By Chris Seiter

Updated on July 1st, 2022

It is never an easy task to look at the past mistakes your ex has made.  Sometime we want to scoot them under the rug. We make excuses for them.

Because we love them dearly, we can have a hard time accepting the ugly truth.  One such truth is that your ex girlfriend is toxic and if you keep pressing forward trying to make things work, you are going to get taken to a painful place.

What are we to do if we think our ex girlfriend is toxic?

What are the signs of a toxic ex girlfriend?

What might she be doing or saying that would lead one to think that a relationship with her is poison.

In today’s article, we are going to take a look at what makes your ex toxic and how you can be sure that she is not worth saving.

And I am going to tell you upfront that there are no easy answers to this question for lots of reasons.

All the more reason to have a sensible Ex Recovery Plan.

But for starters, let’s understand the mind of a toxic girlfriend.

5 Ways To Spot a Toxic Relationship

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You noticed that I used the word, “relationship” above in the heading.  The reason is that we need to try to get away from calling or accusing someone as being “toxic”.

Not only because that is such  loaded and controversial word, but falling into the trap of calling someone toxic really misses an important point.

My experience is that it’s not always people who are toxic, but rather the relationship they operate in.

Yes, your partner can have some toxic qualities.  They may be argumentative, even verbally abusive.  There may have been lots of fighting and unreasonable expectations.

But my experience is that it usually takes two people seeking to make things work in order for these toxic qualities to emerge.

No one sets out to be toxic or nasty.  But unfortunately, in some relationships things can turn out very badly and it can often be due to the failings of one person.

But it takes two to make it so.  The other party may not be completely immune to the chaos that is unfolding.

Nevertheless, with all this said, let’s get on with the 5 key signs that point to a toxic relationship.

1. Your Ex Girlfriend Is Constantly Criticizing and Discrediting You

You may be in an unhealthy, toxic relationship if you are the subject of constant badgering and negativity.  If hanging around your girlfriend results in her often finding things wrong about what you say or do, then you are probably on the edge of disaster.

No one likes to be picked on or bossed around.  Later we are going to get into what it feels like to have a controlling girlfriend.

But on this topic, if your partner is not lifting you up, but rather putting you down, then its likely to get worse and perhaps never get better.

2. She Is Highly Emotional and Just About Anything Can Set Her Off

Did you ever feel like you had to tip toe around your ex girlfriend on just about every topic to avoid her throwing a big fit about something.

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If you are unable to relax and enjoy some banter back and forth, without the fear of her melting down, then something is really wrong with how the two of you are interacting.

All relationships will go throw tough times.  Emotions will rise and give way to tears, anger, or a host of other emotional reactions.  But such times should be the exceptions, not the rule.

Take a step back and honestly ask yourself if you are having to make significant adjustments to avoid upsetting your girlfriend.

If you are unable to have the normal give and take with your relationship partner, then you have to accept that something is wrong.  If you have often tried to meet her halfway, only to be met with disdainful resistance, then you need to take a step back.

3. Both of You Are At Each Other’s Throats

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A toxic relationship can arise as a result of both parties indulging in their worse impulses.  The sad truth is that often when we are in the middle of conflict and chaos, we can lose sight of our own negative behavior.

Yes, it may be very true your ex girlfriend dragged you through the coals.  But perhaps you struck back in the anger department.

When its all said and down, the two of you can pull the relationship down the tubes.

4. You Feel That You Are Losing Yourself

When you find yourself immersed in a unhealthy and toxic relationship, you can easily lose yourself.  You can lose your way.

You can forget what is important and get so caught up in the day to day negativity that you lose sight of the big picture.

Why is that?

It is mostly due to the fact that most people are looking for things to get better.  You most likely invested a great deal of energy in trying to make this relationship work.  So it’s not something you will give up on easily.  After all, you love your ex girlfriend. You want it to work.  So accepting that she may not be the right person for you is hard.

You may have even bought in to her complaints that it’s “you”, that is mostly at fault, though the truth may be that she is nothing but trouble and far from your relationship savior.

It is easy to see with all of this happening how one can lose themselves…lose their bearings.

If this is what is happening to you,  just know that this shouldn’t happen in a healthy relationship.  You may be temporary blinded.

This kind of development is often a tell tale sign of being trapped in a toxic relationship.

5. Your Ex Girlfriend is Very Controlling

The other day I was talking to a client who was telling me his ex girlfriend was so controlling that he felt paralyzed, which eventually led to him resenting her.

The more she tried to pull him in, the more he tried to pull away.

Sometimes an ex girlfriend can insist on having almost everything her way.  In all other ways, she may be a really decent person.  But if you feel trapped and cannot exude your independence in ways that fulfills your on needs, then quite frankly, your relationship is slowly rotting.

Perhaps it has not become toxic to the extent that irreparable damage is being inflicted.  But a relationship on such a course could become toxic on a level of lacking personal freedom and expression.

How Do I Know That My Toxic Ex Girlfriend Is Worth Saving

not getting along

First of all, ask yourself if you really can save her.

