What is a ‘toxic’ relationship? For me, a toxic relationship can be described as any relationship that is constantly filled with negativity that makes you question or play down your self worth. Any relationship where you feel like you have no voice or say in your own life. One where your thoughts and needs are not up for consideration. This type of relationship is often a breathing ground for constant anger, sadness, depression and resentment. If there is any joy or happiness it is often short lived and for some reason can never really last for any meaningful length of time. It is not gender specific as there are some good men out there in toxic relationships too. This is an article for anyone out there in a toxic relationship.
I have been there and I’ve seen more toxic relationships than I care to count. Looking back on my own experience I can honestly say, that I never thought my relationship was bad or ‘toxic’, just that we had some issues to work on. I did not realize the damage I was causing myself psychologically and emotionally.
Here are some of the observations I made looking back not only on my own experience but some other relationships I saw around me.
1. Always made to feel as though you are never good enough.
2. Sometimes discouraged from spending time with friends and family.
3. Always made to feel paranoid about any negative observations – even when your suspicions turn out to be true.
4. Always made to feel as though any problems the relationship has is your fault.
5. Your partner may be very secretive and not forthcoming about his or her affairs but would inquire about every detail in your life.
6. Your partner frequently apologizes for hurting your feelings but would do the same stuff over and over. This applies to physical, emotional and psychological abuse.
7. Try to numb yourself emotionally. Trying to not let the things he or she does affect how you feel but we both know that does not really work because now you’re just beating up yourself internally rather than externally making a scene.
8. Withdraw from your friends and family because they sometimes share things about your relationship that you just don’t want to hear.
9. Make tons of excuses for their behaviour.
10. Blame yourself. “Maybe if I didn’t do this or say that…” ; “Maybe if I would dress more like this …” ; “Maybe I am too sensitive or making too much of a deal about it.”
11. Always looking for ways to make them happy even though they aren’t reciprocating.
12. You are always the person making the comprises.
13. Often try to use your insecurities to control you or even create insecurities. Example: “A woman like you, should feel lucky to be with someone like me.” or “A man like you, should feel blessed to be with a woman like me.” People who truly care about you would always try to lift you up not break you down.
14. Extra moody and snapping at other people for little things rather than dealing with the real issue that is bothering you.
15. You feel drained emotionally and physically sometimes. This is because the work of constantly trying to fix yourself or the relationship is always on your mind.
I have only listed 15 signs of a toxic relationship but please note that there are other signs that the relationship you may be in, is unhealthy for you. I honestly believe that deep down we know that the situation we find ourselves in may be hurting rather than helping us.
If you are reading this and find that you can relate to any or all of these feelings or experiences, then my friend it is time to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”. This situation that you have called “home” all these years or months is not what a healthy and loving relationship should be like. I know and understand how scary the thought of having to find someone else seems, but that’s the problem – don’t focus on finding a replacement, focus on finding YOURSELF. Only then would you be truly ready for a real relationship.
I pray that you find the courage and strength to TAKE ACTION and TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. YOU are AWESOME and YOU DESERVE BETTER!! The only happiness you should be concerned with at this point is YOUR OWN.
The choice and power to fix this lies within YOU.