What is a toxic relationship? A toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by insecurity, dominance, violence on the part of a toxic partner you are romantically involved with.
Relationships are important and inevitable unless you are a monk, priest or a nun. Even nuns have a relationship with God. However, a toxic relationship is nothing close to a healthy relationship. A toxic relationship is mind draining and not only does it cause you emotional pain but it can also hike your stress levels and mess with your mental health.
The honest truth is relationship is hard work. So a working adult/teenager is shuffling multiple jobs if he/she is in a romantic relationship. You fight, you make up, you get drawn to misunderstandings and you find ways to settle them. But when you constantly go through this, what you have is a TOXIC relationship!
Relationships don’t usually start off as being toxic, it develops over time due to your past experience or your partner’s personality. It comes with challenges but people in a toxic relationship are constantly unpleasant and drained.
A California-based Communication and Psychology expert, Dr Lillian Glass, in her book ‘Toxic people’, defines a toxic relationship as “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.”
Now how do you know you are in a toxic relationship? What are the warning signs you should look out for?
Although there are other signs, but the early signs you should notice is a sense of unhappiness, any form of abuse, violence or harassment.
WARNING SIGNS IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
Lack of trust: Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship and when there is an absence of it, it brims jealousy, insecurity and domestic violence in some cases. When he or she constantly questions your movement and daily activities, RUN!
Hostile atmosphere:- You’re in a toxic relationship when you experience constant anger from your partner. If he/she is always angry, throws tantrums, or makes you do crazy things, brings out the worst in you, the relationship is toxic.
Downsize your self worth:- Does he try to lower your high standard of everything? Does he/she call you names to make you feel useless? Do they say you can’t be great even when you try. Do they shut you up when you ask for opinions? If yes, that’s toxic. A healthy relationship will always support you, lead you right at all times.
Brimming with envy:- He/she doesn’t appreciate you, that’s fine! But he/she envies your success. Want to be better than you all times just to prove a point. He/she envy that you were promoted at work while they are still stuck on one position for years. He question your salary so bad you don’t even want the job anymore.
Shortage of autonomy:- If you are in a relationship and you can’t say no to his/her desires or demands, you are in a toxic relationship.
Gaslighting:- When they manipulate you all the time into believing they are right, and it messes with you psychologically. A toxic person will always see things right from his/her perspective and will always try to convince you otherwise, ignoring your opinion.
Dishonesty:- His lies keep piling up and you catch him in it every time. She is familiar with cheating and infidelity that you are beginning to think they are sisters.
They are controlling:- A toxic partner will always control your movement, your daily activities even in the bedroom. They want it their way all the time.
Narcissism:- They are full of themselves and see to their needs first. It has to be for them only. Yours don’t matter to them.
Jealousy:- Jealousy in a relationship is normal but over doing it is draining. You as a partner in a toxic relationship constantly watches your every move so it doesn’t appear bad to your spouse.
We can only be sincere with ourselves to say we have experienced at least one or more of the signs listed. There’s no perfection in a relationship and the first mistake you make is believing there is.
The question now should be, what can be done?
It’s very easy for relationships to go south after trying several times but what happens when it evolves into marriage. Will you leave?
FIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
You need to know what’s happening to you. Accept the fact that you are not happy in the relationship. Admit you are in a toxic relationship.
Tell the truth
No matter who the person is, learn to stick to the truth. Tell them how you feel about the relationship, it doesn’t have to come with a fight. You don’t have to lie to please them, learn to say ‘no’ and ‘yes’ when necessary.
Take a deep breath
You as a partner in the relationship should see the triggers (warning signs) when it’s about to go hot between you both. Instead of trying to argue or explain, just take few steps back, take a breath and avoid it. It helps!
Learn to forgive your spouse when he/she realises their faults. Keeping grudges will only complicate issues. It will build up, stress you out and mess with your mental health.
You shouldn’t wait till you are dead mentally, physically and psychologically. Move your body and soul from the relationship. Get busy! Find new hobbies, get good distractions and move on!
A negative shift in the way you reason, how you see your self-esteem change within the period, degrading mental health is a toxin in the system and you need to flush them out.