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5 Things Toxic Partners Say and What You Can Do About It

Toxic partners saying the worst things to each other

What are the things toxic partners say? Your girlfriend or wife may have said something incredibly hurtful to you lately, and you're wondering if you're in a toxic relationship… or just overthinking.

Well, there are certain things your partner can say that have no place in any healthy relationship. And if these things are said repeatedly in your relationship, then it's likely she's a toxic partner.

But let's be 100% sure, shall we? This article will cover the following:

  • What's defined as a "toxic partner"
  • The five things toxic partners say
  • What to do when your partner is toxic
  • How to know if you're the toxic one

Let's start with the basics:

What a Toxic Partner Is and Isn't

A good relationship should feel nearly effortless. It goes through its share of problems and conflicts between the partners, but it mainly works well. On balance, things are pleasant, stable, and continuously growing.

Meanwhile, a relationship with a toxic partner is the opposite of all that. Problems and conflicts are the norms rather than the exception, and the partners might exert so much effort for so little reward.

If you find yourself working hard to make your relationship work—but in the end, you feel tired or depressed, and your partner seems unappreciative—then that's terrible news. You're likely in a toxic relationship, and things will only worsen.

This outcome is too common for men when dating a high-maintenance woman. But are you 100% sure that's precisely what your partner is? Is she really toxic, or are you overthinking it?

Let's find out.

The 5 Things Toxic Partners Say

The easiest way to know if she's a toxic partner is to check if she regularly says at least two of the following red flags:

#1: Controlling speech

Arguing because of control issues

Controlling speech is one of the things toxic girlfriends say/do.

Some women want to control their men and may do so for a seemingly good reason. For instance, they may be unable to control much else in their lives, or they're afraid of being cheated on or left alone.

Other times, though, some people are just narcissistic and dangerous—they thrive on emotionally abusing their partners and exerting power over them. And manipulation is their favorite weapon.

How do you tell if your partner falls under this category of controllers? See if any of the following lines sound painfully familiar to you:

  • "So you'd choose your friends over me?"
  • "You're never around when I need you."
  • "If you go on that trip this weekend, I'm leaving you."
  • "When was the last time you did something for me?"
  • "If you loved me, you'd give me your passwords."
  • "If you want my love, you must first do this for me…"

Such toxic phrases indicate your girlfriend's need to control every detail of your relationship together.

If your partner constantly tries to control you, it's best to reconsider your options before deepening your bond. Before committing to marriage, for instance, set boundaries and talk to her about it.

If she's unwilling to change and instead tries to control you even more, then that's the first of many red flags you should be aware of. At that point, it's best to call the relationship off.

#2: Dishonesty

Dishonesty is the second behavior exhibited by toxic partners. She tells you one thing, and you later find out she's lying. Even if it was a trivial matter, her dishonesty feels a lot like betrayal, doesn't it?

We're not just talking about outright lies. Dishonesty includes "lies of omission," which are the most common. These are the lies when your girlfriend tells you the truth but leaves something out.

Here are a few examples of lies of omission:

  • When she tells you about her ex-boyfriend… but not that she still meets up with him now and then
  • When she tells you she used to drink too much… but not that now she's turned to drugs.
  • When she tells you she was married once… but not that she's a single parent now.

What can you do if your partner has been habitually dishonest with you? You can try to reason with her and say: "Look, I want this relationship to work, but for that to happen, I should be able to trust you."

Never mind your partner's feelings—put your foot down. And if she persists with the dishonesty even then, that's a red flag you shouldn't ignore.

Save your mental health and break it off with her. You don't deserve this kind of manipulation.

#3: Jealous remarks

Another one of the things toxic girlfriends say/do is express their jealousy in explosive ways.

You might have heard that jealousy is a sign of love. That's not always the case—more often, jealousy is a sign of underlying traits that are destructive to a healthy relationship. And that's undoubtedly true of toxic partners.

If your partner is habitually jealous, then she likely also has the following toxic traits:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Neuroticism
  • Insecurity
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • A nagging fear you'll leave her or cheat on her

So, yes, there's a good kind of jealousy—one that makes you feel special—and the bad kind, which does the opposite. Does your partner have ”the bad” kind of jealousy?

To find out, check if any of the following statements sound all too familiar:

  • "Are you really at the supermarket? Send me a photo to prove it."
  • "It's 5 PM. Are you on your way home yet?"
  • "You went to a party? Without me?"
  • "I don't like your friendship with that person…"
  • "If you loved me, you'd tell me the names of all your female friends."

Such toxic phrases indicate your partner is the wrong kind of jealous—and that's not your fault. It's not your problem to fix.

That said, you can help her get over the jealousy. Constant reassurance of your love and dedication to the relationship should help her overcome her insecurities.

#4: Holding grudges

Resentment due to grudges

Toxic partners may harbor grudges. Does yours?

Your partner may have been wronged by you or others in the distant past, yet her resentment still burns even many years afterward. She may have good reason to feel that way, but the fact remains: when she holds grudges, things get toxic in the relationship.

