Even the best relationships have awkward moments where you might get into an argument. After all, we have our own opinions, and sometimes those don’t match up with our partners.
However, if you catch yourself ‘joking’ with insults and treating your partner without respect, you might be a toxic partner. Once you realize that you could be mentally abusing your partner with your behavior, it’s time to address the issue, or you may risk losing the one you love.
All relationships go through the occasional rough patches, and they can come out stronger in the end for overcoming the issues they faced. However, if there is any physical abuse, then it is time to end the relationship immediately.
There are many signs that you might be a toxic partner; read on to see if you recognize any of these traits in yourself.
1. It’s never your fault
Admitting you are wrong can be difficult at times, but it’s essential to be able to recognize when things are your fault. If you always blame your partner for the problems in your relationship, that might signal that you are overlooking your role in the issues.
If this happens in every relationship, you have been in you might want to take a second look at the issues and make sure that you aren’t blaming your partner for things that are your fault.
2. Humiliating your partner
This is more than just joking around because deep down you know that the things you’re just “joking” about are humiliating your partner. If you regularly shame people for things like their career, sex drive, looks or personalities you might be a toxic partner. If you happen to discover a real problem that needs to be discussed with your partner, there are ways to do it without humiliating them.
3. You often say things you don’t mean
Everyone gets into little arguments and might say something they don’t mean, but if you find yourself regularly using this excuse, then you might be a toxic partner. After all, words cannot be taken back once they’re said and that little thing that you didn’t mean might seriously hurt your relationship.
4. You’re always giving an ultimatum
The “it’s my way or the highway” mentality is harmful to your relationship. Giving ultimatums and threatening to break up often is used to control or get your way in the relationship. This threat should not be thrown around lightly because it causes a great deal of damage to the trust and security in your relationship. Take time to listen to your partner and solve the problem maturely instead of throwing around threats.
5. “Harmless” slapping or shoving
It may seem like it isn’t a big deal to you when you’re in a heated argument, but you should never lay your hands on your partner in anger. Even if it doesn’t leave a mark on the skin, it’s still abusive.
This article sums it up very well and says: “Allowing for any circumstances in which slapping or other types of physical violence is okay is a serious problem that threatens your emotional stability, as well as the stability of your romantic relationship. Should you ever find yourself slapping or getting slapped by a partner — even just once — your relationship is in major trouble, and possibly beyond repair.”
This is a major sign that you might be the toxic one in your relationship and if this is something you regularly do you should seek counseling before it becomes even more serious than just a slap.
6. You deliberately punish or manipulate your partner
Are you one of those people who give your partner the silent treatment or refuse to have sex with them as punishment? Your partner is your equal, not a child or animal that you can punish for bad behavior. There are much more effective ways to resolve issues than treating them like they’re beneath you. Manipulating your partner by lying to them or punishing them is a sign that you are the toxic partner.
7. You have a hard time controlling your temper
If you’re hot-headed and have trouble keeping your anger in check, then you are probably the cause of most of the arguments in your relationship. Losing your temper and blurting out insults hurts your partner more than you might think it does. You need to take a step back and find ways to calm yourself down before you take it out on your partner and say things you don’t mean.
8. You only think of yourself
Narcissists always put themselves first because they are so self-serving that they often mentally hurt their partners but feel no remorse. If you are unhappy when you aren’t given the special attention you feel like you are entitled to, then you might have an issue.
Narcissists are charismatic, but they often have problems in their relationships because people get tired of this behavior and don’t enjoy being around them. The Mayo Clinic has a lot of information that you might want to read if you suspect you might be a narcissist.
If you recognize any of these traits in yourself, then you might be the toxic partner in your relationship. The best thing to do after acknowledging your behavior is to get some professional help with it. Otherwise, you may never have a successful, happy relationship.
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About the Author: Bethany Vincent is a writer from La Grange Kentucky who has loved playing with words since she first learned to speak. She lives with her teenage son and adopted dog daughter in a cute, yellow house with a picket fence. During college at the University of Louisville, she could be found at the writing center most of the time, and her main areas of focus were literature, creative writing, and visual arts. Bethany has contributed articles and created content for many websites and blogs during her writing career. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, juggle-dancing, yoga, photography, cooking and singing along with her favorite songs while in the car driving. In the future, she plans to finish writing her first book and hopes to travel to all the beautiful places that she’s read about.