Have your relationships been a string of playful texts, amazing dates, and nonstop talking, or do you find yourself more in the camp of walking on eggshells around your partner? If you answered the latter, that means you’ve probably been in a toxic relationship.
A toxic partner will fill your life with fake love. They’ll manipulate you, use you, and generally make you feel awful when you’re around them. This is the type of behavior you don’t need in your life. Instead of hooking up with negativity and relationship conflict, it’s time to start seeking out real love.
There are too many people out there who are willing to let toxic people into their lives. Don’t let bad relationship behavior tear you down.
It’s time to stop chasing fake love and find someone who truly deserves your time, attention, and love. Here are 5 toxic qualities in a partner you need to leave behind, and 5 positive ones to look for in a new spouse.
5 Toxic Qualities to Look out for and 5 Positive Ones to Find Instead
Your spouse may tell you that they love you, but do their actions back up their speech? In order to keep relationship conflict out of your life, you’ll need to learn how to read the signs of bad relationship behavior and qualities you should be looking for instead.
1. Manipulative Behavior
Someone who has a toxic personality wants to control you, not watch you grow. Therefore, they may use manipulative behavior to get what they want out of you.
For example, say you want to go out with some friends, but your partner wants you to stay.
On your way out the door, your spouse comes up and tells you how amazing you look. They pull you into bed and cuddle you there, asking you to stay home. “Wouldn’t you rather spend time with me, instead?”
This may sound like a sweet thought, but this can actually be considered a form of manipulation in your relationship.
Your spouse can use many different approaches to manipulate you. In order to guilt you into staying home, they may say, “Fine, go. I’ll just stay here and be lonely all night.”
Similarly, they might use veiled threats such as, “If you go out, I’m going out too and don’t expect me to come home until the morning” or “If you’re leaving, I am, too. Maybe I’ll find a better girlfriend/boyfriend while I’m out.”
Positive Quality to Look for Instead: Encouraging Growth
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A healthy relationship is one where your partner encourages you to go out and try new things. They don’t prevent you from hanging out with your loved ones, going to school, or pursuing the career of your dreams. Instead, they encourage it.
2. They Never Do What You Want to Do
Do you feel like you’re always the one who is giving in during arguments or disagreements over what to do? If you only ever do what your partner wants, while they can’t be bothered to do something as simple as meet your family or watch a movie you like, there is definitely some toxic behavior happening.
Positive Quality to Look for Instead: Respect
Respect is the foundation of a healthy, thriving relationship. Instead of having the final say in what you do, eat, or who you’re hanging out with, a loving spouse wants to be your partner. Not your keeper. This means you make decisions together as a couple.
3. Hurtful Speech
When there is constant relationship conflict, a toxic partner won’t bat an eye when telling you that they think you’re stupid or that you’ve disappointed them. Instead of communicating openly like an adult, they thrive on making you feel guilty.
Eventually, this hurtful speech and lack of respect will make you lose your self-esteem. In turn, you won’t believe that you deserve any better than the treatment you are getting from your spouse. This is a control tactic that is very damaging.
Positive Quality to Look for Instead: Commitment
When couples are truly committed to one another they want what’s best for their partner now and forever. They would never dream of saying something to hurt you purposely. Instead, they are committed to making your relationship a success.
4. They’re Overly Jealous or Controlling
It’s natural for you to feel a little protective over your partner when you’re in a romantic relationship, but toxic people will take jealousy to the next level.
This jealousy will cause them to try to control you, perhaps isolating you from friends, family, and loved ones. They may even suggest you quit your job so that you can spend more time with them.
Positive Quality to Look for Instead: Trust
When happy, healthy couples engage in physical activities such as lovemaking or even holding hand, their bodies release a hormone called oxytocin that strengthens their bond and increases trust. This quality is absolutely necessary for a loving relationship.
Toxic partners may use “gaslighting” in order to manipulate or control you. This term refers to the severe psychological manipulation of another person that may lead to them questioning their own sanity or mental health.
Signs of gaslighting may include:
- Denying things they said or did, even when there is proof
- Complimenting you after cutting you down as a way to confuse you
- Consistently not living up to their word
- Using something you love (your children, friends, a sentimental item) against you
- Projecting wrongdoings (they are cheating, but accuse you of doing so)
- Forcing friends or family to “take sides” in the relationship
Positive Quality to Look for Instead: Open and Honest Communication
A loving partner knows the value of open and honest communication. Instead of tricking or manipulating you when they’re trying to get their way, they come to you in person with whatever they are dealing with. From there, the two of you work on your issues in a way that is mature and respectful.
Encouraging growth, showing respect and empathy, having the ability to communicate, and being genuinely committed to a relationship are all great qualities to have in a partner.
Don’t let relationship conflict stop you from finding true love. Stop chasing after toxic people. Instead, cut them out of your life for good and focus on finding someone who deserves your companionship.
About the Author
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. By taking purposeful and a whole-hearted action, Sylvia feels that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one.