If you are in a toxic relationship this post may help you examine your reasons for remaining in a toxic relationship. If you are not in a toxic relationship this is to increase your awareness to support and encourage someone who is.
We are relational creatures. We want to be emotionally and physically close to others. Life seems better shared. With those shared moments come challenges and difficulties with each other and require much effort. And maybe that’s why relationships are so hard.
Let’s be very clear, toxic relationships can exist between friends, parents, and adult children, not only intimate partners.
To define a toxic relationship, you must first know what a healthy relationship looks like. Healthy relationships involve boundaries, caring, respect, compassion, an interest in someone’s well-being, and a shared desire for each other’s growth. A healthy relationship is one where you can be yourself without judgement, contributes to your self-esteem and emotional energy.
Toxic relationships are not difficult to figure out. They are not supportive of the other and seek to undermine the other and are often in competition.
You might ask if toxic relationships are so cut and dry, why do people stay in toxic relationships? A toxic relationship is never cut and dry. You must respect yourself, and the toxic person to make a change for the better. There are so many reasons why people remain in toxic relationships. I will give you three.
- Addiction– Like any drug, addictive relationships are toxic and very powerful. When the two of you have good moments its’s good and nothing else matters. But when you fight, or you try to leave, there is the foreseeable crash. You begin to make excuses for them. Maybe he or she is not as bad as you think they are. You keep the relationship a secret. Because deep inside, as much as you hope, it will be good for you, you know it’s not. You crave their attention, despite the adverse consequences. True addiction makes it difficult to think about anything else. You’re compelled to keep seeking that relationship, even though it negatively affects you or your loved ones. The more you invest in your addiction, the harder it is to let it go
- Self-esteem – Expectations are low. They are comfortable with the status quo. They begin to normalize the situation and consider it is not that bad, allowing themselves to create an illusion that the treatment is sustainable. They do not value themselves even though they are told time and time again that they deserve better. They believe they can’t do any better, so they settle.
- Loneliness – It’s not good that man, or woman, be alone. There is a difference between being alone and being lonely. Being alone is a physical state where people are physically by themselves. Being lonely is an emotional state where you are feeling alone or disconnected from others. – even when someone is right next to you. People want to be loved and are afraid of being alone. People believe being in a bad relationship is better than not having a relationship. Being single is not a bad thing, contrary to the world’s narrative. People struggle with not having someone in their life, a partner. And they are willing to be in a relationship that is emotionally draining. Staying in a toxic relationship deprives you of the opportunity to meet someone that may be good for you. How does being alone hurt you more than remaining in an abusive relationship?
It takes two individuals to have a toxic relationship, meaning our own words and actions matter as well. It’s easy to look at someone else’s behavior, but we must look equally hard at our behavior, and we must ask, why?
Set healthy boundaries. Good relationships respect each other’s boundaries and prioritize kindness.
My Little Corner