A toxic relationship can arise between any two people, regardless of their genders, sexualities, cultures, races, religions, or personalities. However, there are a few ways that relationships can become unhealthy. If you suspect that your relationship is toxic, consider which patterns below are contributing to the problem. - One-Sided Emotional Investment: In a healthy relationship, both people invest themselves emotionally. But in a toxic relationship, one person may put in a lot more emotional effort than their partner. This can lead to feelings of resentment on both sides, but especially by the person who is doing more of the lifting. This one-sided emotional investment often leads to arguments and resentment, as the person who isn’t putting in as much effort resents being expected to provide as much as the other person does. - Disrespectful Behaviors: Some people have bad habits that they aren’t aware they’re engaging in. These patterns can make a relationship toxic, even if they aren’t intended to be. For example, some people are very open about their feelings, but others are more guarded about their emotions. If you’re an openly emotional person in a relationship with a reserved person, you may feel you’re being dismissed or ignored. - Controlling Behaviors: Controlling behaviors are often problematic in relationships. Sometimes, a person may control because they’re afraid that their partner will dismiss or disrespect them, but other times, they may simply want to be in charge. Even if you don’t feel disrespected or dismissed, being in a relationship with a controlling person can be toxic. - Unrealistic Expectations: Some relationships become toxic when one (or both) people have unrealistic expectations of one another. For example, if one person is looking to their partner to make them feel better about their life, but their partner doesn’t have the power to improve life, their life, their relationship, is toxic.