Toxic relationships are difficult to stay in and more difficult to leave.
It is like having to rip the band-aid off, you are scared to do it because you know it will hurt.
Many times, we are aware that something is wrong within the relationship, but we really cannot pinpoint what exactly it is.
Other times we have gotten so comfortable being with a toxic partner that we try to normalize their unhealthy behavior.
People ask, can you be in a toxic relationship, and it still is true love?
The answer is NO. Absolutely not.
Toxic relationships are conditional, true love is unconditional.
A toxic relationship can still stand a chance to become a healthy relationship only if both people are willing to change their behaviors to turn the relationship patterns into more healthy ones.
This is not impossible but will require hard work from both parties.
If you are thinking only the other person needs to change you might want to think again.
Usually, in a toxic relationship, there is one person who takes too much and one person who gives too much. The relationship is unbalanced.
We understand that the person who takes too much but never gives can display toxic behaviors, but the one who always is willing to give too much of themselves also has unhealthy behaviors that they need to address.
If you have overstayed in a relationship where you get mistreated or that you feel is unfulfilling, but you don’t choose to stick up for yourself then there is some self-reflecting that needs to be done.
Here are some traits and habits that are considered to be found in common toxic relationships.
If you find yourself agreeing that your partner has one or more of these traits, then you could be in a toxic partnership.
This can work both ways. Your partner needs you to do everything for them. They could depend on you financially, emotionally, and physically.
They always need to be right next to you everywhere you go, and if you are apart for a single second they need to know exactly where you are, who is there and when are you coming back.
They might even text or call you several times before you make it back to them.
You might give in to this behavior because it feels good to be needed and to have someone want you all the time.
In the beginning, it might feel good but can be draining over time.
You can’t even go to the store to buy milk without being on the phone with them the whole time because they can’t trust that you are only going to the store to buy milk.
You given up and now you just give in
There might have been a time when you would try to reason with them, but they get so emotionally out of control that you now do what it takes to keep the peace.
You could just let them rant while you stay quiet or even fib a little just to appease their temper. You are constantly walking on eggshells to not raise conflict.
No matter how much you give, it is never enough
Their demands and expectations get more and more out of control over time. They want you to give and give but cannot do the same for you.
If you do not give them what they want, they will guilt trip you into saying that you do not love and care for them. They make you feel like you are selfish if you try to say no.
At a drop of a hat you need to do what they say or give them what they want, or it is going to get ugly between you two.
There is no respect within the relationship
There are no healthy boundaries within a toxic relationship. They do want they want and say what they want, whenever they feel like it. Even if that means disrespecting you or belittling you in front of others.
When it’s about you or the relationship there is only negativity, judgments, and criticism.
It is hard for you to share intimate conversations about your hopes, fears, and dreams without being criticized or humiliated by your partner.
Although you are in a relationship, many times you might still feel emotionally alone or that you are the only one pulling all the weight.
You have no life, no time for anything else but them
They have isolated you from your friends and your family.
They make you believe that these people are no good for you or that they do not have your best interest at heart.
Your partner wants you to believe that all you need is them in your life.
They want to hold the place of your lover, your best friend, and your family.
When you try to have a conversation with your friends or family members, they get jealous and might try to get back at you later by withholding emotional intimacy or sex.
Their behavior is inconsistent
One moment they are okay and the next something minor could trigger them into starting a fight with you. They have an emotional outburst and tear you apart verbally.
If you try to even speak up, then it just adds more fuel to the fire. They will verbally attack you, degrade you and call you inappropriate names.
5 minutes later they can sweet talk to you as if nothing ever happened.
They will rarely apologize for their inappropriate behavior because in their mind they are never in the wrong.
You feel trapped
Your energy is always low, you are emotionally drained and mentally tired.
You are unhappy and always feel like you are the only one trying in the relationship, yet you cannot pull away because you love them.
You know this relationship is bad for you but thinking about actually leaving gives you anxiety.
The mix of feelings makes you feel imprisoned by this relationship.
Even though you find it hard to leave you might find yourself even daydreaming about what life would be like if you did not have to deal with them every day.
Lack of trust
There is dishonesty within the relationship and in front of the outside world.
You act like your relationship is going well or even perfect to the outside world, but behind closed doors, it is a mess.
You have caught them telling numerous lies and have lost total trust in what they say.
You might have even caught them texting and or messaging other people.
Their never happy and you are always depressed
Both of you live in your own darkness in this relationship but you still cannot pull away from each other.
Many nights it feels like you are sleeping with the enemy.
It has been a while since you have been sexually intimate, and you might even sleep in different rooms.
You have lost that spark for life and just run-on autopilot to get the day over with.
You are so drained that you have become numb to anything they throw at you.
One or both of you might even be dealing with addictions to cope.
If these traits sound similar to your relationship, then it is time to take a good hard look at the relationship.
The question at the end of the day is always about your happiness. Are you currently happy at things as they are? Why or why not?
Remember that at the end of the day your happiness is your own responsibility. You can choose to stroll through life and just take whatever life hands you or you can invest your energies into creating a life you always dreamed of.