What is a toxic relationship? | The Sun

DEIDRE SAYS: All relationships go through ups and downs, but if yours constantly makes you feel anxious, confused and unhappy, it could be toxic.

A toxic relationship is one in which the other person continuously undermines or competes with you, rather than being encouraging and supportive.

You don’t just have the odd argument. You’re in constant conflict, causing you to feel miserable, drained and misunderstood.

Toxic relationships can also become abusive.

In an abusive relationship, where one person deliberately hurts the other. But in a toxic one, both partners can equally be the perpetrator and the victim. Everyone suffers.

Sometimes relationships are toxic from the get-go – you might just be incompatible.

But good relationships can also become toxic over time.

Not all toxic relationships are romantic ones. You can have toxic family relationships, friendships and professional relationships too.

So how do you know if your relationship is toxic?

You feel sad, anxious and angry most of the time and envy other people’s happy relationships.

You and your partner can’t talk to each other without having a row or being passive-aggressive and sarcastic.

You feel constantly misunderstood and unsupported.  

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Your instinct is to feel jealous or competitive, not happy when your partner achieves something.  

People comment that you’ve changed since you’ve been in your relationship, or say you ‘bring out the worst in each other’.

You may still have great sex, but there’s not much affection in your relationship.

How to deal with a toxic relationship

There are things you can do to improve your relationship, but you both need to be willing to work at it. 

You may need to agree to have some professional relationship counselling. Tavistock Relationships can help you find local support (tavistockrelationships.org, 020 7380 1960).

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