Toxic Relationships

Identifying & Breaking from A Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships can be difficult for anyone; however, a toxic relationship can be especially damaging and detrimental to a person suffering from mental health issues. What’s worse is that these types of relationships can invade all aspects of our lives, including friendships, romantic relationships, employment relationships, and even relationships within families.

I have dealt with my share of toxic people and I’ve realized that although it is difficult to break free of these relationships, it is crucial that it be done in order to move forward.


What is a Toxic Relationship?

A toxic relationship is one that’s destructive, it causes physical and/or emotional pain. The person causing pain may not even be aware that they’re doing it.
I’ve been in toxic relationships where both of us were constantly arguing and hurting. It wasn’t intentional and I truly believe that we both cared for one another; however, caring for someone doesn’t mean that you sacrifice your well being for them.

Can a Toxic Relationship be Fixed?

Possibly. If a relationship is toxic and you’re able to identify and accept that that’s what it is, you can take steps to try fixing it. You could try couple’s therapy or research other methods of repairing the relationship. It will be a lot of hard work and both parties need to be willing to do their best. If you find that you have a problem and you try to fix it over and over without success, and you know that you’ve given it your all, you need to start considering whether it’s best for you to move on or not.

Unfortunately, there are cases where trying to repair the relationship is actually more damaging. You need to sit down and figure out whether the person you’re fighting to keep is really worth it. It may sound harsh but not everyone is worth your time. Some people are cruel and manipulative; they take pleasure in hurting others. If that’s the type of toxic person you’re dealing with, put yourself first. It’s ok to want what’s best for you.

Breaking Free

Once you’ve decided that breaking free of the toxic relationship is necessary, you need to be strong. Remember that you’re doing this for yourself and your well being.

The most important thing to help you break free is to realize that you’re worth it. I know that sounds rather cliché but it’s true. When you don’t value yourself, you will allow others to hurt you over and over. Sadly, self hate is one of those things that seems to go hand in hand with depression. Alot of the time, you know that you shouldn’t hate yourself and you know that you are a good person… but there’s a little voice in your head that tells you otherwise. You need to fight that voice and tell yourself that you’re worth more. Once you start to value yourself, you’ll understand that you shouldn’t put up with a toxic relationship and the reason that you’ve been doing so isn’t just that you care for this person who is hurting you but you’re possibly staying with them out of fear.

For me, it felt like being in a bad relationship was better than the alternative of being alone, until I realized that it wasn’t. That toxic relationship was beginning to affect various aspects of my life, including home and work.

I struggled to break free because I would pull away only to make contact with this person and fall right back into the same abusive routine. I realized eventually that the only way to truly break free was to cease all contact and completely separate myself from the negative relationship. 

You’ll have to make a conscious effort to avoid being in the same environment whether it’s physical and/or virtual. If you have the same friends and hangouts, you can explain to your friends that you need a break and avoid getting together when the toxic person is around. You don’t have to ban your friends from seeing this other person but understand that no contact is difficult if you can’t avoid asking for updates or hearing about this other person. Social media and online gaming are also major factors in communication so you’ll need to block on all accounts. 

This isn’t going to be easy. You may receive messages or phone calls and they may be angry or pleading but you need to stay strong and not react or you’ll just get dragged back in to that toxic relationship. You need to cut all contact and work on building a positive relationship with yourself.

Have you dealt with a toxic relationship before? What helped you get through it? 

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