10 questions to ask yourself

  • If your partner keeps making you feel like you’re doing something wrong, that’s a red flag.
  • Not having your own hobbies and having your life revolve around your partner is also worrying.
  • You should be able to tell your partner when they have hurt your feelings and come to a resolution.

When you’re in a relationship and blinded by love or infatuation, it can be hard to see straight. And you may miss red flags that could indicate your relationship is toxic.

The term “toxic” gets thrown around easily, so it’s important to know what actually constitutes toxic or unhealthy behavior in relationships – which is why we’ve put together this toxic relationship quiz to help you take stock.

By answering the following questions, you should be better able to identify toxicity in your relationship, which can save you from a negative cycle of destructive or even potentially violent actions.

If you’re not sure if your partnership is healthy or not, it’s time to get introspective and take a hard look at you and your partner’s behavior. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to determine if your relationship is toxic.

1. Do you feel comfortable telling your partner when they have hurt your feelings?

If you answered yes: Green flag

If you answered no: Toxic red flag

Communication is essential in relationships, and it is important to be able to voice your concerns. “Being able to tell a partner that your feelings have been hurt is a good sign. It means you feel safe to share vulnerable,” says Rachel Klechevsky, a licensed social worker who specializes in romantic relationships.

But on the flip side, if you feel tired of sharing your feelings, it could be a sign that you feel like your feelings don’t matter, or that your emotional needs will be weaponized or diminished, says Klechevsky.

If you are afraid to express your feelings because you worry that your partner will lash out at you verbally or physically, this is an even bigger concern and could be a sign of an abusive relationship.

2. Do you constantly feel like you are doing something wrong?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

Feeling like you’re always doing something wrong or upsetting your partner in some way is a huge red flag. Klechevsky says this can cause tension and resentment in the relationship.

Your partner may simply criticize you and tell you that you can’t do something right, or there may be more subtle digs – such as saying “your cooking never tastes good” or “that outfit doesn’t look very good on you. “

Ultimately, this toxic behavior will put a huge strain on your relationship. “It’s painful to trust someone who has historically made you feel like you can’t do anything right, belittles you and your feelings, and makes you feel insecure around them,” says Klechevsky.

In a healthy relationship, you’ll feel like your partner is supporting you and building you up – not like you’re constantly walking on eggshells for fear of being ‘wrong’.

3. Do you have your own group of friends, hobbies and interests – and does your partner support this?

If you answered yes: Green flag

If you answered no: Toxic red flag

A healthy relationship has a balance between togetherness and separateness, says Klechevsky. This allows for “differentiation” which essentially helps each partner be their own person and retain their sense of self while in a relationship.

Not to mention, Klechevsky says spending some time apart gives each partner time to build desire and miss their partner.

If you and your partner primarily spend time with each other and neglect other relationships with friends and family or abandon your hobbies and interests, this is toxic behavior.

This toxic behavior can be a symptom of different types of relationships. For example, if you feel like your partner is deliberately preventing you from seeing your loved ones, it could be an ominous sign that they are intentionally trying to isolate you and keep you to themselves. Alternatively, if you simply feel very uncomfortable being without your partner, it could be a sign of codependency.

4. Do you and your partner make up and come to an understanding after you have an argument?

If you answered yes: Green flag

If you answered no: Toxic red flag

It’s normal for couples to argue from time to time, but to have a healthy relationship you need to listen to each other and make compromises – don’t let things simmer.

“100% of couples have conflict—but if you don’t go back to the discussion to understand each person’s perspective, it can lead to distancing or slowly building resentment,” says Laura Silverstein, a couples therapist and clinical director and co-owner of Main Line Counseling Partners.

While it can be tempting to avoid returning to the controversial topic that started the argument in order to try to “keep the peace,” this can ultimately lead to dissatisfaction in the relationship, says Silverstein.

Continuously brushing things under the rug is toxic and leads to problems that build up instead of being solved.

