Toxic relationships will inflict great wounds on people, families, and workplaces, but they are not necessarily the territory of the weak, the downtrodden, or the insecure.
Strong, healthy, independent people can find themselves in the grip of a toxic relationship.
Likewise, relationships that seem to start off strong because “wow, we’re in love” can dissolve into nothing but ashes and legal fees that could buy a castle on the River Seine if they weren’t being used to split half of yours. assets.
They change and grow.
Sometimes they run out.
We never know how things will turn out when each other’s less-lovable habits start showing up publicly or under the influence.
Some relationships are totally wrong from the start (‘Honey,’ you’re so beautiful.
You are the image of my ex.
Look, here’s her picture.
You can have this one.
I have a lot – in my wallet, as my screen saver, on my nightstand, at my mom’s house, in my office, on my fridge, and yes, everywhere.
Sometimes I just, like, hold the picture in front of me and run back and pretend it’s chasing me.
Want some tequila, baby?’) Some start with promises and all the right ingredients, but at some point, the right ingredients are replaced by resentment, jealousy, and heartache.
We love love.
Of course yes.
Love takes us to joyous, lofty heights that we never want to descend from, but the same heart that can lead us to a euphoria of love can trip us up and make us fall into something more toxic.
The hot pursuit of love can be blinding.
Worse still, sometimes it’s not until you have two kids and an apartment rent or installment that you realize something has been missing for a while and that something is you.
What Is A Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness, and the way you see yourself and the world.
A toxic person floats through life with a trail of broken hearts, broken relationships, and broken people behind them, but toxic relationships don’t necessarily end that way because the person you fell in love with turned out to be toxic.
Relationships can start out healthy, but bad feelings, bad history, or long-term unmet needs can fester, polluting the relationship and changing the people in it.
This can happen easily and quickly, and it can happen to the strongest people.
Can I Fix This Relationship?
All relationships are worth fighting until they’re not worth it anymore.
In a toxic relationship, there will always be consequences:
- moodiness, anger, and unhappiness become the norm;
- you avoid each other more and more;
- work and relationships outside the toxic relationship begin to suffer.
If the relationship is toxic, it’s highly likely that all the fighting in the world won’t change anything because one or both people have changed emotionally.
Maybe they were never really there in the first place, or not in the way you needed them to be.
Worse yet, if your relationship is toxic, you will be more and more hurt and spoiled if you stay in it.
Struggling to hold on to something that isn’t struggling to hold on to you will ruin your psyche.
Sometimes the only thing left to do is let him go with grace and love…
and move on.
What Are The Signs I’m In A Toxic Relationship?
Being aware that the relationship is toxic is vital to protecting yourself from deep frustrations.
Staying in a toxic relationship is keeping your hand hovering over the self-destruct button.
Not all toxic relationships are easy to let go of, but being aware of the signs will make it easier to regain your power and draw a bold, heavy line around what’s allowed in your life and what’s closed.
Toxic behavior exists on a spectrum.
All people and all relationships do some of these things sometimes – but that doesn’t make them toxic.
A toxic relationship is defined by consistency, intensity, and harm.
Here are some of the signs.
It looks bad. All the time.
You go to sleep badly and wake up badly just the same.
You look at other couples doing happy couple things and feel the envy.
Why can’t this kind of love happen to you?
It can, but first, you need to clear the path to find it.
Leaving a relationship is never easy, but staying too long in a toxic relationship will ensure that any strength, courage, and trust in you is destroyed.
When that happens, you’re stuck.
You Are Constantly Prepared For The ‘Prank’.
Sometimes you already expect the worst.
Sometimes you wouldn’t even see it if it was lit up with stadium floodlights.
Questions become traps.
(‘Well, would you rather hang out with your friends or stay home with me?’) Statements become traps.
(‘You seemed to enjoy talking to your boss tonight.’) The relationship is a jungle and somewhere along the way you’ve turned into a hunting target in a fur suit.
It’s impossible to go forward like that.
Everyone makes mistakes, but yours are used as proof that you’re not too invested, wrong, too dumb, too much.
The only thing you really are is too good to be treated like that.
You Avoid Saying What You Need Because It Just Doesn’t Make Sense.
We all have important needs in relationships.
Some of the great needs are connection, validation, appreciation, love, and affection.
When those needs are mocked or ignored, the emptiness of that unmet need rings like an old church bell.
If your attempts to talk about what you need end in a fight, an empty promise, accusations of neediness, insecurity, jealousy, or madness, you either bury the need or resent that it continues to be ignored.
Either way, it’s toxic.
There is no Effort.
Being on the dance floor doesn’t make you a dancer, and being physically present in a relationship doesn’t mean there is an investment in that relationship.
Sometimes doing things separately is healthy, but as with all healthy things, it’s too much.
When there is no effort to love her, spend time with you, and share the things that are important to you, the relationship stops giving and starts taking too much.
There comes a time when the only way to respond to ‘Well, I’m here, aren’t I?’ is ‘Yes, but it would be better if you didn’t’.
All work, love and commitment come from you.
No one can maintain a relationship together when you’re the one doing the work.
It’s lonely and exhausting.
If you can’t get out of the relationship, give what you need to give, but don’t give more than that.
Let go of the fantasy that you can make things better if you try hard enough, work hard enough, say enough, and do enough.
Stop. Just stop.
You are enough.
You were always enough.
When ‘No’ Is A Dirty Word.
‘No’ is an important word in any relationship.
Don’t remove no from your vocabulary, even in the name of love – especially not in the name of love.
Healthy relationships need to be committed, but they also respect the needs and wants of both people.
Communicating what you want is just as important to you and the relationship as communicating what you don’t want.
A loving partner will respect that you won’t agree with everything he says or does.
