Everyone craves for a heaven-on-earth kind of relationship with their significant other; one that’s characterized by mutual respect, sensitivity, communication and constructive criticism amidst others. Truth is, there aren’t any relationships without its own fair share of challenges but how these challenges are resolved and the lessons learnt from it in order to forge ahead is one mark of a healthy relationship. No one walks into a relationship that is toxic open-eyed; which means most relationships that become toxic were once upon a time a seemingly blissful union. Hence, most people in toxic relationships hardly even notice the red flags when they pop up because they are often too carried away in love. It’s important to watch out for some pattern in your relationship to ensure that it isn’t toxic; peradventure you notice some red flags in your relationship after doing your assessment, endeavour to deal with it instantly before it takes a turn for the worse. Toxic relationships usually create low self-esteem in a person which could emanate from excessive verbal abuse. Worthy of note is the fact that you don’t have to blame yourself if you find that your once smooth relationship has become toxic or feel guilty that it’s your fault your relationship turned toxic. Here are a couple of questions you could answer that would help ascertain if you are in a toxic relationship or not.
1. How does your partner act after a heated argument or conflict that they initiated?
A. They apologize and then make frantic effort to get better.
B. They don't own up but try to make up by initiating dates and buying flowers
C. They act indifferently like the conflict is no big deal
D. They avoid you afterwards, expecting you to come apologize to them
2. When you attempt to communicate about issues that are a source of concern in your relationship, what’s your partner’s reaction?
A. They listen with rapt attention and truly want to know the way forward for you both
B. They listen but don't indulge you but try to make amends afterwards
C. They are indifferent, acting like you worry unnecessarily
D. It ends up in a fight, with them acting up all defensive
3. Often when you both have an engagement and one of you need to make a sacrifice, what happens?
A. You both deliberate on which engagement should be sacrificed, and as a team, you settle for the engagement that is of more priority.
B. They make the sacrifice without as much as seeking your opinion about it.
C. They don't suggest or make any recommendation as they are bent on attending their own engagement leaving you with no option but to make the sacrifice.
D. They consistently ask you to give up on your engagements and appointments- like it's not an issue to even deliberate on.
4. When you are faced with a challenge, what happens?
A. You don't seem alone, like a team you both face the issue headlong, with your partner encouraging you all the way through.
B. Your partner is present all the way but hardly giving any words of solidarity or support
C. Your partner doesn't make anything serious out of your ordeal.
D. They seem to have more important commitments than being by your side.
5. Whenever a disagreement is brewing, what happens?
A. You both disagree to agree
B. Your partner doesn't indulge, leaving you to your views but becomes moody afterward.
C. Jokes over the issue, not even giving it a second thought
D. Leaves the issue being talked about and attacks you verbally, bringing in past events.
6. When calls or text messages come in at odd hours probably due to the nature of your job that steals your attention when you are together, what happens?
A. Your significant other addresses the issue, encouraging you to set boundaries
B. They don't talk about it, but start to act withdrawn
C. Acts like it's no big deal
D. Gets angry and confronts you and starts scrolling through your messages in your absence.
7. Something didn’t go right for you in public, what happens?
A. Your partner covers up for you making light of the situation so you don't feel awkward
B. Your partner stands in there with you without saying a word.
C. Your partner watches and laughs at your display, not taking it seriously
D. Publicly reprimands you, drawing obvious attention to your flaws and dissociating from you
8. How do they treat you in public?
A. They give you all the attention, stroking your hair from time to time and you hold hands proudly
B. Sits with you but doesn't make any physical contact
C. They are all over the place and don't feel like they should be stuck to your side alone.
D. Completely abandon you- like you were absent
9. How does your partner treat your relationship with others?
A. They respect your friends and family and bond with them
B. They are very civil with your friends and family. They acknowledge them but do not attempt to bond.
C. They are indifferent about them, carries on like they don't exist
D. They try to alienate you from them and are often rude in dealing with people that are related to you
10. How do they respond to issues that concern you?
A. They give it priority and a sense of urgency; ensuring the issues are sorted out excellently
B. They often take their time to get the issues sorted out properly
C. They handle it but with no sense of urgency or concern for excellence
D. They have more important issues on their list to tend to, often suggesting you deal with your issues yourself.