Red Flags.

Whether you ask Siri, Alexa or Google, they will list an unlimited number of red flags of a toxic relationship. I’m only going to share 5 with you today, but if you recognise these ‘symptoms’ in your present relationship seek help and if necessary get out. You owe this to yourself and to your children if you have any. Children who witness emotional abuse in the home may either become the victim of an abuser or a become a perpetrator. The home environment is their norm. Children become what they see. Sometimes.

Love bombing. Usually at the beginning, all is well. Things are pretty much perfect. It just can’t get any better than what it presently is. You are probably being love bombed. Your love interest showers you with gifts, affection and their time. They seem to really ‘get you’ in a way that no one else has. This phase is intense as you are in each other’s company . . . a lot. To the victim it feels like being swept of their feet. The reality is that the toxic person is making sure that you are focused on them. At some point in the liaison, things take a drastic turn.

Downsize Your support network. Your so-called love interest tries to drive a wedge between you and the people you love most and are closest too. The reasons they give you to why you should spend time with them over your family and friends do seem legitimate on the surface, but their goal is to decrease your support network. One. Person. At.a.time. All of a sudden they are finding faults, or twisting perceptions of the beautiful people you have known all your life. You find yourself pulling away from lifelong relationships just to keep the peace between you and your toxic beloved. Once you have successfully managed to oust the object of their disaffection from your life they will move on to the next cherished person in your life until they and you are your inner circle.

Walking on eggshells. You somehow find that you dread telling them anything about anything! The one consistent thing about their behaviour is it’s unpredictability. Most things will send them into a fit of rage, an exploding torrent of verbal abuse or a blockade of silence. You go over multiple ways as to how to convey the information trying to find a way to minimise the damage to you. You are always ‘bracing yourself’.

Gross inability to compromise. You not only meet them halfway (like normal couples do), you end up going the whole nine yards. Time and time again. Actually there is simply no point in expressing your wants or needs. They will not consider them because frankly it isn’t that important. Paramount to them is ensuring that you are guilted into meeting their wants and needs by any means necessary.

Constant criticism. They are the expert in everything. You don’t know anything. This should have been done like this. It didn’t make sense to do that. I wanted it this way. What were you thinking? No one else does that! Your efforts are not good enough. You are not good enough and by the way you will never be. You just can’t be trusted to do the simplest things. What is your worth?

There are many more red flags. Don’t be naive about any of them. They are red for a reason. Red is danger. Stay away. Run as fast as you can and never look back. “God’s name is a place of protection- good people can run there and be safe.” Proverbs 18:10 The Message Bible.