How to come out of a toxic relationship

Relationships can sometimes turn toxic. Learn to recognise signs of a toxic relationship and how you can help yourself get out of the situation. Is it worth being in a bad relationship or are you more important?

Many women continue in a toxic relationship because they know no better. Things will change, but he does love me etc. are thoughts that flood the mind and prevent taking that vital decision to walk away. A toxic relationship is not just about physical abuse or domestic violence. Any action by a partner that makes you feel less competent is a sign of a toxic relationship.

If your partner controls your every decision, like whom you can and cannot meet or what you can eat or wear, then your controlling partner is toxic. If your partner flings that plate of dinner that you just served him, remember it's not your fault. If your partner belittles you in front of family and friends, question yourself if he's worth your love and attention.

This article is a compilation of thoughts and views gathered from a recent symposium that the author attended, as part of a women empowerment meet. The author hopes it will help women recognise a toxic relationship, instead of suffering in silence and believing everything to be their fault. They have options which they should explore.

A relationship is supposed to bring fulfilment and meaning to your life. Well, that is what everyone says. You get into marriage or a relationship expecting a rosy future. You realise that there will be teething problems and a lot of ups and downs, but in all the problems and the chaos, you also expect love – blissful love.

Ask any married couple or a couple in a serious relationship if they love each other and rarely will you have someone deny loving their partner. It would be blasphemous to tell the world what they really feel about their partner.

Let's face it, not everyone in a relationship (married or otherwise) is completely content. There are bound to be flaws and differences in every relationship, but people learn to iron out those differences and overlook the flaws. They make the relationship work, by being stronger and accepting the bad with the good. After all, marriages and relationships are for better or for worse.

But what if you are fooling yourself into believing, a toxic relationship, to be one of love?

If a relationship forces you to lose your identity, if you are compelled to become someone other than who you are, you might be in a toxic relationship. If the relationship gives you more tears than happiness then it is time for some serious 'soul-searching'.

What is love

Love is a beautiful feeling; it continues to provide a sense of contentment, much after the initial spark has died. Your partner remains your biggest ally, your support system – someone who stands by you in thick and thin. They help smoothen out differences and not be the one causing a rift. Just being around such a partner, knowing that they're around, provides you with a sense of security.

What love is not

But, if your partner's presence makes you edgy, then something is not quite right. If you are the one making all the adjustments or if you feel caged in the relationship and don't have a say in any matter, then you may be in a toxic relationship. It is better to end such a relationship than letting yourself be killed each day.

Give your relationship your all and if it is not working talk to your partner, seek professional help, if things are really bad, but also know that you cannot continue persecuting yourself just to keep a relationship alive.

Learn to read the signs of a toxic relationship and when it's time to say goodbye.

Being in denial is your biggest enemy

Women often remain in denial and refuse to accept that they are trapped in a bad relationship. Being in denial is not going to help you. If all your attempts at bettering the relationship have failed, then nothing more can be done.

Don't believe that things will be better someday or that the bad part in the relationship is just a small piece of something good and that you are actually happy. That is what I call being in denial. Ask yourself if you are really content or are you living in a make-believe world where you think you are happy.

Gauge your emotional state

Your emotional health can often mirror what you are going through in your personal life. Are you overly anxious all the time? Do you often wonder 'why?' Does your partner belittle you and treat you like garbage? Do feelings of depression take over?

Letting yourself become an emotional wreck is not going to do you any good. If your partner is the reason for your emotional turmoil then it's time you think of taking a break from all the anguish that he is causing you.

Look for the light

Look for that light at the end of the tunnel. Being in a toxic relationship is like being sucked into a dark quagmire, from which there is perhaps no escape. Your life is your own and you owe it to yourself to make it a happy one. Staying on in a bad relationship should not be the only choice that you have.

Look at the positives of ending a bad relationship, instead of just focusing on the negatives. Society won't accept it is a negative. You'll be happier is a positive.

There are always positives and negatives in any decision you make. When you list out the good points you'll realise that it is in your best interest to come out of a bad relationship and make it that much easier to end all ties with your partner.

What next?

All relationships leave an indelible mark on you. Walking out is not easy because you'll be cutting ties with someone who has been a huge part of your life. You will feel a vacuum because, someone who was there, is no longer in your life. It takes time to adjust to the change – you may also be bogged down by guilt. Questions will pop in your head – "Did I act in haste?" "Did I do the right thing?"

When that happens, distract yourself – occupy yourself in things that make you happy. Take up a hobby, start a little garden. In short keep, yourself engaged, instead of letting questions nag you.

Time to focus on yourself

Now that you are out of a toxic relationship, don't wallow in self-pity. Work on yourself. Improve your personality. Do things you always wanted to do. Surround yourself with positive people, family and friends who will help you pick up the pieces and instil confidence in you.

This will be a difficult period but remember you have been through worse. Practice things that boost your image and make you feel better.

Seek inspiration

There are thousands of women who have overcome all odds and built successful lives. Women who came out stronger despite the difficult times they had faced. Read their stories and find inspiration in their stories.

If they could do it, so can you. All you need is that little spark, that tiny ray of hope and a belief in your own abilities. Don't let anything stop you. Remember, you have it in you to live your dreams and to take on the world.

Treat yourself good

Whatever happened to you was not your fault. Do not let anyone have you believe that you deserved what you got. You, like everyone else, deserve love and respect and if your partner fails to give you either, then they don't deserve you.

Make yourself a priority, instead of living with regret. You do not have to sacrifice every dream or change yourself in order to become someone else's priority. You do not need to seek constant approval or live in fear. Take a step to liberate yourself. You are a beautiful person, always believe that and you deserve a better life.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 552 articles authored by Juana

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Author: Swati Sarnobat30 Jul 2018 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

Really inspiring article! This kind of situation is really relevant in collectivist countries, where one partner bears any type of behaviour of the other partner because they believe that the relationship is permanent. But, they should remember that they are affecting the lives of the next generation. Their children become suppressed. If the partner must undertake a drastic step to preserve their identity they should revolt and just not keep quiet because the temporary pain can transform their life or else they would only suffer and lose their identity one day.

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