The person you're in a relationship with occupies a lot of time and space in your life. What you do affects them and what they do, undoubtedly, will affect you. It is just how it works. When you're so close to someone and spend so much time with them, around them or thinking about them, it is only natural that they will affect you.
If your partner affects you positively and you are able to learn from each other and grow together as better individuals, it is ideal. But what happens when you feel emotionally fatigued, mentally drained and physically tense and uptight around the person? Is that relationship healthy? Or is it toxic? And if so, how do you identify a toxic relationship?
We spoke spoke to Dr. Minnu Bhonsle, relationship counsellor, and here are a few signs she identified that could be pointing out to a toxic relationship.
1. When you feel mentally and physically drained and tense and uptight around the person, and you feel relaxed, relieved and more cheerful when they are not around.
2. When the mere thought of having them around is stressful.
3. When there are fantasies of the relationship ending and you being free of the person.
4. When you feel disrespected and disregarded in words and deeds, and yet you feel helplessly resigned to your fate.
5. When interactions leave you feeling deeply distraught and depressed, or extremely agitated and angry, the relationship is toxic.
6. When the other constantly guilt trips you or threatens you as a means of control.
7. When you feel trapped and claustrophobic in the relationship.
8. When you develop psychosomatic stress-related disorders due to the relationship dynamics.
9. When you are constantly put down, criticised and forced to do what is unacceptable to you and your values. When your autonomy in thoughts, words, and decisions is taken away and you start actually believing and accepting that you have no choice in any matter.
A toxic relationship can take away from the person that you are, and leave you feeling completely devoid of your sense of self. You could be feeling drained and tired, both emotionally and physically because of such a relationship.
"In such cases you must seek professional help. It is important to allow yourself to be empowered to restore your human dignity. New ground rules of mutual respect and regard must be set if the relationship is to continue. If that does not happen, then one should make a radical decision to end the relationship for their own psychological and physical well being." says Dr. Minnu.
Dr. Minnu Bhonsle Ph.D. is a Senior Consulting Psychotherapist and Relationship Counsellor at the Heart to Heart Counselling Centre, Mumbai, and has been working with couples for the last three decades.