After last week’s blog. I wanted to take time out to dive a little deeper into the components of a toxic relationship and a few tips on how to break the cycle.
A toxic relationship is one that lacks cohesiveness, it filled with disrespect, competition, lack of support, and a need to undermine one another.
I think there is huge misconception regarding relationships having their rough patches or sticking around because you have to endure bad things to get the reward of a loving healthy relationship. However, remember a tell tell sign you are in a toxic relationship is your bad moments outweigh the good ones.
Malcom and Marie gave a great depiction of how mentally, emotionally, and even physically damaging a toxic relationship can be with yourself and others. If you could relate to that movie in anyway in your current relationship it is probably toxic.
Toxic partners can look like:
Lack of support
Lost of self , family and friends
How do you know when it is time to leave?
When you are merely surviving in your relationship and it is not thriving you need to leave. When you are dealing with emotional and physical abuse, constant criticism, lying, cheating, emotional starvation. Pay attention to that feeling of a constant heartache, a lack of security, connection or intimacy or the distance between you and your partner. If you can relate to this post that’s when you know it is time to leave.
I have to be honest; I know it isn’t easy to walk away so here are some tips to help you transition out of a toxic relationship.
Being present, in my past relationship my survival method was to go numb. I didn’t feel anything because I needed to be emotionless to survive the relationship. In order to successfully transition out of a toxic relationship. You have to be fully be present mentally in the relationship to understand the pain you are enduring will not magically go back to the way it was. Understanding the reality of just how bad things really are is the way you are going to be able to break free.
Which leads me to my next point. As you all know by now if you have been following me, I love journaling. I have journals from high school still. Keep a record of your journey, write out the highs and the lows. Look for patterns, how often things are happening, how it is impacting you mentally, physically and emotionally. The journal will help you look at the relationship from a different lens that isn’t feel with the fluff we sometimes trick ourselves with but the reality of the dysfunctional relationship.
Learn to build yourself up, affirm yourself and remind yourself you matter, what you need matters, and you deserve to be in a healthy happy thriving relationship. That starts with self.
After that write down the characteristics of a loving and healthy relationship. Three main components safety, security and respect. Read them out loud and ask yourself in the current relationship I am in, if things never change and remain the same. Do I feel, safe, protected and respected?
If you answer no this question, start planning your departure. Give yourself a timeline and work with a trusted person to help you plan your next move.
I’ll leave you with this. It isn’t easy to walk away from a relationship in general including toxic ones. Ultimately you have to decide for yourself, if this is the kind of relationship and love story, I envisioned for myself. Does this relationship diminish who I am as person, my character, if someone I loved like my mom, sister, brother or children was going through this type of relationship would I be ok with staying? 9 times out of 10 you wouldn’t so encourage yourself the way you would for others and start living, loving and enjoying life the way God intended for us.
As always readers,
Your Sista on the Sofa,