Toxic relationships adversely impact a person’s health and well-being and can be difficult to spot given toxicity is often wrapped up in flashes of romance and confusing behaviour. I define the top ten signs you are in an abusive relationship as:

Walking on egg shells – Not being able to say what you really feel and worrying about your partner’s reaction before you speak. Heightened anxiety when your partner is around.

Gaslighting – When situations or words are twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favour your partner, or false information is presented with the intent of making you doubt your own memory, perception, and sanity.

Lies – When there is a history of lies or explanations that do not make sense to you. Distorting the truth beyond recognition and having a different version of the past than you do.

Slow erosion of confidence and self-esteem – When you partner is belittling you, sowing seeds of doubt about your abilities and putting you down.

Increasing self-doubt – If you are starting not to trust your gut instinct and own ability to make good decisions. You lose your confidence and become a shell of your former self. You may even start to doubt your own sanity.

Withdrawal from friends and family – Becoming more isolated from those close to you and your partner is setting things up so you are more dependent on them.

Living a double life behind closed doors – The perception is that you are a happy, loving couple but the reality at home is very different

Emotion, verbal and /or physical abuse – When your partner makes you feel less than and vulnerable, as well as being threatening and even violent towards you.

Lack of personal freedom – You need to run everything past your partner and are not allowed the freedom to make your own decisions. This could include controlling what friends you spend time with, how you dress and even where you go.

Financial control – If your partner controls the amount of money you have access to or what you spend it on, whilst they can spend as they please without mentioning it to you. You may not have access to family financial information and be kept in the dark about money.

If you would like to read more about how to leave a toxic relationsip, click here to read my follow-up article!