10 Warning signs you’re in a toxic marriage: There is no such thing as a perfect marriage/relationship. Our intimate relationship I believe has a huge bearing on our own worthiness to give and receive love. What we are willing to accept is deeply connected to our level of self-esteem and how conscious we are and how available we are to ourselves to release any suppressed traumas and healing our wounds.
There are 10 warning signs you’re in a toxic marriage
1. Absence of trust:
If you lack trust you need to ask yourself why? Without trust, a relationship has no real foundation. A healthy relationship is a team, a partnership between two people who embody wholeness in their lives as individuals. If one or both of you lack trust – this is a sign that either a betrayal in a previous relationship wasn’t resolved, or that something from the past (childhood) has been carried over into your present relationship.
2.Control or Jealousy Issues:
Control and jealousy issues can be red flags for potential chaos and abuse to manifest inside the relationship. If the closer you get, the more controlling and jealous your partner becomes, this is a big concern. Often, people who present as controlling or jealous and paranoid in a relationship have serious trust issues. They may have even been victims of abuse or violence in their past. If they haven’t done their own healing work, they may carry that learned behaviour into your relationship.
Having friends and community outside of the relationship is essential. You cannot get all your needs met by one person. Expecting someone to devote all their time and energy solely to one person is intensely co-dependent behaviour. A supportive partner will encourage their partner to spend time with their friends. And enjoy a life of their own outside of the relationship because they know this only strengthens an intimate relationship.
3. Imbalance of energy:
In a Conscious Relationship, it’s similar to a garden you tend to and water daily. In doing this, the garden nourishes you both back, allowing you to function at a higher level in the world and share your gifts. When the energy is continuously imbalanced in a relationship, one person may be over-involved in the emotions and well-being of the other. While the other is withdrawn and focused on themselves (or in some cases, an addiction.) This is known as “co-dependence, and you have expectations that your needs will be met by your partner. There are often a lot of unexpressed wants and desires that aren’t satisfied because there’s an expectation that the other “should just know” what to do, say or how to be.
4. Lack of Communication
Can you talk about your fears or struggles as they arise or do things get swept under the rug and ignored completely? Do you try to connect with your partner, and you get stonewalled? These are all signs of an avoidant type. Firstly, consider how you’re showing up in the relationship. Are you giving this person space to show up or are you constantly filling the space, so they don’t have to? When we invite someone to meet us, we have to take a step back far enough that they have the opportunity to move towards us. Purser versus distancer.
If you can’t talk about your feelings openly, give and receive feedback and process conflict in a safe and healthy way – the relationship needs work. If there’s a willingness, there’s still hope, but without it, this relationship isn’t going anywhere.
5. Blaming and degrading:
Conflict will inevitably arise, this is a given, but how we show up when we’re triggered can make or break the foundation of trust we have with our partners. It’s essential for both people to take full responsibility for their emotions and triggers and not blame their partner.
We can switch the conversation from toxic to conscious by taking a pause and recentring our language to what our underlying emotion or need is: “I’m feeling frustrated and angry.” “I’m feeling really hurt and I want to run away right now”.
If you’re locked in a blame/shame pattern that’s impacting your self-esteem, this can be a form of emotional abuse. Pay attention to the signs and remember, if your partner isn’t willing to take ownership over their behaviour, it might be time to draw a line in the sand.
If you have to abandon yourself for the relationship to work, that’s not love. All relationships require compromise, but that should never apply to our core values. Or our needs for physical and emotional safety and security. Prioritising self-care and time to tune inward is crucial.
- Making time to nourish friendships outside of the relationship.
- Creating space for both people to express themselves openly and honestly.
- Learning how to speak a shared language rather than expecting the other person to “just know” or punishing them for misreading an interaction
If you experienced abuse or neglect in early childhood, it’s possible that your people-pleasing tendencies get you into situations where your needs are last on the list. Be aware of this unconscious pattern is playing out and take action to become more in tune with who you are, what you want, and what your needs are in a relationship.
Lying and secrets erode a relationship and create distance between partners. Lies create separation and cause hurt or a break in trust can permanently damage your connection. Often times, lying seeds doubt and mistrust in the person being lied to which in turn creates a spiral downward into low self-esteem, jealousy and paranoia.
Honesty allows for vulnerability and intimacy to deepen in a relationship, without it, there’s not much left.
8. Becoming isolated from friends and family:
This is probably one of the most significant red flags there is. Distancing from the people you love and are close to when you enter a romantic relationship is very unhealthy behaviour. This pattern is quite common when there’s co-dependency. A healthy partnership is one that encourages intimacy and connection not just between one another, but with your friends and family.
9. Holding each other back from growth:
When self-worth is low, we may feel threatened by the idea of our partner “outgrowing us” with all that personal growth work they’re doing.
If you find your partner being critical, judgemental or using ultimatums when it comes to seeking to know yourself on an emotional or spiritual level – the first thing to understand is that it’s not about you. This is their own insecurity and lack of self-worth or willingness playing out, and you do not have to operate at that level.
The next question to ask yourself, is, are you willing to remain in a partnership where you feel unsupported? Everyone is unique, and it’s unfair to expect that your partner will want to participate in everything you do. But there’s a difference between not being interested, and making it more difficult for you to engage in the work yourself.
If you have to choose between doing inner-work and maintaining your relationship, that’s an unfair sacrifice and it might be time to walk away.
10. Sex is on the TO DO LIST:
If your sexual relationship is laced with guilt/pressure or withholding, this is a problem, but it’s also something that comes up for a lot of couples. Many relationships have intimacy challenges, and this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to end the relationship. Real intimacy is rooted in mutual pleasure and open lines of communication. If one or both of you carry sexual wounding (previous sexual abuse, assault or religious programming), you may need to engage in deeper healing work on your own and together to co-create a healthy sex life.
Now that you know the signs, you can take action to understand the roots of your relationship patterns.
All relationships take work, even the very best of ones. As you learn to honour yourself, set boundaries, and self-soothe, your relationships can thrive. Remaining in a toxic dynamic in hopes that your partner will change or save someone is a draining and hopeless endeavour. The best chance you have at attracting and keeping healthy love in your life is to strengthen your relationship to self. As you learn to honour yourself, set boundaries, and self-soothe, your relationships can thrive.
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This fortnight’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth. 10 Warning signs you’re in a Toxic Marriage – https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/