7 Warning Signs You Have A Toxic Partner

Signs you have a toxic partner

Do you feel like something is off in your relationship, but you can’t quite put your finger on it?

Maybe your friends keep telling you that your partner seems controlling or mean when you all hang out, but you brush it off thinking they’re just being overprotective.

The truth is, you want to believe the best in your partner, so you ignore those nagging signs that things aren’t quite right.

But it’s so important not to ignore red flags in a relationship.

If your partner constantly puts you down, tries to isolate you from loved ones, or makes you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, those are glaring signs you may be with someone toxic.

Don’t ignore those gut feelings that tell you something is wrong. You deserve to be with someone who treats you with empathy and respect.

Keep reading to learn more about how to identify the traits of a toxic partner. 

Signs you have a toxic partner


Being with a toxic person can cause severe damage to your mental and physical health.

It’s important to be able to recognize the signs early before it’s too late. If you suspect your partner is toxic, watch out for the following signs:

1. They criticize and put you down

Criticism is a normal part of any relationship, but in a toxic dynamic, it is often excessive, unwarranted, or demeaning.

A toxic partner may constantly criticize your appearance, choices, or abilities, which can make you feel like you don’t measure up.

Does your partner frequently criticize you and put you down? Do they make hurtful comments that slowly chip away at your self-esteem?

When you’re in a toxic relationship, you may start to feel like nothing you do is ever good enough.

Watch out if your partner compares you unfavorably to others and points out your perceived flaws and shortcomings.

If they call you names like “stupid” or “useless”, don’t ignore the insults.

Their criticism may come disguised as “jokes,” but the effect is the same—it makes you feel bad about yourself.

Over time, the constant criticism will cause you to doubt yourself and your own judgment.

You may become anxious and insecure, worried about upsetting your partner or making them angry.

Their criticism will also convince you that no one else would want you, so you feel stuck in the relationship.

The healthiest relationships are based on mutual kindness and respect.

If your partner constantly criticizes, insults, and puts you down instead of building you up, that’s a major red flag.

A good partner will make you feel unconditionally loved and accepted for who you are.

Don’t hesitate to walk away if you find it difficult to cope in a toxic relationship.

Signs you have a toxic partner

2. They try to control and isolate you

A big sign your partner is toxic is that they monitor your movements and try to discourage you from interacting with other people.

A toxic partner wants to control your every move and cut you off from friends and family who genuinely care about you.

They may start by checking in on you constantly or not liking when you spend time with others.

But it often escalates to demanding to know where you are all the time and discouraging you from seeing people who love and support you.

Does your partner call or text you constantly, wanting to know where you are and who you’re with?

This behavior will only get worse over time. A healthy relationship is based on trust, not constant surveillance.

A toxic partner may also express dislike for your close friends and family and try to convince you that they’re not good for you or that they don’t care about you.

They want you all to themselves so they can exert more control over you. Don’t let them isolate you like this.

Maintain your outside relationships—they’re vital for your happiness and well-being.

Watch out if your partner tries to make you feel guilty for spending time apart.

Toxic partners try to guilt trip you when you want to do your own thing or spend time alone.

But it’s normal and healthy for couples to have separate interests and alone time in a relationship.

If your partner often exhibits controlling behavior, such as dictating who you can see, what you can do, or how you should behave, you need to pay attention.

Don’t let their guilt trips and manipulation get to you. Stand up for yourself, keep in touch with your loved ones, and continue doing what makes you happy.

Signs you have a toxic partner

3. They have serious jealousy and trust issues

Excessive jealousy and possessiveness are red flags in a relationship.

When you’re with a toxic person, they may constantly accuse you of infidelity, monitor your activities, or exhibit irrational jealousy towards others.

If your partner constantly accuses you of cheating or lying, even without cause, this is unhealthy. Their jealousy and lack of trust can quickly become suffocating.

Maybe they demand to check your phone or social media or want to know where you are every minute of the day. This behavior is toxic and can make you feel trapped.

In a healthy relationship, couples trust and respect each other without reservations.

But when you’re with a toxic partner, their jealousy and paranoia make them believe you’re hiding things even when you’re not.

They see betrayal and deception where there is none. Sadly, no amount of reassurance or honesty on your part can convince them otherwise.

Their issues with jealousy and trust are deep-seated and ultimately have little to do with you.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can “prove” your trustworthiness or love to an insecure and controlling person.

You will drive yourself crazy trying to please someone who cannot be pleased.

The hard truth is, until they work to overcome their own trust and self-esteem issues, they will never fully trust you or believe in your commitment to the relationship.

Don’t let your partner’s jealousy and lack of trust make you question your worth or integrity. Their behavior says far more about them than it does about you.

Remember that, and don’t be afraid to speak up when their distrust and control cross the line.

4. They have explosive anger and mood swings

A major trait most toxic partners have is the inability to control their temper.

They tend to have anger management issues and constantly explode when they’re upset.

One day they are happy and affectionate, the next they fly into an angry rage over the smallest thing.

Their moods swing wildly and unpredictably, leaving you feeling confused and insecure in the relationship.

Does your partner’s anger seem to come out of nowhere over insignificant issues?

Maybe they overreact and lash out at you with hurtful insults and accusations but never apologize. Afterward, they expect you to forget it happened until the next outburst.

When you try to talk about your misunderstandings, they change the topic or blame you for everything.

No matter what you do, you feel like you can’t win. Your partner always finds fault with your actions and behaviors.

They make you feel like you’re constantly messing up and disappointing them. They also blame you for their feelings.

Rather than taking responsibility for their emotions, a toxic partner will blame you for “making” them feel angry or upset.

They see you as the source of their distress and expect you to fix the situation. But the truth is, you can’t control how they feel—only they have that power.

