We can all find ourselves in relationships we have no business being in. 

Rebecca Humphries collaborated with a women’s charity to create a guide on how to spot the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

In an incident last year where comedian Seann Walsh became embroiled in controversy after he was photographed kissing his Strictly Come Dancing partner Katya Jones while still in a relationship with Humphries, her life changed.

Walsh was later accused of gaslighting Humphries for allegedly calling her a “psycho” and “mental” when their relationship ended.

In response to the controversy, Humphries published an open letter online in which she explained she wishes she’d trusted her instincts when she’d suspected “something inappropriate” may have been going on between Walsh and Jones.

The actor, who’s starred in TV shows including Hold the Sunset and Morgana Robinson’s the Agency, has now compiled a list of various phrases and actions that she deems harmful in a relationship for Cosmopolitan, with the help of national charity Women’s Aid.

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She explains that while the use of these phrases may not be reason enough to immediately break up with someone or a sign that your relationship has become toxic, it’s important to use your judgement and be aware of detrimental behaviourial traits.

The first damaging phrase Humphries mentions is one she describes as an “absolute classic” and is bound to infuriate any woman who menstruates: “You’re always mental when you’re on your period.”

“We’ve had to endure this ever since year 6 sex ed, with all the sniggering and wiggling around of tampons that went along with it,” the actor writes.

“It was as frustrating then as it is now, because it’s a Catch 22; so sexist and infuriating it warrants flying into a rage, but in doing so you’d only add more fuel to the fire – and the potential for them to feel justified.”

Other phrases featured in Humphries’ list include: “You’re not remembering it right”, “Your actions have caused my reaction”, and “You’re paranoid because of that one time in the past.”

The actor’s guide highlights the normalisation of manipulation in relationships, with some people often made to feel as though they’re somehow at fault when their partner has behaved inappropriately.

She also advises her readers to take note if their partners repeat something they’ve just said in a “different tone or inflection”, as this can “make you reassess your powers of communication”.

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Tender, a UK-based charity that works with young people to promote healthy relationships and prevent domestic abuse and sexual violence, has praised Humphries for encouraging an open discourse about unhealthy relationships.

“It is heartening to see a growing dialogue around what constitutes healthy or unhealthy behaviour in a relationship, and to see public figures like Rebecca support this by bringing these discussions into mainstream discourse,” the charity tells The Independent.

“Tender believes that healthy relationships are built on mutual trust, empathy and respect.

“When somebody is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, it can be hard to get a clear perspective on what the problems are, so informing people how to identify patterns of behaviour which cause them emotional distress, undermine their self-worth or unfairly divert responsibility for harmful behaviour is an invaluable step in the move towards a kinder, safer society.”

Humphries urges people to voice their concerns if they believe their partner may be exhibiting “toxic” behaviour, to speak openly with their partner or to confide in a trusted friend or family member.

“Again, it all comes down to intuition,” she writes in her guide.

“I would encourage you to trust yours, for in doing so you are doing your bit for relationship activism.”

Relate, a charity that provides relationship support throughout the UK, explains to The Independent how examples of gaslighting can range from subtle remarks to highly abusive comments, which is why it’s important to learn how to recognise the various forms of toxic behaviour.

“There is absolutely no excuse for gaslighting. It forms part of serious domestic abuse and is often used coercively to control the person on the receiving end,” says Ammanda Major, head of Service Quality and Clinical Practice at the charity.

“It is really important that people get the help they need to move away from such toxic behaviour. The responsibility for the behaviour lies entirely with the perpetrator and we should never hold victims in any way responsible.”

“Again, it all comes down to intuition,” she writes in her guide.

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“I would encourage you to trust yours, for in doing so you are doing your bit for relationship activism.”

Relate, a charity that provides relationship support throughout the UK, explains to The Independent how examples of gaslighting can range from subtle remarks to highly abusive comments, which is why it’s important to learn how to recognise the various forms of toxic behaviour.

“There is absolutely no excuse for gaslighting. It forms part of serious domestic abuse and is often used coercively to control the person on the receiving end,” says Ammanda Major, head of Service Quality and Clinical Practice at the charity.

“It is really important that people get the help they need to move away from such toxic behaviour. The responsibility for the behaviour lies entirely with the perpetrator and we should never hold victims in any way responsible.”

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-Independent