5 signs you’re in a toxic relationship

The phrase ‘toxic relationship’ has become more familiar in recent years as we, as a society, become more open to talking about positive and negative relationships.

A toxic relationship is when the behaviours of a partner cause you emotional or physical pain, or leave you feeling like you have no free will.

A relationship doesn’t just have to be violent or unloving to be toxic, there are many ways that a relationship can have a negative effect on you.

To help you understand if you’re in a toxic relationship, we’ve rounded-up five common signs that will help you to assess your own position.

You’re scared to say what you feel

If you’re worried that your partner will react and endanger you if you say what you’re feeling, this is a red-flag that things aren’t right – this isn’t how you should feel in a relationship.

In healthy relationships, people can talk through their feelings and problems to come to a common understanding or resolution. Being scared to speak out is a warning sign.

Your partner consistently puts you down

Being constantly critical or negative about someone is a form of emotional abuse, and you shouldn’t have to put up with it. This lowers confidence and self-esteem and can leave you feeling worthless and simply unhappy.

If you recognise that your partner is consistently putting you down, this is a toxic behaviour.

You’ve stopped seeing your friends and family

When was the last time you saw your friends and family without your partner?

Controlling people like to control who you see and when, as they worry about their partners being ‘too independent’, through fear that they will leave.

Catching-up with friends and family is a natural healthy behaviour and if you feel like you can’t, it maybe because your relationship is becoming toxic.

Your partner is always looking at your phone

Having a partner who insists on reading your messages and emails is not healthy – it is a clear sign that there is a lack of trust within the relationship.

Relationships are built on trust, and if you and your partner aren’t able to trust each other, this could be a sign that this isn’t the right relationship for you.

You don’t have access to joint finances and paperwork

It’s common for people in relationships to share chores, and it may be that your partner deals with joint finances and paperwork. This is completely normal.

What isn’t healthy, however, is not having any access or overview to accounts and paperwork. If you’re not being allowed to see these or aren’t being provided with your own account access, that’s the sign of an unhealthy behaviour.


It’s important to note that this list isn’t exhaustive, and just because something doesn’t appear here doesn’t mean your relationship hasn’t become toxic. Trust your gut; if what someone is doing is making you unhappy, then that’s a warning sign in itself.

How to get support

If you’re in a toxic relationship and need emotional or practical support to keep you mentally and physically safe and secure, Voice can help.

You don’t need to have reported anything to the police and our support is free and confidential.

To speak to one of our friendly team, contact us.