breaking free of a toxic relationship is obviously a good thing but, if you’ve been with that person for years, they will clearly still mean something to you. Grieving is natural, and you should never feel guilty about grieving over the loss of a relationship no matter how toxic it was. Don’t bottle things up, otherwise, you’ll just make yourself feel worse in the long-run
  • Build yourself back up again – start making plans that only involve you (and your children if applicable). Go out with friends to increase your confidence, and keep yourself busy to take yourself away from the toxicity you’re used to.

Accepting you’re in a toxic relationship is never easy, let alone leaving your partner. However, it’s sometimes for the better and, if you utilize the above tips and strategies, you’re sure to make things much easier for yourself.

Taylor Holloway is a psychologist and therapist helping people to love themselves, heal wounds and overcome grief. His articles appear on relationship blogs, men and women’s lifestyle blogs and self-improvement sites.