If you’re only accepted when you’re saying ‘yes’, it’s probably time to say ‘no’ to the relationship.
And if you’re worried about the gap you’re leaving, buy your future ex-putty.
The Score Card. Let Me Show You How Wrong You Are.
One of the glorious things about being human is that making mistakes is part of what we do.
It’s how we learn, how we grow, and how we discover people who don’t deserve us.
Even the most loving and committed partners sometimes do stupid and hurtful things.
When these things are repeated, it slowly kills even the healthiest relationship and keeps the “guilty” person small.
At some point, there has to be a decision to move on or leave.
Having shots continually fired at you based on past mistakes is a way of controlling, shaming, and manipulating.
Healthy relationships nurture your strengths.
Intoxicants focus on your weaknesses.
There’s A Battle – And You’re On Your Own. Again.
You and your partner are a team.
You need to know that whatever happens, you have each other’s support, at least publicly.
In healthy relationships, when the world starts to throw stones, the couple comes together and strengthens the wall around each other.
Toxic relationships often see one person acting alone when it comes to public criticism.
Likewise, when attempts are made from outside the relationship to divide and conquer, the couple is divided and conquered as easily as if they were never together.
Physical or Verbal Abuse.
Passive-aggressive behavior is an indirect attack and a cowardly attitude to take control.
Toxicity lies in robbing you of your ability to react and in issues to be addressed directly.
The attack is subtle and often disguised as something else, such as anger disguised as indifference “I don’t care”; manipulation disguised as permission ‘I’ll stay home alone while you go out and have fun’, and the worst – a villain disguised as a hero: ‘You look very tired.
We don’t need to go out tonight.
You stay here and cook dinner and I’ll have drinks with Silvia, okay?
She is devastated because her vacation has been postponed.’
You know the action or behavior was designed to manipulate or hurt you because you can feel the scratch, but it’s not obvious enough to react to the real problem.
If it’s worth getting upset, it’s worth talking about, but passive-aggressive behavior stops any possibility of that.
Nothing Is Resolved.
Every relationship will have its problems.
In a toxic relationship, nothing gets resolved because any conflict ends up in an argument.
There is no confidence that the other person has the ability to safely handle the problem and preserve the connection.
When that happens, needs are buried, and in a relationship, unmet needs always fuel resentment.
Whatever You’re Going Through, I’m Going Through Worse.
In a healthy relationship, both people need their turn to be supported.
In a toxic relationship, even if you need support, the focus will always be on the other person.
“Honey, I know you’re really sick and can’t get out of bed, but it’s so stressful for me because now I have to go to the party alone.
Next Saturday, I choose what we’re going to do. OK?
[sad emoji, balloon emoji, heart emoji, other heart emoji, lips emoji]’.
Privacy? What Privacy?
Unless you’ve done something with your partner that you shouldn’t, like, forget you had a partner on ‘Single Saturday’, then you deserve to be trusted.
Everyone deserves some level of privacy and healthy relationships can trust that it won’t be misused.
If your partner constantly scans your receipts, phone bills, and text messages, it shows a toxic level of control.
You are an adult and do not need constant supervision.
The Lies. Oh, The Lies!
Lying and cheating will dissolve trust as if it never existed, to begin with.
Once trust is gone, it’s hard to get it back.
It may come back in moments or days, but it’s likely to always feel fragile – just waiting for the wrong move.
A relationship without trust can turn strong, healthy people into something that is unnatural – insecure, jealous, and suspicious.
The toxicity of this lies in the slow erosion of trust.
Sometimes all the effort in the world fails to repair trust when it is badly damaged.
Know how to give enough.
It’s not your fault the trust was broken, but it’s up to you to make sure it won’t be broken next time.
Big Decisions Are For Important People. And clearly, you are not one of them.
If you’re sharing your life with someone, it’s critical that you have a say in the decisions that will affect you.
Your partner’s opinions and feelings will always be important, and so will yours.
Your voice is important.
A loving partner in the context of healthy relationship values your thoughts and opinions, don’t pretend they don’t exist or assume theirs are more important.
I Think I May Be In A Toxic Relationship. And now?
If it’s toxic, it’s changing you and it’s time to let go or build a really big wall.
Be very clear about where the relationship starts and where you start.
Keep your distance emotionally and think of it as something to be managed rather than something to be overcome or understood.
Look for patterns and triggers.
Then be aware of what is good and what is not.
Above all, know that you are strong, complete, and important.
Don’t buy into any shy, closed-minded impulse that makes you believe otherwise.
You are awesome!
And finally …
There are many reasons why you might end up in a toxic relationship, none of which have to do with the strength of character or courage.
Sometimes the toxicity builds up and pushes you aside, and by the time you realize it, it’s too late – the cost of starting may seem too high or there may be limited options.
Toxicity in any relationship makes no sense.
In an attempt to make sense of it, you may blame history, circumstances, or your own behavior.
The truth is, none of that matters.
It doesn’t matter where the toxicity comes from or why it exists.
Love and happiness don’t always go together.
The world would be a lot smoother if they walked, but it just doesn’t happen that way.
Love can be a little liar sometimes.
The same can happen with commitment.
Staying in a relationship should never have ‘getting lost’ as one of the conditions.
You are too important for that.
It’s important to make sacrifices in relationships, but your happiness, self-esteem, and respect should always be at the top of the list – always.
If a relationship is built on love, it nourishes, restores, replenishes, and revives.
It doesn’t decrease.
It is not cruel and never violates a warm and open heart.
Everything you need to be happy is in you.
When you’re with someone who smothers those precious parts of you, be aware of the damage they’re doing.
You don’t owe him anything, you owe everything to yourself.
You deserve to thrive and feel safe and you deserve to be happy.