While it can be difficult to recognise signs of an unhealthy relationship when it is your own, it is important to take the occasional step back and assess whether you’re happy with how things are between you and your partner.
Users on question-and-answer website Quora have been discussing certain habits that could be warning signs of a toxic relationship.
Here are some of the habits that were mentioned the most:
1) Keeping score
Quora user Howie Reith suggested that noting down past mistakes or arguments and then bringing them up again to be used as ammunition is “bad for several reasons”.
“It is manipulative… it fosters bitterness, and it deflects discussion of whatever issue has caused the present fight,” he wrote.
2) Holding the relationship hostage
Does every minor hiccup and effort to communicate seem to lead to the threat of an end to the relationship? Writer Mark Manson said such “emotional blackmail” created unnecessary drama and forced people to suppress their true feelings, which in turn leads to distrust and manipulation.
3) Being passive aggressive
Rather than saying exactly what is bothering them, a partner finds petty ways to imply their significant other that they don’t understand or are being deliberately slow on the uptake. If both parties are communicating properly, there is no need for that kind of behaviour.
4) Buying “solutions”
Using material goods as a way to “make up” for past mistakes gives the recipient subconscious incentive to cause further problems, and again discourages proper communication and resolution. Howie Reith writes that one partner will then feel like a cash machine, while the other will well as though their problems are not being heard properly.
Anonymous writes: “When your partner expects to be told where you are and who with at all times, as though you are not to be trusted.”
It’s worth taking a look at Refuge’s list of signs that point to an abusive relationship, which can be found on their website.