Every relationship has its ups and downs and its occasional flare-ups. Not everyone has to quit on their marriage because of these obstacles.

However, if there are physical abuse, adultery, desertion or other major transgressions involved, they are an obvious indicator that the relationship is in trouble. Although, signs can be a lot more subtle than that, they can be just as toxic.

A toxic marriage – depending on your situation – is a chronic condition characterised by ongoing unhealthy mental, emotional, and physical issues that are unresolved then fester into even bigger problems. 

There is a good chance you are in a toxic marriage if you are already suspecting it. It can be just a general uneasiness, or you can point to concrete examples. Every relationship has its rough spots, and it does not necessarily mean your marriage is a lost cause. With time and effort some toxic situations can be remedied.

We have created a checklist to help you identify behaviours and actions that can define this more clearly. By recognising these behaviours, you are more inclined to take some sort of action to fix them.

1. Jekyll & Hyde behaviour

It is always uncertain what to expect from your partner. One moment they are caring and warm, then in the next they produce unnecessary rage and anger towards you. An abusive partner might use intimidation tactics.

2. Depression.

There are many things that can cause depression, but if you trace it back to your relationship or marriage, that is a sign of toxicity. Depression spills over your other relationships making you feel isolated. The longer the depression stays, the harder it is to get out of that mindset.

3. Exhaustion

Toxicity is life-draining. You will feel drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually by your surroundings and situation.

4. Overcompensation

Everyone in a happy marriage talks about how good and happy their relationship is. However, if you feel the urge to overcompensate by talking about how great your relationship is then it can be a sign of insecurity and unhappiness.

5. Misgivings about your marriage

In some circumstance, you should not listen to what other people say about your marriage. However, it is worth listening to people who have your best interest at heart. Especially if they are worried about the relationship/marriage you are in.

6. Secrecy and hiding friendships

Sustaining a separate social circle is healthy, to a certain extent. If you start purposing, pursuing outside friendships that do not include your partner/spouse, or becoming defensive and secretive when asked about them, it can be a sign your relationship is unstable.

7. Thoughts of infidelity

You may suspect your partner of adultery or yourself as an escape from the situation. This is also a sign of toxic behaviour.

8. Broken trust

Defending every little part of your life is a sign of distrust. It also opens doors to entering your toxic behaviours as a self-survival mechanism.

9. Avoiding emotional support from your partner

You don’t trust your partner for basic emotional support and in fact you go to anyone but your partner for help. In healthy relationships, spouses support each other. You may also notice your partner not being supportive of your goals and achievements.

10. Indifference and distance

whether the issue big or small, it is a sign of disrespect if they are not paying attention.

11. Becoming the scape goat.

You are blamed for everything, real or imagined, to shift their flaws away from themselves.

12. Your partner is lying about your marital finances.

Hiding money or going on a spending spree to put your marriage in a hole is a devastating thing to uncover down the road.

13. Spending more time with your children.

If there are children involved, you find yourself spending more time with your children which can be beneficial for some time apart. It can also be wedge in breaking your relationship apart if boundaries are not set.

14. Controlling behaviour

When one partner makes themselves to be the gatekeeper for both of your lives without your input, and doesn’t consider your participation, you are being taken for granted (or worse). If you notice your actions, relationships and finances being monitored and controlled by your partner, it is a sign of controlling behaviour.

15. Manipulation.

Your partner turns everything into a mind control exercise or engages is devious argumentative actions. Your partner blames you for everything that goes wrong which can make you end up feeling small, confused and often exhausted.

16. Toxic enabling

In a co-dependent relationship, an enabler constantly comes to the rescue of their spouse and encourages negative or unhealthy behaviour. If the line is drawn during argument but then you later give in to keep the “peace” that makes you a toxic enabler.

17. small imperfections to big issues.

When you draw a line, but then you don’t call your partner out on it, you are to blame for growing a toxic relationship as much as your partner.

18. wrapped up in each other’s lives.

While your partner should be your main relationship, things can go from healthy to toxic when you exclude others and focus solely on your spouse. That excessiveness can create an unhealthy way of jealousy and possessiveness.

19. small fights to big fights

Things get blown out of proportion in a toxic environment. The fight about the small things can be a fight about one major thing.

20. Tension

Marriage is a place of comfort. If you are constantly second-guessing yourself or feel on edge and unable to relax around your spouse. This can mean there’s an underlying issue.

21. You are absent from home

Home should not be a place of misery but a place of refuge. When your marriage starts becoming toxic you may find excuses to avoid going home for a while instead of confronting your feelings and the situation.

What should I do next?
Some marriages can come out of rough patches and toxicity. However, if you tried everything to resolve matters with your spouse leading nowhere then you may need to consider the hardest step forward. 
For further information on the complex aspects of divorce and Family Laws involved around the process or if you are looking to apply for a divorce then contact us on 01983 632006 or email us on info@michaelspoors.co.uk.