Disclaimer: I can only speak on my experiences, I am not an expert on this topic. I’ve just known some pretty toxic people.
First things first, let’s talk about some characteristics of a toxic relationship:
- You find that most of your conversations turn into arguments/shouting matches, especially if your partner is the one doing the shouting.
- You’re never “allowed” to truly express how you are feeling without your partner getting upset and/or shutting down.
- They do ALL the talking.
- It ALWAYS has to go their way
- You find yourself giving in to their demands more often than not.
- Always keeping tabs on you (knowing where you are at all times)
- They are constantly checking your phone, etc.
- They try to alienate you from your friends & family.
- They are constantly making you feel like you’re not good enough.
- Nothing you say/do is right.
- They make you feel like the problem lies solely within you, nothing they do is wrong.
4. Feeling Threatened
- Constantly feel uneasy around them.
- Feeling like you are always walking on eggshells.
- You know that at any moment they can spark off over the smallest thing.
Why I’m sharing my experience?
I’ve been in an extremely toxic relationship in the past, so trust me I know how hard it is to leave. The reason I want to share my experience is that I wish I would have known then what I know now, I deserved better. I knew my relationship was toxic, but the thing about those relationships is that the other person knows how to make you feel hopeless and dependent on them. You begin to think that they are the only person you will ever love, there is no one else better (trust me when I say THERE IS!).
How to decide when to leave?
Honestly, I prayed on it. I was tired of crying, feeling sad & getting hurt. I just prayed & said that if that wasn’t the relationship for me to please send me a sign. Here’s the thing though, I was sent plenty of signs previously and I still stayed. So this time I knew if I was going to be done, I was done. If you are noticing any of the characteristics I listed above, then it is probably time to ditch this relationship. You have to remember your worth. It doesn’t matter what the person says to you or how much they try to bring down your self-esteem, remember you are the shit! It also helps if you have a great support system. Let your close friends/loved ones in, tell them you’re going to need a lot of support during this rough time. Having a great support system was a major key for me.
Is it okay to cry?
Hell yes! I’m a firm believer in crying things out. Crying is a great way to release those built up emotions. Once you are done crying, pick yourself back up. Now it’s time to work on yourself, inside & out. It’s important to work on building your self-esteem back up, remember you’re the shit! Reading plenty of positive quotes helped, I posted them all around my house. I had some much needed quiet time ( just me & my thoughts). I worked on the outside as well, I got a haircut. Started taking better care of my skin, I cut out a lot of junk food as well. Some people like to pick up a hobby, start working out, these are all good things to help you on the road to healing. The first step to feeling good is looking good!
This step takes the most time (something I continue to work on every day). Every wound needs time to heal, and a heartbreak is no different. This requires you to be completely raw & honest with yourself, and those close to you. Opening up about being in a toxic relationship is tough. I remember trying to hold everything in after my break-up & still feeling angry. I was scared to talk about how I was feeling because I didn’t want to be judged. Like I said earlier, I knew my relationship was toxic but I put up a huge front. I had to get over feeling embarrassed & just be honest. So during this time, you will cry some more (this is fine!).
If you are done, be done!
Don’t leave the door of communication open for that person. If you continue to communicate that helps them weasel their way back into your life, don’t allow it. If you are serious about letting go of that toxic energy you have to stick to your guns, I know it’s not easy but you will be much happier in the end. You have to remember if a person really wants to change for the better they don’t wait until you threaten to leave to change.
If your partner has ever hit you or threatened you physically, please reach out to someone. You should never feel threatened by anyone, especially not someone who claims to love you.
The National Domestic Hot-line” 800-799-7233