Committing to sharing your life with someone is not an easy decision to make. It’s even more difficult to stay together in the midst of all the challenges of life. Few may start relating to the word ‘toxic relationship’.
With all the hardships, dramas and shared experiences going on, it can be difficult to see if a relationship has become abusive or toxic. Even the most level-headed person may find it a challenge to spot a toxic relationship.
When does a relationship become “toxic,” anyway?
For starters, it may be more obvious than you think. If your partner is abusive or makes you feel undervalued, then that is a sure sign you’re headed in this direction.
A toxic relationship is ridden with drama and other behaviour that keep you from feeling truly content. It also stops you from growing as a person.
The bottom line is: a toxic relationship does not make you feel safe and respected.
From an outsider’s perspective, leaving a toxic relationship might seem like a no-brainer. But for those who are in one, things aren’t as simple.
To better help us understand why it’s not always easy to cut ties, here are some unwise reasons for staying in a toxic relationship.
“This phase is normal.”
In an effort to accept your partner’s imperfections, you can consistently excuse what may be overtly harmful attitudes.
For instance, though your spouse tends to lash out and hurl hurtful words during simple arguments, you might turn the blame on yourself, thinking that his behaviour is acceptable, or even your fault.
“Everyone goes through this at some point.”
While it’s good to strive to see the best in each other, you should also make an effort to see both sides of a situation.
Yes, all couples go through rough patches. But if the cause of these difficulties is mostly your partner’s doing, then you might want to consider if your relationship is going from bad to worse.
“We have overcome so much.”
Having gone through a lot with someone can give you a sense of co-dependency that makes you overlook – even ignore – toxic behaviour.
“I have my own faults, too.”
Acknowledging one’s own shortcomings is healthy, but it’s not always wise. You have made your own mistakes, but it does not negate or justify your partner’s toxic behaviour.
“He or she is just having a bad day.”
Does your partner lash out just because things aren’t going their way?
We are all entitled to bad days, but when you let your partner blame you or say hurtful things to you, then you are fostering an unhealthy dynamic where an absence of respect becomes the norm.
“I’m so attached to his family.”
An extreme closeness to a partner’s family isn’t a valid reason to tolerate a bad relationship.
Not only is it unwise, it would also be unfair to one’s in-laws, who cherish and value you as one of their own.
“We need each other.”
Obligation should not drive someone to stay in a relationship that is no longer working out.
If your finances and assets are pooled together, it can be even more difficult to break free, knowing that you would have to start all over again.
It is not easy to leave the life you built together.
“It’s too complicated.”
This is an easy excuse when justifying why you should stay in a toxic relationship.
Not only is it dismissive to those who care about you, it also means you are brushing aside whatever problematic aspects need work just because it is too complex.
No one wants a relationship to fail, especially if there are kids involved. If you are having problems, it does not always mean your relationship is toxic.
Make sure to explore all possible avenues, to reach out to your support system and to work together to find solutions.
Leaving a toxic relationship, though often the right decision, is not one you should take lightly because it does not only affect you, but those who love you as well.
Sources: Psychology Today, Time.com, The Huffington Post
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