Identifying Toxic Relationships

Identifying Toxic Relationships

Identifying Toxic Relationships

From an outsider's standpoint, we may be quick to detect the toxic nature of an abusive relationship, but for a person caught up in one, it can often be more difficult to identify because the warning signs may materialize gradually over time, and the problem behaviors are frequently neglected or justified in some way.

According to our marriage therapist in Winter Park, to avoid being involved in an unhealthy relationship in the first place, the following are many of the red flags that may be valuable to keep in mind:

Controlling behaviors

If your partner is too controlling, this is often a warning sign the relationship is unhealthy, and you may be better off ending it before becoming too involved. Usually, this kind of behavior can begin gradually with one of the partners making statements encouraging the other to act or dress a particular way. This can lead to more toxic behaviors, such as supervising whom their partner can visit, where and when they can go, and even holding dominion over their finances, making them feel like an inmate in their own house. In some circumstances—for instance, if the partner being regulated refuses to do what the other desires—the controlling partner may become physically or verbally abusive.

Extreme jealousy

If your mate is prone to unnecessary displays of jealousy, it can be a red flag that they are extremely possessive and might struggle with feelings of inadequate self-esteem. Trust is a critical component of any beneficial relationship. If you have consistently proven trustworthy, but your partner questions you each time you are out of their sight and accuses you of infidelity, this is an indication of an unhealthy relationship. Your partner could benefit from individual therapy to remedy their self-esteem and trust problems.

Disproportionate displays of anger

If the individual you are seeing cannot adequately control their anger, this is a reasonable indication that further problems may emerge if you continue the relationship. Anger management problems can quickly escalate and become violent when someone has difficulty soothing themselves. Therefore, learning useful anger management strategies can be valuable for people struggling with excessive anger.

Emotional blackmail

It is a major red flag if your partner threatens to withhold intimacy or affection whenever you disagree. Any emotional blackmail is a sign of dysfunction in a relationship.

Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse

Abuse of any type is a grave warning sign you should not remain involved with a person. However, if you are already in an abusive relationship, meeting with a couples or marriage therapist in Winter Park can be valuable for receiving support and healing.

Substance abuse

If your mate struggles with alcohol or drug use, be mindful that this can harm any relationship. If you detect early that it is a concern for your partner, establish healthy boundaries for yourself by getting out of the relationship and urging them to pursue help.

Relationships are challenging enough without the issues listed above. However, when you begin dating someone new, be on guard for red flags that indicate you might have problems later. If you are already entangled in a toxic relationship, seeking the guidance of an understanding therapist can be helpful. Contact us today to meet with a marriage therapist in Winter Park. We are here to help!

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Heather Oller

Heather Oller is the owner and founder of Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching, and Counseling. She is a licensed counselor and a family mediator who has over 23 years of dedicated work as a professional in the mental health field. Through her company's mission, she continues to pave the way for future therapists, and their clients, who want a higher quality of life....and who want to thrive, rather than just survive. You can contact Orlando Thrive Therapy at (407) 592-8997 for more information.