“As you remove toxic people from your life, you free up space and emotional energy for positive, healthy relationships.” ― John Mark Green
Do you have a happy, healthy relationship?
Couples who know how to communicate with one another, solve problems as a team, and spend quality time together on a regular basis are on the right track for maintaining a happy marriage.
But, could there be hidden dangers in your relationship?
The truth is, many of us have dealt with toxic relationship habits from our partner that we weren’t even aware of.
Don’t let toxicity creep into your relationship. The effects of toxic behavior can have a direct effect on your health, your work ethic, and your happiness.
Here are 5 toxic relationship habits you must recognize:
5 Toxic Relationship Habits You Need to Kick Right Away
1. Spending All Your Time Together
Studies show that married couples experience less stress and greater happiness when they spend time together. This is the sign of a healthy relationship.
Research goes on to show that couples who have a regularly scheduled date night are happier and more romantically linked than couples who do not.
They will also be less likely to get divorced and experience heightened communication within their relationship.
So how could spending time together possibly be considered toxic?
It’s not the actual act of spending time together that turns this into a bad relationship habit, but the position of losing yourself to your relationship.
Spending quality time together as a couple has many benefits, but you should also have a strong sense of who you are.
Do not isolate yourself from your personal hobbies and friendships.
After all, your hobbies, friends, likes, and dislikes are all the components of the personality that your spouse fell in love with, are they not?
2. Constant Arguing
It is natural for couples to argue, even in healthy relationships.
You may love your partner with all your heart, but that doesn’t mean you’re always going to agree on everything. It is how a couple resolves an argument that determines whether their relationship is toxic.
Healthy couples understand the importance of communication. They speak to each other calmly, listen, and show respect when resolving a matter.
If a couple is having toxic relationship habits, however, they may respond by:
- Using arguments as an excuse to belittle or embarrass their spouse
- Dredging up past mistakes to win an argument/make a point
- Resorting to physical violence or threats to get their way
- Using the silent treatment to hurt their spouse
- Withholding physical intimacy as a punishment
Some may even argue that conflict is simply a form of passion. This is a very wrong thinking that can lead to dangerous future behavior.
Couples should not try to defend this potentially toxic behavior with the statement, “Yeah, but every couple argues!”
Instead, they should seek to solve their arguments in a respectful and cooperative manner.
Look at any disagreement you have as an opportunity to get to the root of the problem. Solve the issue together as a couple, not apart as enemies.
3. “Loving” Jealousy
This Brazilian study found that jealousy was one of the most common issues faced by couples.
Is there such a thing as health jealousy? Yes, there is.
Good jealousy is the natural, unpleasant reaction we may have when someone starts romantically pursuing our partner.
You may trust your partner completely, but it still irks you when someone else flirts with them. But, instead of using this jealous feeling to try and control your partner, you let it be a reminder of how grateful you are to have your spouse in your life.
They were also more committed to their relationship, had more success when pursuing goals, and shared a deeper intimacy with their spouse.
But jealousy can turn into another one of the toxic relationship habits if it becomes a catalyst for controlling behavior or a constant source of arguing.
4. Buying Love
Who doesn’t like to receive gifts from their loving partner?
A gift is a wonderful gesture that shows you that your spouse was thinking about you. Indeed, it’s even considered one of the Five Love Languages.
Thoughtfulness aside, buying your way into a relationship can actually be a sign of deeper relationship issues.
This can turn into toxic behavior if your spouse buys you something every time a conflict comes up in the relationship.
Instead of communicating openly and honestly with one another, they cover over any disagreements or issues with a gift.
5. Keeping Score
Another big relationship issue is the habit of keeping score.
At first, it may seem natural for a spouse to be able to remember the times that they’ve been hurt in the relationship. However, healthy relationships are all about teamwork.
They would not say, “You cheated on me five years ago, so you can’t be mad at me for flirting with other people” or “I got you coffee the other day, so you have to buy me dinner to make up for it”.
Couples are partners, not rivals. They should work together in the relationship, not keep score of all the times their spouse has “failed/wronged” them in order to use it as a bargaining chip at a later date.
Spouses should be able to forgive and forget, leaving any wrongdoings in the past.
Relationship issues aren’t always easy to spot.
Does your spouse have a bad habit of keeping score, having a passive aggressive attitude with you, or showering you with gifts instead of dealing with the problem at hand?
Don’t let such toxic relationship habits fool you into thinking you’re in a healthy relationship.
About The Author
Rachael Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.
Stock Photo from Ivanko80 @ Shutterstock