Here are a few grudges your partner might hold and end up poisoning your relationship with:

  • You lied or cheated on her before, even though you've apologized and made amends
  • She was bullied as a kid and still resents her bullies
  • Someone she trusted stole something valuable from her
  • Her parents ridiculed her and diminished her achievements

Studies show that people who hold grudges have a few toxic traits in common, such as:

  1. They need validation that they were indeed wronged and deserve justice
  2. They can't let go of the offense
  3. They're too eager to burn bridges rather than face the offender
  4. They believe they have the moral high ground

If your partner is the type to hold grudges, then she needs your empathy and support. Still, her behavior can make the relationship feel toxic—she's liable to have a persistent bad mood and "demons in her head."

Worse, these toxic traits may lie dormant for a while, only to explode when something "triggers" your partner. And it's not fun dating a ticking time bomb.

If your partner holds grudges and it's making your relationship toxic, she'll need to stop focusing on the perpetrators and start loving herself again. Unfortunately, if she'd rather keep her "cherished hurt" than let it go, she may not be worth your time.

#5: Insults and name calling

Insulting is yet another one of the many things toxic girlfriends say/do—though it's sometimes hard to tell.

Name-calling, especially when gendered, can be playful and productive in a healthy relationship. Partners can trade funny and ironic insults at each other, and it ends up strengthening their bond.

However, insults do the opposite in a toxic relationship. For a toxic partner, insults are a means of controlling and maintaining power over you.

You'll know your partner's insults have their shackles on you when the following are true:

  • You're in constant fear of her judgment
  • You can't be yourself around her for fear of being ridiculed
  • You hesitate to meet friends with her because she tends to mock you in public
  • You feel inferior to her in all aspects

Why would your partner want to destroy your self-esteem like that? Simple—because name-calling is a simple manipulation that makes you easier to control.

And there you have it—the five things toxic partners say. If you see even just two of these red flags in your own relationship, then it's time to do something drastic.

If emotional abuse seems to be the norm in your relationship, you shouldn't tolerate it. No one should. The following section will discuss what to do when you're stuck with a toxic partner.

What to Do When Your Partner is Toxic

Right now, you might already be deep in your relationship with your partner and feel dependent on her for your happiness. What should you do to escape the emotional torment? In this case, a step-by-step approach is best:

Step #1: Set better boundaries

You're only being manipulated by your partner because you let her. For the sake of your continued mental health, have a clear list of her behaviors you will no longer tolerate.

Talk to her about your new boundaries. She needs to understand that you want your relationship to work out, but for that to happen, she must change how she treats you.

Often, a talk is all it takes. The verbal abuser may not be aware of how her behavior is affecting her partner's feelings. If she starts treating you with more respect after your talk, then you just might be able to save your relationship.

If she doesn't, it's time for Step #2…

Step #2: Spend less time with her

Spend more time with the people who love you for who you are and less time with your partner. You'll need support and acceptance to recover from your emotional wounds.

You might hesitate to spend less time with your partner because you're afraid she'll make a scene. She might throw a fit, say mean things, and soil your reputation with other people.

Let her.

Remember, spending more time with your partner will be more destructive for your self-esteem than that. And if you can't get away from her, there's always the third step:

Step #3: Break up with her

Finally breaking up due to toxicity

This step is always acceptable when it comes to toxic partners. As painful as it might sound, breaking up with her maybe your best recourse to save your mental health.

Many women are too messed up to be in a relationship and your partner's one of them. Ending the relationship isn't just best for you—it's also best for her, as it may give her a chance to check herself and work on her issues.

What if you don't know how to break up with your partner? I've got you covered—here's our article on breaking up with your girlfriend without drama.

Are You a Toxic Partner?

To wrap up this article, let's tackle a crazy idea: What if you were the toxic partner in your relationship?

Serious question. Is your relationship toxic not because of your partner but because of you? It's prudent to ask yourself this question—you can do a quick check to eliminate yourself as the perpetrator.

Ask yourself, "Do I play the victim too much?"

You might think you're right while the rest of the world is wrong. If that sounds like you, you're also more prone to perceiving harmless statements as verbal abuse.

To avoid falling into the victim mentality trap, do two things:

  1. Stop thinking of negative past events in your life, and start reminiscing about the good times when you loved yourself and were in complete control of your life.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to others, and instead, compare yourself to what you were yesterday. If you made progress, then you're on the right track.

Also, you'll want to ask yourself: "Do I want my partner to do everything my way?"

You might think: "I'm right, she's wrong, and she's dumb if she doesn't follow my lead," or other such toxic phrases.

If that sounds familiar, guess what—you might be the toxic one. After all, how would you feel if your partner thought that about you?

Spare your partner's feelings. If you're a control freak, start letting things go.

Let things work themselves out—and that includes your partner's decisions. Your life will be much less stressful and more pleasant (and so will hers!).

So, as the saying goes, check yourself before you wreck yourself. The world's toxic enough—let's turn our relationships into the sanctuaries we need them to be.

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