Harmful Social Effects of Unhealthy Relationships – Is it Time to Leave?

When we enter a new relationship, everything seems perfect. We’re happier and often have increased enthusiasm for life! You’ve probably heard that relationships are good for your health. And that’s true – until they become unhealthy. If your relationship is causing you stress and concern, it not only impacts your health and well-being but can also have harmful social effects. Do you find yourself withdrawing from your friends and family, or are your loved ones expressing their concerns? Let’s explore the harmful social effects of unhealthy relationships and what you can do about it. 

Social effects of unhealthy relationships - two fingers with drawn on sad faces.

Could You Be in an Unhealthy Relationship?

Are you wondering or even debating whether you’re in an unhealthy or toxic relationship? An unhealthy or toxic relationship is a relationship that is detrimental to the people involved. That could include lying, cheating, controlling the way you live your life, conflict, manipulating behavior, or gas-lighting.

While all relationships have their fair share of highs and lows, a toxic relationship is one where the bad times outweigh the good. It can be hard to accept that your relationship could be unhealthy. But the sooner you acknowledge it, the sooner you can make a change. 

Girl putting her hand up over the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship.

The Social Effects of Unhealthy Relationships

Withdrawing From Your Community

Withdrawal from your community can refer to a couple of different things. Firstly, it could refer to withdrawing emotionally. Maybe you’re no longer that shoulder to cry on for your BFF or no longer open up like you used to. Or you could be withdrawing physically. Perhaps you don’t show up to Friday night margaritas with your crew, and you’re MIA for your group’s Sunday yoga class.

Either way, being in an unhealthy relationship can cause you to withdraw from your friends and family. You may be withdrawing because you don’t want your circle to see the repercussions your unhealthy relationship is having on your mental health. Or because your partner needs control over how you’re living your life and is trying to isolate you from the people you care about.

Lying to the People in Your Life

Have you found yourself lying to the people you care about? Lying about your relationship, how your partner treats you, or about your well-being? You likely don’t have bad intentions when lying or keeping the truth from your friends and family. In fact, you probably do it to protect them or your partner.

You may not be ready to share the intimate details of your unhealthy relationship with the people in your life just yet. Or, you don’t want your family to turn on your partner if they found out about your relationship troubles. If you feel the need to lie to your inner circle about how your relationship is affecting your mental health, take note. That is a serious warning sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Bad Performance Professionally

When you’re dealing with the stress of an unhealthy relationship, it can be extremely difficult to leave your problems at home. Unhealthy relationships not only impact the relationship itself but all areas of your life. You may find yourself bringing your troubles into the workplace, which could affect your ability to focus, damaging your performance on the job.

It’s only natural if you find yourself worrying or distracted while at work when you’re dealing with a stressful personal life. It’s important to realize when the relationship stops being beneficial and bringing you joy and starts being negative and toxic. Being able to recognize this shift will help you work on your relationship or walk away.

Decreased Drive Towards Your Goals

Have you recently reflected on a time when you were excited and motivated to grind towards your goals? Maybe you were saving up for a trip to Paris that you’d always wanted to do. Or perhaps you were training to run your first ¼ marathon! If you no longer have that drive and your goals have taken a backseat since entering your relationship, it might not be a coincidence.

A lack of motivation to achieve your goals could mean that your relationship is taking a toll on your well-being and emotional state. Remember, your partner should support you and help you achieve your goals, not get in the way of them.

Unhealthy Relationships – Is it Time to Leave?

If you feel you relate to the above social effects of unhealthy relationships, you’re probably wondering how you should proceed. Perhaps you only resonate with one of the effects – is that enough to warrant ending the relationship? Or maybe you feel you and your partner are just going through a rough patch, and you know things will get better.

Express your concerns about your relationship with your partner and talk about what support you need from them. Take note of how they respond to this information. Are they engaging in the discussion? Are they willing to help fix the problems in your relationship? Or are they in denial and not open to making a change? While you might be content with your partner’s willingness to work on the relationship, they must follow through.

If your relationship is bringing feelings of stress, pressure, anxiety, insecurities, or putting your mental health at risk, it’s best if you walk away.

Harmful Social Effects of Unhealthy Relationships – Finding Support

All relationships experience problems but remember, in a healthy relationship, the good times outweigh the bad. Just know that no person has the right to control, pressure, or use you. Your health, physical and mental, should always come first!

Deciding to end a relationship, even if it isn’t healthy, is tough and can have you feeling pretty low. So don’t be afraid to reach out to the people in your life for help and support during this time. Your friends and family will be there to remind you how damn awesome you are and to stop you from Facebook stalking your ex. You got this!

For more healthy relationships and health and wellness, join our newsletter below.