When you guys first met, it was just like a Nicholas Sparks novel. (He brought you roses and truffles! He held the door for you! He watched trashy reality TV shows with you, even the really embarrassing ones!) But now that you’ve been together for a while, you can’t tell if your relationship hiccups are totally normal or if the fights you’re having are unhealthy. Because when it comes to the roller coaster of relationships, it can be hard to spot the signs of toxicity.
It’s not uncommon for people in unhealthy unions to make excuses for their (or their partner’s) behavior or to be in denial about the way things are. But if you’re constantly dealing with feelings of jealousy, insecurity or anxiety, then you’re likely veering into destructive territory. Here’s another way to tell if you’re dealing with toxic love: Healthy relationships make you feel content and energized, whereas toxic relationships leave you feeling depressed and drained. And that could be a dangerous thing. In a long-term study that followed more than 10,000 subjects, researchers discovered that participants who were in negative relationships were at a greater risk for developing heart problems (including a fatal cardiac event) than those whose close relationships were not negative. Yikes. While no relationship can be happy and conflict-free all the time, how do you know if yours is unhealthy? Here, seven ways to tell if you’re in a toxic situation.