Why do we sometimes find ourselves unable to walk away from a toxic, abusive or damaging relationship?
Why do we tend to ignore the red flags when they rise above the surface?
And why are we attracted to it in the first place?
Every relationship goes through the typical cycle of ups and downs, that is normal.
What’s not normal is a relationship that is clearly draining, unpleasant and detrimental to one another, to the point where the negatives outweigh the positives.
A toxic relationship can be displayed in physical or emotional abuse. Intentional and unintentional.
A good relationship makes you feel happy, respected, cared for and free to be yourself unapologetically.
There is no school degree in life on how to deal with a toxic relationship or even how to spot one, so I will tell you for free and give you the tools on how to tackle this.
Here are five common toxic traits in a relationship.
Get your tissues ready, we’re about to get deep:
The scoreboard behaviour: Dating someone who continues to blame you for past mistakes is not healthy behaviour. Some may see this a normal but this is not. This person continues to bring up all past problems, mistakes and insecurities at any chance given. This often makes your partner feel like anything they do is never good enough.
Why is this Toxic: This can lead to your partner to feel unworthy, depressed and distressed. Not a week goes by where you are not reminded how much of a terrible person you potentially are. Both partners only see the worst in each other and never any good. Eventually bitterness and guilt starts cooking and end up creating an unpleasant meal.
2. Holding you emotionally hostage behaviour: As humans, we naturally crave companionship. This can become a massive con when it comes to relationships. It is easy to make your partner feel like they will be alone forever if you walk out the door. If your partner feels like you are heavily dependent on the relationship, they may use it to their advantage when an argument comes up.
Why is this Toxic: This can cause emotional distress at the thought of the relationship hanging on a very thin thread. It is important that both people are able to communicate about any issues they may have without it threatening the relationship itself.
3. The overly jealous behaviour: Getting angry and possessive over your partner calling, talking, hanging out with other people is not cute at all. This behaviour can lead the person to become extremely controlling about everything their partner does. Moving on to insane behaviour such as hacking emails, stalking your partner, recording their calls, going through their phone etc.
Why is this Toxic: People may mistake this for some form of affection but this wrong. This behaviour is controlling, possessive and very worrying. The lack of trust creates dramas, fights and unnecessary behaviour. It is important that the foundations of a healthy relationship contains trust and clear communication. You don’t want your partner to feel they cannot be free to be who they are.
4. I’ll buy you stuff to cover up our issues behaviour: It is vital to deal with any issues and conflict that comes up in a relationship. Some people in relationships would prefer to avoid it and cover it with expensive gifts and getaways. A relationship fails when there is no communication. Brushing things under the rug will only lead to problem coming back up ten times worse.
Why is this Toxic: No one is ever held accountable for the problems in the relationship. At first, this would not be seen as a toxic trait but as times goes by and the problems start piling up. Both people in the relationship begin to wonder how the relationship made such a bad turn. When they were avoiding their issues, it felt ok in the moment. Deal with your issues head on. Communicate for the sake of love!
5. The violent and unacceptable behaviour: No one has the right to put their hands on you, NOT EVEN YOUR PARTNER! If the only way your partner knows how to communicate is by placing their hands on you then it is time to leave. We understand it is much easier said than done. But seeking help will break the cycle that could potentially even lead to you losing your life. A controlling, aggressive and harmful relationship is not what you signed up for and definitely what you do not deserve.
Why is it Toxic: BECAUSE IT IS! You deserve love and happiness in a relationship, not broken bones and bruises. It is time to seek help and leave.
A toxic relationship can cost you dearly in time and energy that you could be putting in something much better.
Stay true to yourself and your values, listen to your heart, and be strong if you need to remove yourself from the relationship. Maybe it is time to spend some time on you and love you again.
Support is not far from home. Below are helplines that will cover you in any situation you may be going through.
National Domestic Violence - 24 Hours Helpline for Women: 0808 2000 247. The Helpline can give support, help and information over the telephone, wherever the caller might be in the country. The Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential. Translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.
Relate – Help with common relationship problems, help with sex, free counselling. Offering advice, sex therapy, workshops, meditation and consultation, over the phone, face-to-face or through the website.
9 Subtle Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship: https://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/toxic-relationships/
35 Signs You're in a Toxic Relationship: https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/35-signs-youre-in-a-toxic-business-relationship.html
6 TOXIC RELATIONSHIP HABITS MOST PEOPLE THINK ARE NORMAL: https://markmanson.net/toxic-relationship-habits
Why Some Men Can’t Leave a Toxic Relationship: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-some-men-cant-leave-a-toxic-relationship-lbkr/