Maintaining a healthy relationship takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication from both partners. In some instances, the crappy parts of the relationship aren't all out in the open: they're more hidden. Understanding the subtle things your partner says every day that are actually toxic will help you evaluate the relationship in a new way. Sometimes dysfunction is sneaky.
For starters, though, it's helpful to define the word toxic in this context. As the name suggests, a toxic relationship is harmful, painful, and generally negative, according to Psychology Today. Why would you stay with someone so destructive to your self-esteem? It's common to minimize or overlook the signs of toxicity in a relationship, as further noted in Psychology Today. Maybe you think feeling crappy is simply part of being in a relationship. It isn't.
If these signs seem close to home, how should you react to a toxic relationship? An instant break-up is not required, although sometimes that's the best course of action, particularly if the toxicity is abusive. In other cases, however, being honest about your problems with the relationship is the best move, according to t he Greater Good Science Center at U.C. Berkeley. It can be intimidating to tell someone their behavior or statements make you uncomfortable, but standing up for yourself is crucial.