Are you in a toxic relationship? How do you find out if you are in a toxic relationship? This article brings you much-needed answers, rather clarifications to these questions and makes you rethink your stance on matters related to relationships, what kind of behavior can be classified as toxic (or not).
Two people in love – oh, it can seem to be a truly wonderful feeling ever, indeed you feel blessed. The feeling of being in love, being loved back, and having your feelings reciprocated can seem to be the greatest feeling ever, it gives a sense of joy that is almost euphoric.
However, if you have the constant nagging feeling within you that something is not alright, thoughts in your subconscious are telling you that things are going haywire between you two, much like the tectonic plates (invisible to the human eye) that shift below the surface of the earth and cause earthquakes that bring about massive destruction. Try to find out what is actually missing in the relationship, is it your partner, you or any other external factor. Remember, if either of the partners refuses to put some effort into maintaining the relationship can make things fall apart in a matter of minutes.
What is a toxic relationship?
All relationships are worth fighting for, till they are not. A toxic relationship is one in which either or both of the partners act in a way that is severely detrimental to the other’s mental health. There are constant fights and arguments over petty matters, and both the partners might remain consumed in their egos in such a manner that they simply refuse to acknowledge the other person’s feelings and end up hurting them even more. The two partners will ignore each other (most certainly) in private and sometimes in public as well. What prevails is unsolicited moodiness and anger, and that too, often.
A toxic relationship can no doubt, cause immeasurable damage in almost all aspects of a person’s life – the first of the most severe impacts are the mental and emotional disbalance that comes after the constant mistreatment and psychological abuse from a toxic partner, disturbances in their career as the individual’s performance in the workplace is often affected. Also, a relationship that started as a joyride that turned into a happy marriage might also turn into a dreadful nightmare and a few years and two babies down the line, you find yourself helplessly trapped, paying a large chunk of your income as monthly alimony.
Can I fix a toxic relationship, if I’m in one?
Relationships are worth the time and effort that one puts in. However, if you are almost certain that your relationship is a toxic one, it could cause harm to you in several ways and the best thing here would be not to compromise your self-respect, self-worth, and well-being for a relationship. If the relationship is toxic, it is quite possible that either or both of the partners don’t want to get back together. It might take some time, but the best thing to do here is to move on with dignity and grace.
What are the signs of a toxic relationship?
First of all, you yourself being aware that your relationship is toxic can save you in numerous ways from involuntary self-destruction. Being aware of the kind behavior that is toxic and the consistency, the intensity, and the frequency at which these occur defines a toxic relationship. Keeping yourself at bay would be the best possible solution, learn to have boundaries for yourself, know what you want, and act accordingly.
Here are some signs of a toxic relationship:
1. It never feels good:
You look at other happy couples who are having the time of their life together and truly miss that sense of contentment. If your relationship is not something that keeps you satisfied, the best thing would be to come out of it.
2. You feel trapped in a barrage of queries and suspicions:
Questions and statements become traps. “Would you go to your cousin’s tomorrow or come to the mall with me?” “You seemed to enjoy talking to that lady, who is she?” No one deserves this kind of constant mental abuse.
3. You feel like you are constantly being compared to someone:
“Oh honey, you look just like my ex, look, here’s a picture of here. Doesn’t she look familiar? Yes, I have photos of her all over the place, in my living, my kitchen, oh, and my laptop and wallet too. Did you know she really liked playing squash? One of her greatest hobbies was…”
4. You don’t find enough space to acknowledge your own needs:
After one point, you simply refuse to acknowledge your needs and requirements, simply because of the fact that it would be quite pointless. Having a strong connection with each other, validating each other’s needs, making love frequently – once you find these needs are constantly being ignored by your partner, you will, at one point, stop making amends because you know that they would turn a deaf ear.
5. There are no efforts made, sometimes from either side:
Being physically present in the relationship is sometimes not sufficient and when you literally do everything separately, there’s no use being in a relationship with this person.
6. You feel lonely:
There’s nothing worse than feeling abandoned and lonely day after day while being in the relationship. You are the only one who is doing all the work, making all the amends, and putting in all the efforts. Stop doing that. This is equivalent to self-harm, losing bits and pieces of yourself every day in the faint hope of receiving some form of reciprocation. You are enough for yourself, you always have been. Love and support yourself.
7. Abuse- Physical or verbal:
Remember, abuse in any form is unacceptable. When you are sure of the fact that you have been abused, you know it’s time to call it quits.
8. You are made small and blamed constantly for things in the past:
This is a way to viciously control and manipulate the victim who feels guilty and ashamed for things that happened in the past. Bringing up the not-so-pleasant things from the memory lane and using them as weapons to constantly attack your partner is not the sign of a healthy relationship.
9. You are left alone after a battle-again:
If a couple is strong and close-knit, it can become difficult to separate them from each other and if either of them does not have faith in the longevity of the relationship, they end up being separated. If you find yourself alone and helpless, time and again, don’t fret and most certainly don’t hesitate to bring yourself out of that situation.
10. My issues are BIGGER than yours:
Nothing feels worse than your feelings being undermined, and not being validated. “Yes you have these issues, but I have been dealing with the same problems, magnified.” “You don’t know what I’ve been through.” The problem always becomes about them, and not you. At one point in time, you find yourself engaging in a conversation about them, and you might simply wonder how the tables have turned.
11. Lies and infidelity:
These are clearly the deal breakers in any relationship possible, and most importantly, trust is lost after either of the spouses is caught cheating or trapped in their web of lies that they intricately wove. Know when enough is enough for you, and walk away before they find themselves another chance to break your trust again.
I might be in a toxic relationship, what do I do?
If the relationship is toxic enough, and harming you on a regular basis, it might be time to think things through and end the relationship for good. If you are not able to do the same, you need to set up clear boundaries for yourself. Make sure that you are not being taken advantage of in any manner whatsoever. Protect yourself, protect your energy.
The reality is that love and happiness do not always go together. It’s important that you love yourself enough, you do not lose yourself in the process of finding love, that would be the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. Have enough self-respect and self-worth for yourself, and most importantly work on your self-love. You deserve happiness, as all the others do.
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