5. Do you have good memories of pleasant times with your partner?

If you answered yes: Green flag

If you answered no: Toxic red flag

Of course, every relationship has its ups and downs, and not every memory can be a good one. If you can look at your partnership through a mostly positive lens, think about the good times, and feel confident that you got through any difficult situations in healthy ways, this is a green flag.

But if your relationship gets to the point where there’s so much negativity that it’s hard to remember the good times, this is an indication of a toxic relationship, says Silverstein. This is a sign that you should take a step back and reassess whether the relationship gives you any joy anymore.

6. Does your partner try to make you question your own reality or feelings?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

It is possible for you and your partner to see or experience the exact same situation differently and have unique reactions and feelings. “Both experiences are valid and real. It’s important for couples to work to understand each other’s perspectives, especially when they disagree,” says Silverstein. This is how partners should be in a healthy relationship.

But if your partner tries to tell you you’re wrong for feeling the way you do or makes you question yourself, this is a form of gaslighting, says Silverstein. Gaslighting is extremely toxic behavior that can make you question your own sanity — and it’s a form of emotional abuse.

7. Do you trust your partner to meet all your needs – or vice versa?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

Of course, everyone wants to feel like they have a partner they can trust who will be there for them and stick with them through the tough times. But relying on your partner for everything is not healthy.

“It’s unrealistic to think that one person can meet all of your needs. Happy, successful relationships work when each member of the relationship meets some of their needs outside of the relationship through friends, family and community,” says Silverstein.

The same goes for the flip side, if your partner depends on you to meet their every need. This is a sign of codependency and can ultimately put a lot of strain on the relationship, especially if you find yourself neglecting your own needs in order to satisfy your partner.

It is not healthy for either partner to be in this position.

8. Do you feel like you have to be perfect or change yourself for your partner?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

If you feel like you need to act or look a certain way to be “perfect” for your partner, this is toxic because you can lose yourself and deviate from being who you really are.

“If you feel like you can’t make mistakes or look less than perfect because it will hurt your relationship or disappoint your partner, that relationship is too stressful to be a safe and supportive dynamic,” says Klechevsky.

This can occur due to direct criticism or less obvious passive-aggressive behavior. Either way, it’s a sign that your partner doesn’t love and accept you just the way you are – something that shouldn’t be the case in a healthy relationship.

9. Does jealousy get the better of you in your relationship?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

Klechevsky says it’s a common misconception that jealousy is a sign of caring about another person. However, jealousy can quickly become toxic and unhealthy.

“It’s easy to confuse jealousy and possessiveness as positive expressions of love. The truth is that jealousy and possessiveness are harmful and can even be dangerous. You can belong with someone and not belong to someone,” says Klechevsky.

If you or your partner are feeling less jealous, it’s healthy to bring it up and have an open, honest conversation about it — but jealousy can definitely get out of hand for some couples.

Klechevsky says unreasonable and immature expressions of jealousy include if your partner is threatened by your friendships, becomes suspicious of your communication with others, or asks you to change your behavior to accommodate their jealousy.

10. Does your partner ever condescend to you, call you names, or put you down?

If you answered yes: Toxic red flag

If you answered no: Green flag

The insulting tactic of making you feel small or putting you down is what couples counselors refer to as contempt—and Silverstein says this is one of the most toxic things that can happen in a relationship.

Warning signs of contempt include public shaming, mockery, and acting like they’re better than you, says Silverstein.

In some cases, the abuse may be more subtle and harder to spot, such as your partner condescending to you, or it may be more obvious that your partner calls you derogatory names.

Either way, this behavior is unacceptable and certainly a sign of a toxic relationship.

Insider’s takeaway

If you recognized most or all of the toxic red flags in your relationship, it’s important to take action. When you allow toxic behavior to continue, a vicious cycle often follows—and it can be hard to break.

Remember that communication is key, and in a healthy relationship you should be able to discuss any conflicts with your partner. If you and your partner are having trouble working through the toxic behavior, you may benefit from seeing a couples counselor.

If you believe you are being abused, consider letting someone you trust know what is happening for your safety and seek help through a service such as The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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