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Top 5 Signs Your Relationship Is Toxic, According to Experts

These signs could indicate your relationship isn't so healthy after all.

No relationship is perfect, and even healthy relationships hit bumps in the road from time to time. But, when you're in a toxic relationship, almost everything is difficult, draining, and frustrating. Of course, love isn't always black and white and the line between healthy and non-healthy relationships can be hard to navigate, which is why we reached out to a few relationship experts for help. Read on to find out if your relationship is good for your or not.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Signs Your Partner Doesn't Trust You, According to Therapists.

Your self-esteem has decreased.

Couple in a fight.

Most people in loving relationships can't wait to show off their new partner to friends and family and exude a new found confidence when they are being treated well. But for individuals in toxic relationships, this couldn't be further from the truth. Curren Trusty, a licensed therapist in Maryland, believes this is the first sign pointing towards an unhealthy relationship.

"A red flag your relationship is toxic is your self-esteem has noticeably decreased because of your interactions with your significant other," she says. "Being subject to criticism and insults can chip away at an individual's self-esteem. As a result, you may find yourself isolating more, engaging less in things you once felt confident about, or feeling self-doubt in ways that weren't previously a problem. This can, in turn, further exacerbate decreases in self-esteem." 

Your partner constantly stonewalls you.

Woman in striped shirt ignoring her boyfriend.
fizkes / Shutterstock

When getting into an argument with your partner, do you usually communicate your thoughts and feelings back to them, or do you stay silent? As it turns out, shutting off communication with a partner during a conversation or conflict is actually a form of emotional abuse, called "stonewalling."

"Stonewalling is common sign of a toxic relationship and occurs when your [partner] stops listening to you, claims they don't want to talk, and becomes unresponsive to anything following your dispute," says Marley Howard, a licensed family and marriage therapist, and reviewer at PsycheMag.

Passive aggressiveness is another trait she says to look out for in such situations.

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There's a general lack of respect in the relationship.

Woman crying as she fights with her partner.
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Having trust and respect for your partner is essential for having a healthy and loving relationship. Unfortunately, having a lack of respect is all too common in toxic relationships and can cause major turmoil.

"One major sign that your relationship is toxic is a lack of respect for each other. If you find yourself and/or your partner not respecting the other's thoughts, feelings, and opinions, it could be a sign of emotional toxicity in the relationship," says El Forestal, founder of

"If your partner blatantly disregards your opinion, invalidates your feelings, or belittles you in front of others, this is a sure sign that the relationship is headed toward toxicity," adds Harman Awal, a dating and relationship expert at

There's unhealthy jealousy.

Woman sitting alone fighting with her partner.
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We've all had some jealousy regarding our relationships at one point or another, but this can turn destructive and harmful. Jealously can quickly cross the line from being innocent, to one person attempting to control and gain power over the other.

"A bit of jealousy in a relationship isn't uncommon—it usually means that one person cares deeply about their partner and doesn't want them to leave them for anyone else," says Awal. "But if jealousy turns into possessiveness or starts affecting how you act or how much freedom you have in your relationship, this could be an indication that your relationship has become unhealthy and toxic."

Patterns of jealousy from a partner can range from accusations of cheating, to constantly checking your social media accounts, to only allowing you speak to certain people who they don't view as a threat.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Relationship Red Flags You Should Never Ignore, Therapists Warn

There's no trust between you and your partner.

Woman jealous of her partner's interactions with another woman.
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

We all know that to have a solid foundation with anybody, there needs to be trust. And for loving partnerships especially, trust is an essential key to a loving relationship. David Tzall, a licensed psychologist, believes that lacking trust with your significant other is a vital sign pointing to not having a solid or safe relationship.

"When we trust someone we are assured that this is a safe space," says Tzall. "We are secure that we're free from judgment, expectations, and hurt. To trust someone is to make yourself open and vulnerable to them. Trust is not easily given or procured. If your partner does not trust you, then it is a red flag that something needs adjustment. A relationship cannot last long-term if a foundational characteristic of a partnership is not met."

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson
Lauren Jarvis-Gibson is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Allure, HuffPost, and more. Read more
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