Love is liberating, love is empowering, love is sensible, love is empathetic, love is sensitive, love is a discourse. We often, as people who are riddled with anxieties and insecurities, look at love comes as a saviour – until it turns out to be this insidious knapsack behind your back. It lowers your self-confidence, it cripples your sense of worth, and then when you look at the guilty party – they are conveniently oblivious and convince you that it is all in your brain. Toxic relationships don’t need to include an element of physical abuse to come across as poisonous, it can be completely passive-aggressive but these mental scars are visible just as they would be physically.
1. He makes you feel bad as a way to feel good about himself
One of the biggest tell-tale sings ever. One of the biggest reasons of toxic behaviour stems from an absolute misbegotten sense of self. Anytime they feel low about their life, they will make you the scapegoat and come out as just the mute spectator. If you are better at your work than them, they will pin-point your mistakes unnecessarily; if you have strong opinions on something they will deliberately joke about it and then blame you for not having a sense of humour. Understand that if your partner constantly berates you, it is probably because they are trying to feel better about their own selves.
2. He tries to control your agencies
Whether it is your freedom, financial – personal – professional, he needs a say in them. He feels like you owe him the authority, because you two are in a relationship. We have a piece of advice especially for that, a lot of men thrive on the dependency women have on them when it concerns finances, so automatically when you exercise independence in that regard, men tend to get twitchy. Well, most men. Try to project your agency without the fear of dismantling any patriarchal status-quo.
3. He manipulates you into believing his insecurities are because of you
If he is upset with you about a lifestyle choice you have, and the accusation segues into a fight – he will make sure to bring the point across that his jealousy, his possessiveness, his insecurities are because of you. Not because that he doesn’t trust you, no – but because you are make him feel those things. A true partner trusts and respects, not casts aspersions and doubts constantly.
4. He looks for reasons to fight and then victimises himself
Checking your phone, picking fights over who you meet, petty arguments that turn into aggressive bouts of fights – and then he consistently makes you feel like you are the aggressive one. He corners you into fighting back, and the moment you do he is there playing the victim role. If something bothers you hold your ground, but if something doesn’t disturb you no matter how hard you try don’t let it bother you. It is just a bait.
5. He tries to convince you that he is the only one you need and want
A tactic that is visible in all toxic relationships is this veneer of over-dependency. If your partner makes you feel that no one in your close-personal circle of people understands you, or constantly diminishes their opinions etc, is it probably because they want to be in a scenario where you only depend on them emotionally. This boosts their flailing ego, and they thrive on it. If your partner makes you choose between them and your loved ones, choose the latter.
6. Loving him is exhausting
Lastly, no long are you happy in love. Their calls scare you, the prospect of meeting them scares you, you can’t be completely honest because their reactions go from judgmental to hateful. No longer are you comfortable with them, no longer can you be yourself around them. It is almost like you are stuck in a job that you want to quit, but can’t because you are just too scared.