How much do you have invested.  Is it your job to save her or is on her to lift herself up?

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Or is the situation far more complex to extent that you both bear a lot of responsibility for where things stand.

It can get complicated.  That is why having an Ex Back Plan can help a lot.

To unravel all of this complexity, you need to pull back so you can take a deep look at yourself and what is missing from your life – what has been taken away from your life – and what role you played in making some of these things happen.

It’s far to easy to lay all the blame of a failed relationship at the doorstep of our ex girlfriend.  Sure, she may be a lot to deal with.  She may not bring the best interpersonal skill set.  Her emotions may run far too high, too often.

But none of these things are necessarily relationship deal breakers.

A 12 Step Plan On Saving a Toxic Relationship

Let me give you a 12 step plan on how you should proceed if your are trying to figure out if your ex girlfriend is worth another chance.

Step 1:  Back Off

The biggest mistake you can make right now is to crowd her.  Back off and give each other some room.  Running head long into a troubled situation is seldom the cure to a serious relationship problem.  You both need time to decompress.

Step 2:  Give Her a Heads Up

Let your ex know that you need some private time to work through things.  If she responds negatively to your choice to seek out some alone time, then that is really on her.

Just know you are doing the right thing to push away from an unhealthy relationship.  There will be a time to revisit in the future.

Step 3: Look To Find Some Personal Recovery

Once you separate from an ex girlfriend who has been very difficult to deal with, then it’s time to focus on your personal healing.  You have probably been through a lot dealing with all of the chaos.  Use this time to find some peace.

I discuss this in many of my articles dealing with the No Contact Rule.

Step 4: Evaluate From a Distance If Your Ex Girlfriend Is Going Through Her Own Self Improvement Process

Everything you do, as it relates to your ex, should be from a distance.

Remember, this period of no contact is meant for both you and your ex to learn what you can each do to be the best versions of yourselves.

Though I don’t want you prying, it would be helpful to learn whether your ex girlfriend is truly making an effort to self improve.

If you are not seeing any signs of your ex seeking to be a better girlfriend, then it’s reasonable to assume that your ex is not ready to meet you halfway.

Step 5: Resume Communications

At some point in time, you will need to reach out to your ex to evaluate how far along she has come.  Is she really seeking to make self improvements?

Has she even progressed far enough to resume communications?

In my Program, Ex Recovery Pro, I teach a method in how you can best re-start communications with your ex.

Step 6: Evaluate if Communications Are Consistently Positive

This shouldn’t be difficult to assess.  The two of you are probably broke up because of a number of reasons.

But the key driver is usually a breakdown in communication.

So in order to proceed with success in mind, , it is important that your ex show that she is worthy of continued communications.

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If things start to go south, then it’s probably time to resume No Contact.

Step 7: Meet-up To Build On the Momentum

On the other hand, if communications are going well, you will want to build on the momentum.

It may be time to schedule a meet-up.  Make the first one casual. Meet at a public place, but one in which you both know and feel comfortable with.

This is NOT the time to solve all your problems.  What your aiming for is a continuation of the positive momentum the two of you built in your verbal communications.

Sometimes it takes multiple meet-ups to rebuild the trust and get that feeling back.

Step 8: Evaluate If the Meet-up Was a Positive Step in the Right Direction and Don’t Be in a Hurry

Once the meet-up is over and you have had a chance to process how it went, put aside all your biases and ask yourself if this is the person you truly want to spend the rest of your life with.

Have they made amends and expressed regrets?

Be sure not to allow the meet-up to turn into a booty call.  All the right feelings might be present, but it doesn’t take much to awaken some of the dark memories.

So your goal is to remember to take things slow and deliberate.

Step 9: Continue to Build On Meet-up Momentum

Keep going forward with you meet-ups and remember they don’t need to be knock out kind of dates.  The idea is to just let the emotions grow organically.

Time is on your side.

This is a process you don’t want to rush through.  So if it takes 3, 4, or even 5 meet-ups to help rebuild the broken trust, then by all means take the time necessary.

Step 10. Agree to an Action Plan Going Forward

As some stage, when it is evident that you are both connecting and you are wanting to go forward with the relationship, then spend some time talking about things you both can do to better the relationship.

Don’t make it complicated.  Don’t lay out a half dozen initiatives.  Just pick a few for each of you to focus on.

Step 11: Do Something Symbolic To Commemorate Your Commitment To Each Other

Sometimes it can really make a difference when you do something symbolic that reinforces that the days of toxic exchanges are over and you are now both in it together.

Celebrate that commitment.

Step 11: Set An Evaluation Date To Discuss Progress

Somewhere down the road it will be smart to agree to have an informal sit down and check on how things are progressing.

If you don’t schedule a date in advance, it likely won’t happen.

Step 12. Make Adjustments to Your Agreed Upon Plan

Lastly, no matter what you may have planned in the past, the chances are likely you will need to make some course corrections.

So be flexible with each other and be honest about what you each can do better for the sake of the relationship.	

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