A toxic partner with frequent mood swings and explosive anger will seriously damage your self-esteem and emotional well-being over time.

If you don’t feel safe, heard, and respected in your relationships, you may need to consider walking away.

Signs you have a toxic partner

5. They lack empathy and don’t apologize

Ever felt like your partner just doesn’t understand how you feel?

A toxic partner lacks empathy—they struggle to see things from your perspective or show compassion for your experiences.

If something upsets you, they dismiss your feelings as irrational or overly sensitive.

Rather than apologizing when they’ve done something hurtful, a toxic partner will make excuses or blame you.

They might say things like “You’re too sensitive”, “I didn’t mean it like that”, or “You’re overreacting”. They never take responsibility for their actions or say sorry sincerely.

Over time, the lack of empathy and remorse can chip away at your self-esteem.

You may start to question your own feelings and reactions, wondering if you really are “too sensitive”.

But in a healthy relationship, your partner will value your feelings and be willing to apologize when they’re in the wrong.

If your partner shows no empathy for you and never sincerely apologizes, that’s a sign the relationship is toxic.

The lack of compassion will continue to cause hurt, and the refusal to take responsibility will prevent the relationship from improving.

6. They constantly disrespect you and your family

Toxic partners often show a consistent lack of respect for your boundaries, opinions, or autonomy.

They may dismiss your feelings, belittle your achievements, or engage in disrespectful behavior towards you in private or public settings.

If your partner constantly puts you down and disrespects your loved ones, it’s a sign they are toxic.

Watch out if they insult you and call you names, even in front of others. You may start to feel like you deserve to be treated this way, but you don’t.

A healthy partner will treat you with kindness and respect at all times.

Does your partner talk bad about your family and friends? Toxic partners see your close relationships as a threat and will look for any opportunity to drive a wedge between you.

They may forbid you from seeing loved ones or make up lies and rumors to turn you against them.

Don’t let their manipulation and control isolate you from your support network.

Stand up for yourself and set clear boundaries. Tell your partner their behavior is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.

Don’t engage or argue with them when they’re being disrespectful. Walk away and take time to yourself to stay calm and remember your worth.

If the situation doesn’t improve after a while, it may be time to consider whether the relationship is right for you.

Signs you have a toxic partner

7. You feel fearful and unsafe in the relationship

Do you get anxious when your partner gets angry or upset? Do you walk on eggshells to avoid setting them off?

A toxic partner can make you feel fearful in the relationship. They may yell, threaten, or intimidate you to get their way.

Their behavior is often unpredictable and volatile, which can cause you to feel unsafe and insecure.

Over time, living in a constant state of fear and hypervigilance takes a major toll on your well-being.

You may become withdrawn and depressed, or develop physical stress symptoms like insomnia, stomach issues, or migraines.

Toxic partners often blame you for their angry outbursts, make excuses for their behavior, and expect you to just deal with it.

But you shouldn’t have to put up with their nasty behavior. If your partner causes you to feel fearful or unsafe, it’s a sign the relationship has turned toxic.

While it can be difficult, leaving a toxic relationship is often the only way to reclaim your sense of security and self-worth.

Talk to others you trust about the situation, contact local authorities, or call abuse helplines for support.

You deserve to feel safe and happy. Don’t stay in a relationship that steals away your joy.

Traits of a toxic partner


Are you unsure if your relationship is unhealthy for you? Here are some signs you may be in a toxic relationship:

Your partner frequently criticizes you or makes you feel bad about yourself. Toxic partners use insults, bullying, and blame to make you feel worthless while boosting their own ego.

They try to control you or are extremely jealous. Toxic partners demand to know where you are all the time, check your phone/social media, and accuse you of flirting or cheating when you’re not. They believe they own you.

There is a lack of trust and privacy in your relationship. Your partner snoops through your personal belongings, messages, or emails without permission. They don’t respect your need for independence or privacy.

Your partner often dismisses your feelings and makes decisions on your behalf without considering your wishes. They treat you like a child who doesn’t have an independent mind.

They make empty promises and never change their behavior. Toxic partners promise to change but continue the same hurtful patterns. Their words never match their actions.

You feel anxious, sad, or unhappy more often than not. Being around your partner brings more distress than joy. You feel like you’re walking on eggshells to avoid conflict.

Your needs and wants are often neglected. It’s all about your partner’s needs and wants. Your priorities, interests, or values are dismissed or criticized. Compromise is rare.

If these signs sound familiar, you may be in a toxic relationship.

The healthiest thing you can do is speak to your partner, set clear boundaries and if they continue the hurtful behavior, consider ending the relationship.

You deserve to be in a healthy, supportive partnership where you feel respected and cared for.


It’s not always easy to recognize a toxic relationship, especially when you care about someone. But you need to be observant. 

Don’t ignore red flags or make excuses for your partner. You deserve to be treated with kindness and respect.

Trust your gut if something feels off and don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself if your boundaries are repeatedly crossed.

Your happiness and well-being are important. If you feel threatened in your relationship, consider walking away.

Life is too short to stay with a partner who drags you down. Free yourself to find someone who cherishes you. You are worthy of love. 


Recommended reading:

10 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship

10 Subtle Signs Of Disrespect In A Relationship

12 Clear Signs Of Manipulation In A Relationship

About The Author

Jennifer Dagi
 | Blog

Jennifer Dagi is happily married to her best friend and the love of her life.

As a relationship coach, she is passionate about helping couples build healthy and happy relationships.

She strongly believes communication and intimacy are the most important ingredients for building a successful relationship.

Join her on a fabulous journey to improve your love life one step at a time and don't forget to subscribe for weekly blog updates.

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