In every relationship there comes a point where you must sit down and evaluate if that person is good for you or not. A major factor you must assess is whether or not he accepts you for who you are – changing nothing! If he is trying to change you, there will be signs to look for.
Nothing damages your self-esteem more than being with someone who is trying to change you. This drastically increases your insecurity and makes you doubt who you really are. You may feel that he loves you, but he may just be in love with the idea of you. If you can identify a pattern of criticism and control, he will provide you with a lifetime of hurt and self-doubt.
In the beginning, he may seem kind and charming. However, his charm will soon change to manipulation and control. His compliments will include subtle criticism, which will insert self-doubt and confusion into your life.
You will then start to question yourself and your life choices, becoming dependent on his nod of approval. In the end, you will have blindly allowed someone to change your character and destroy your self-esteem and sense of personal pride.
Below, I will address some key signs to look out for! These signs are nothing new – and have existed since the beginning of time. However, women consistently experience them and are blind to the negative effect it will have on their life.
1.) He compares you to other people
Comparison is a cheap and pathetic form of manipulation. He may try to compare you to his ex, mom, sister, or even his high school crush! “I’m surprised you are ok with that. Sarah never was.” “The first time I saw you, you reminded me of Jennifer.” “You are wrong. My mom doesn’t do it that way.”
Listen up! YOU ARE NOT HIS MOTHER! YOU ARE NOT HIS EX! You are perfect just the way you are – and if he cannot accept that, leave him in the dust.
2.) He criticizes your personal style
Your personal style is a way to express yourself – almost an art-form. When someone starts to criticize that (in a way that is fundamentally trying to change your sense of fashion), they are most certainly trying to change you!
I had one guy tell me that he hated a pair of my earrings because the shape resembled a demonic symbol. (They were beautiful, classy, and didn’t even come close.) He told me that his parents would not approve of me if I wore them the first time I met them. So, of course I made sure to wear them on the day I was introduced! Obviously, I had no intention of changing myself or staying with him.
Girl, you continue to rock the bold lipstick, heels, crazy hair, and big jewelry if this defines who you are on the inside!
Pro Tip: Be mindful that your man is entitled to his opinion. The love of my life has told me what his preferences are and I love to style my hair in a ponytail and wear my nude lipstick – two of his favorites! However, he has never tried to change my preferences and make me feel insecure in my choices.
3.) He criticizes your character
Your reputation is of incredible importance – especially to you!
When you lay your head on your pillow each night, it is good to know that you are an honest, ethical, and kind person. However, your significant other can make you second guess your good character.
“You promised me you would do this! Are you taking your word back?” “You constantly flirt with those other guys. You need to stop.” “You are nothing but an actress – even your tears are fake.”
When he is unhappy with you, he will try to damage the one thing that is most important to you – your character. NEVER let hurtful and malicious words change who you fundamentally are.
If you feel insecure about yourself, call a trusted friend and ask their opinion. An honest friend can also help to pull you out of a toxic relationship!
4.) He makes you doubt your dreams
Support is one of the major building blocks of every sustainable relationship. Do you find him making fun of your goals or criticizing your dreams? LOSE HIM!
Without hopes and dreams, life doesn’t have a purpose. If he criticizes your dreams, but expects you to build up his, he is using you. He may be attempting to change your goals to ultimately help him reach his own self-serving goal.
Find a person who is excited for you and pushes you to become your best self. They exist! My husband has supported me from day one and encouraged me pursue my dreams and make them come true. Selfishness and self-serving motives destroy the best of relationships.
5.) He dislikes your friends
You know he doesn’t love your friends, but surely he won’t try to pull you apart. He will! Your friends are an important part of who you are – and he wants to change that.
He wants to choose your friends and be in control of who you are close to. If he perceives that even a family member doesn’t like him, he will try to pull you away from them.
You may agree with him that some of your friends aren’t top-notch, but you will soon begin to realize that he is slowly alienating you from your old life and introducing you to his friends, insisting that they become your new support group.
If your man doesn’t like ANY of your friends, this should be a big red flag. Don’t let him destroy the relationships that are dear to you – especially family!
6.) He makes decisions without consulting you
No, just no! You are not a team if one member does not have a say.
He should not be signing you up for events, volunteering your services, making plans, rearranging your schedule, or making a major joint lifestyle change without consulting you first! It is one thing if he is trying to surprise you, but it is a whole other thing if he consistently makes decisions on your behalf!
By doing so, he is controlling your life and creating an unhealthy dependence on himself. You are not a child or a dependent – you are a grown adult who can make decisions! Insist on doing so.
6.) He is jealous
When a man shows signs of jealousy, watch him very closely. This character trait can become a severe problem, destroying the trust of your relationship. Most men have a jealous streak; however, it is simply a natural instinct to protect the ones they love and keep you safe from harm.
If his jealousy is toxic, you will notice very quickly.
“Why did you give him a hug goodbye?” “You never wear your hair the way I told you I liked it. Are you doing it for him?” “Who would you rather date, me or him?” “Why are you hanging out with your friends tonight? I thought you would want to come with me.” “Why are you texting him? You know I don’t like him.”
His jealousy will start seeping into every conversation and interaction. He will complain about your decisions and try to manipulate his way into your plans. He will make you feel insecure – like the problem is you instead of him. Confront this behavior immediately, and exit the relationship if nothing changes.
7.) He scolds you – like a child
Oh, don’t we love lectures – especially as an adult! When he perceives you are doing something wrong – he suddenly becomes your personal counselor and parental figure.
He takes it upon himself to scold you for your mistakes. Not only does this make him look like a toxic narcissist, it also makes him incredibly unattractive and unfit for the role of “life partner.” RUN, GIRL, RUN!
It is not his place to embarrass and scold you. If he truly is your best friend, he will find a caring way to confront something he perceives as a problem in your life.
8.) Your friends notice you are changing
This is a big one! Your family and friends may know he is toxic before you do.
They will notice that your schedule is always full and that your personality is slowly changing. You may be becoming more introverted or insecure. Or you may be becoming outspoken and passionate about subjects that only he cares about. You are allowing someone to sabotage your personality and change who you once were.
Allow your friends to give you loving, constructive criticism. It may be difficult to hear that you are becoming a different person, but it may be the only way to save you from allowing someone to destroy your sense of self-worth. Also, do a serious self-evaluation.
In the end, you are the only one who can truly identify that he is trying to change you.
9.) Your happiness has disappeared
When you willingly allow a toxic person into your life, you will change.
You will notice that you are no longer passionate about your dreams, you are insecure in yourself, and you find yourself second-guessing your decisions. You will also feel completely drained and exhausted!
Trying to please someone who can never be pleased sucks the joy out of your life. You aren’t being true to yourself and the person you were created to be.
Never let someone change you! If you don’t feel like you are good enough anymore, something must change.
Sit down and have a serious conversation with your significant other. Be confident and explain to him exactly how he makes you feel. If he responds to your concern with sarcasm, humor, anger, or criticism do not tolerate it!
Let him know that there are consequences to his toxic behavior and that you are no longer going to tolerate it. When someone will never accept who you are, walk away. Surround yourself with supportive and understanding friends who will build you back up and encourage you. Never allow someone to change you, at the expense of your happiness.