7 Main Differences Between A Healthy Relationship And A Toxic One

Always being together isn’t actually a good thing.

There are a few glaring hints that a relationship isn’t good for you, like if someone is out-and-out abusive. But when it comes to figuring out whether a relationship is toxic, things get a little murkier. Here are seven key things to look out for that will help you figure out whether you’re in a healthy relationship—and what to do if you think you aren’t.

1. How you handle screw-ups.

In a healthy relationship: You can apologize when you shelve date night for work, and they can do the same when they forget to take the trash out yet again. In a toxic relationship: One of you would rather move to Siberia than actually say, “I’m sorry.”

Everyone makes mistakes in their relationships, but the most important thing is being able to own up after the fact. “Some people have difficulty with apologies because it can create a sense of vulnerability,” says Anne Brennan Malec, Psy.D., a Chicago-based licensed clinical psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why it Works, When it Works. It can also make them feel like they’re flawed in some deep, dark way, so they’d rather avoid it altogether by pretending they didn’t do anything wrong. In a healthy relationship, you’re able to open up, admit you made a mistake, and trust in the fact that your partner will still love you.

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