Not all relationships have happy endings. Some relationships are bound to end at a certain point. This is common knowledge among individuals who had experienced failed relationships before. And if you happen to be one of them, you must know very well that it is never easy to admit that your relationship is failing. Accepting the fact that “it’s over” is oftentimes the hardest thing to do especially if you’re taking into consideration the number of years that you’ve been together and all the good memories that you’ve shared.
The strength and resilience of a relationship does not depend on the number of years that you’ve spent together. It is based on three important virtues which are respect, trust, and unconditional love. You must understand that no relationship is completely spared from problems, trials and obstacles. And in reality, overcoming these issues is just half the battle; maintaining mutual respect, trust and love against all odds accounts for the other half. When these are all gone, that’s when the relationship starts to fall apart.
How do you define a Toxic Relationship?
A relationship that is no longer based on mutual respect, trust and love can be considered as toxic. Moreover, toxic relationships are damaging to both parties involved and their circumstances are no longer favorable towards their betterment as individuals. Couples that are suffering from toxic relationships fight over the most trivial things, tend to inflict pain (physical or emotional) to each other and have the capacity to abuse one other without thinking about the consequences.
Recognizing the Signs that Point towards a Toxic Relationship
The act of making unreasonable and irrational demands is a red flag in every relationship. Examples are; asking your partner to quit his/her job just because you feel insecure or because you feel jealous of a co-worker, or forcing your partner to do things that are against his/her will. Respect is a crucial element of every relationship. You must recognize that, even though you are in a relationship, you are still two different individuals who want to pursue ambitions and reach certain goals. Feelings of resentment start to develop when one starts to make unreasonable demands.
Lack of Support and Appreciation
Couples who are in a toxic relationship do not support and appreciate each other. It’s either they have stopped supporting or appreciating each other at a certain point during the course of their relationship, or they never supported nor appreciated each other at all. These two factors are essential in every relationship because both partners need constant validation from each other. Furthermore, these are needed in order to establish a stronger bond and to develop a sense of security. If you feel that your partner doesn’t support you in your plans and fails to appreciate your efforts, talk to your partner right away and find a means to compromise.
Does your partner abuse you physically or sexually? Are you being abused verbally and emotionally? Does your partner have a tendency to become violent whenever you get into arguments and disagreements? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, you are indeed in a toxic relationship. These behaviors are all destructive and can inflict a lot of pain to both of you. Before things get even worse, consider getting out of the relationship. Remember that you have to respect yourself even as you love another person. Respecting yourself means never allowing anyone to abuse you in any way.
Your relationship can become extremely toxic if your partner has a tendency to get jealous without any basis. Jealousy is a sign of insecurity. If it doesn’t have any basis at all, it can be regarded as childish and immature. If you are unable to manage or control your partner’s jealousy no matter how hard you try to make him/her feel secure and loved, you will eventually feel emotionally drained. Constant bouts of nonsense and petty jealousy can lead to frequent heated arguments which can eventually cause your relationship to fall apart.
It is quite challenging to determine if the act of being overly-possessive is still a sign of love. Basically, there is a very thin line that separates possessiveness from selfishness. So if your partner tends to steal your attention away from the people and things that matter to you, it can be a clear sign of possessiveness. Example; if your partner keeps you from spending time with your friends and family and wants you to spend all your free time with him/her, this is a sign of being possessive. This attitude is very unhealthy because you are being taken away from what you love. A good partner is one who is happy whenever he/she sees that you’re happy. As the cliché says; “love is when your happiness is essential to the other”. If your partner keeps you from being happy, then you are indeed in a toxic relationship.
Existence of Psychological Problems
Mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, obsession, psychological incapacity, and anger issues can put a lot of pressure on your relationship. People suffering from these conditions require medication, psychological counseling and a strong support system. Failure to recognize the existence of these conditions can make your relationship fall apart because you don’t understand the weight of the situation. You may find yourself trying to endure the behavior of your partner not even realizing that he/she needs professional help. Seeking medical attention may save your relationship if it hasn’t been severely damaged yet. However, if your partner refuses medical intervention and falls into denial, you have every right to step out of the relationship.
“What you allow is what will continue.” This means that; if you will allow your partner to cheat on you, expect it to become a habit. Nobody deserves to be cheated on, especially those who are loyal to their partners. A cheating partner who constantly makes a fool out of you by lying and fabricating stories doesn’t deserve to be in a relationship. So never allow your partner to cheat behind your back, be brave enough to walk away and move on from this toxic and highly demeaning set up.
A Handful of Unresolved Issues
Having a number of unresolved issues can severely weaken the foundation of any relationship regardless of how strong it is. Unresolved issues leave a trail of doubt, uncertainties, feelings of unhappiness and discontent, and a lot of unpleasant thoughts. These can all create an impact to your relationship and can take their toll on your feelings. So if you have quite a lot of unresolved issues and no amount of communication can patch things up, gather up the courage to end the relationship and look after yourself first to sort out your own feelings.
Why a Happy-Ever-After is Not Always a Guarantee
A relationship that is young and new promises a lot of great possibilities. In the middle of all the promises, you will tend to forget that being in love is one thing; and staying in love is an entirely different thing.
The first few months of a romantic relationship will mark the most blissful days of your life when everything seems to be falling into place; and you and your partner always see things eye to eye. However, as you go along, you will start to realize that being in a relationship is not exactly a walk in the park after all. As you come into terms with your individual differences, you also suddenly realize that the qualities you used to adore about your partner are starting to annoy you. Eventually, you feel that your relationship starts to plateau and you realize that your level of passion seems to be not as intense as it was before. This is the point where you begin to recognize that something is wrong with your relationship.
All relationships go through rough times. Some couples can somehow manage to make it through; but there are some who choose to let it end. There is really no right or wrong decision when it comes to love. Only you can fully assess the weight of the situation based on how you feel and with consideration to the severity of your personal issues and circumstances. Keep in mind that not all relationship problems are the same; and there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all type of advice. Each relationship problem is unique and no one has the authority to deal with it but the two persons involved. Moreover, it takes a great deal of maturity and rationality to be able to come up with the best decision that is amenable to both parties.
Finding Your Way Out
At some point, while you’re within a toxic relationship, you would come to realize that enough means enough. So gather up your courage and take the next crucial step. Get out of the relationship as soon as you feel that the situation is already weighing down on your shoulders and is totally exhausting you. This is the only way you can win yourself back. Here are some pieces of advice you might need to carry on your way out;
- Never look back
Just walk away from your toxic relationship and focus on your new path. Don’t be blinded by your uncertainties because you still have your while life ahead of you.
- Leave the excess baggage
Try your best to leave all bad memories behind. Let go of the pain and frustrations because you deserve to collect new and more pleasant memories as you go on living your life.
- Start a new chapter
Living your life is comparable to reading a book. You cannot finish a book without turning its pages and closing its chapters. Therefore, to move on with your life, you have to leave the past in the same way that you turn the pages.
- Aim for proper closure
When the time is right, ask for proper closure and find a way to forgive each other. A failed relationship doesn’t define both of you. Proper closure can put an end to all your doubts and uncertainties. It also paves the way for both of you to finally find your peace and happiness.
End Note: Embracing the End of a Chapter
If you feel that your relationship is no longer helping you become a better person, then you should start thinking about finding your way out. Your personal relationship should always bring out the best in you. It is meant to help you become more loving, more compassionate and more considerate of others. Moreover, a healthy relationship is one that is genuinely supportive of your endeavors and is encouraging enough to allow you to pursue your passion so you can become a better version of yourself.