Relationships are complicated. It cannot be always flowers and sunshine but if it is always raining, there might be a real problem. It can be mentally draining when you are the only one to put in efforts or let go of things and be the bigger person. You might think you are doing this because it can save your relationship but it will not. There can never be a future when one of the two is not interested. Do not put up with someone who does not appreciate your presence. Let go of it before it gets turned into a toxic relationship.
What is a toxic relationship?
Dr. Lillian Glass, a Californian psychology expert, coined the term ‘toxic’. She used the term for the first time in her book ‘toxic people’, published in 1995. Accordingly, a toxic relationship is “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness.” They can drain you emotionally, mentally, and sometimes, even physically. It is not mandatory that only one of you can be toxic, sometimes, both of you are toxic for each other but not for anyone else. There can be a lack of compatibility and sometimes, emotions. Sometimes, people continue it despite knowing it’s a toxic relationship. This is mainly because they think they are together for a long time and will work it out. Give it a try, try to make things work, but if they don’t, let go.
How to identify a toxic relationship?
Identifying a toxic relationship can be tricky when you are too much in love. It can be because you are too much in love or you just don’t want to see the truth because the toxic reality feels familiar. Few signs that your relationship is toxic are:
Lack of support
A healthy couple should grow together. You should be rooting for your partner’s success. If your time together has stopped being productive or your partner has stopped being supportive, it is a sign of a toxic relationship. You will feel like they do not have your back and you feel you are on your own.
While communicating, if your partner tries to disrespect you as a joke or takes you lightly, it is time to let go. Most of your communication includes criticism, sarcasm, and belittling each other. You are no more considerate of each other’s feelings. Consequently, you even start avoiding each other. Communication is the most integral part of any relationship, if you do not have that the relationship is no longer good for you.
It can be frustrating when your partner wants to know every single detail about your day. They try to control you which is a major sign of a toxic relationship. Becoming overly upset if you do not respond to their calls and messages can be a sign of toxicity. This can also lead to physical abuse in some cases when being upset is replaced by anger.
When your partner does not pay attention to your needs and requirements, it is a sure sign of toxicity. It is impossible to find someone who is your complete replica, but when you are the only one who goes along with your partner’s wishes all the time, it can be mentally draining. It can lead to severe stress, depression, and anxiety.
There are ups and downs in every relationship. The key is to understand each other and forgive. However, if your partner constantly tries to blame you for all the things that go wrong, there may not be a path forward for your relationship. Understanding each other and letting things go is a sign of a healthy and long-lasting relationship.
How to let go of a toxic relationship?
It is very natural to be attracted to someone or something bad for you in the long run but will give you temporary happiness. To let go of it can be difficult. Here are few steps you can follow to ease up the process
Keep a track of your emotions
Being in a toxic relationship, you often juggle a lot of emotions at the same time and forget to keep track of it. Maintain a journal, create a simple entry about your emotions at that particular time and learn where you need to improve.
Being with someone for a long time makes you habituated to them. You are used to having them around all the time. If you maintain communication with them even after calling it off, you will never be able to move on from your life. How can you move on if you do not detach from it?
Letting go of someone with whom you have imagined your whole future is not as easy as it sounds. You will have days when you will regret everything and want to go back to the way it was or incredibly miss everything. There will the days when you will feel a little better and some when you feel worse. It does not sound easy but does not give up. Beyond all these difficult days, there lies happiness for you.
Reach out for support
Do not bottle up your emotions or try to run away from them. It can get overwhelming and if you feel like you cannot handle it, reach out to external support. There is no harm in reaching out to other people. If you do not trust your family and friends enough or you are not comfortable talking about your emotions with them, reach out for professional help instead.
Things can be difficult at times, especially relationships but do not forget to prioritize yourself before everything else. Take care of your physical and mental health. No one is worth deteriorating yourself for. Be it a toxic relationship with your long-time partner or abusive relationships or anything that is not good for you, do not hesitate to walk away from it. It can be emotionally overwhelming at the start but it’s going to be good for you in the long run. Focus on yourself and take care of yourself before anyone and everyone.