You Deplete Me: 5 Ways to Know You’re In a Toxic Relationship

There are some relationships we shouldn’t try to save.  Oddly, sometimes the least healthy relationships are the ones we’re most anxious about letting go!  This article can help you discern whether you’re in a toxic relationship with a poisonous person.

1. It seems like you can’t do anything right – The other person constantly puts you down as not good enough. They mock your personality, and you feel ashamed most of the time. You only feel pardoned when you take on the traits of the person doing the condemning or judging.

2. Everything is about them and never about you – You have feelings too, but the other person won’t hear them. You’re unable to have a two-sided conversation where your opinion is heard, considered, and respected. Instead of acknowledging your feelings, they battle with you until they get the last word.

3. You find yourself unable to enjoy good moments with this person – Every day brings another challenge. It seems as though they are always raising gripes about you. Their attempt to control your behavior is an attempt to control your happiness.

4. You’re uncomfortable being yourself around that person – You don’t feel free to speak your mind. You have to put on a different face just to be accepted by that person. You realize you don’t even recognize yourself anymore.

5. You’re not allowed to grow and change – Whenever you aim to grow and improve yourself, the other person responds with mockery and disbelief. There is no encouragement or support for your efforts. Instead, they keep you stuck in old judgments insisting that you will never be any different than you are now.

If you’re experiencing even just one of these signs, check in with yourself to see if the relationship is doing more damage than good.  READ MORE

For more ideas on effectively dealing with the Toxic People in your life, check out God Help Me, These People are Driving Me Nuts!  Making Peace with Difficult People

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About Dr. Greg

Dr. Gregory Popcak directs the Pastoral Solutions Institute, an organization dedicated to helping Catholics find faith-filled solutions to marriage, family, and personal problems. Together with his wife, Lisa, he hosts More2Life Radio. He is the author of over a dozen books integrating psychological insights with our Catholic faith. For more info about books, tele-counseling and other resources, visit

  • Therapy helps

    That was my relationship with my mother! Thanks (?) for the memories o_O

  • Byron

    This is a great article and information. My question for you is this: WHAT do you do if you have been married to the person mentioned for 12 years and also have a 10 year old child who loves you both? Then what??? Without putting everything out here, I would like to discuss this with you further. Can you contact me?

  • Jerry Lynch

    Back in the mid-80s, I dated a women off and on for two years and the relationship fit all five criteria. When friends saw me walking down the street smiling, their first words in greeting were, “Oh, you broke up with Cynthia.” I would respond, “Yeah, how did you know?” And when they saw me walking a little stooped shoulder they would say, “Oh, you’re back with Cynthia.” And I would respond, “Yeah, how did you know?” Denial was my middle name. A few weeks or months apart and all I could recall were the good times; I had to dig but they were there. I would make it work this time. Funny.
    Yet the whole time we went out I was steadily healing through the 12 Steps. One of the techniques my sponsor taught me was when she attacked, started blaming me for everything that was wrong, do not try to defend myself. “Just listen and listen carefully.”
    The first time I tried this it was very difficult. However, I did pull it off and the results were astonishing. After twenty minutes of not getting my typical whiney defense, she started talking about some really painful things from her past. Seeing her pain changed how I saw her and our dynamic. It helped release me from feeling the victim and helped her move from abuser.
    The “spiritual axiom” went a long way to uncovering the real problem in the relationship: me. “Whenever I am disturbed, no matter what the cause, the problem is in me.” In effect, nothing happens to me or for me; it all happens within me. When this became utterly clear and undenial, the healing of my old wounds progressed at a brisk pace.

  • John

    Interesting article in the attachment, I spent years in a “toxic relationship” for whatever reason I couldnt see it at the time. For people interested in learning why we choose or stay with in these types of relationships, I found this article helpful.