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7 Signs You May Be in a Toxic Relationship

By Erica Patino
Reviewed by Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D.
March 11, 2022

No partnership is perfect, but in general, a healthy romantic relationship should have an even balance of power, with two partners who listen to and support each other—at least most of the time.

In a toxic relationship, however, one partner has an undue amount of power and control over the other, according to Liz Coleclough, Ph.D., a therapist at PNW Trauma Therapy, in Seattle. A “toxic relationship” refers to an unhealthy relationship that can sometimes become abusive if allowed to remain unaddressed.

The imbalance may occur in different aspects of the relationship. “It can happen physically, sexually, emotionally, verbally, and financially,” Coleclough says. It’s not healthy—and could even become dangerous.