Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Signs You're In A Toxic Relationship

image from marcandangel.com
Toxic relationships are often very well covered by the parties involved. Many people in toxic relationships are hardly even aware of the ill effect the relationship has on them, and will go to the ends of the earth to defend what external parties may perceive as toxicity.
Sadly, this character trait is what makes toxic relationships even more damaging – the people involved are unaware they need help, hence the damage continues till they reach a point of no-return. Marriages turn toxic, and some relationships start off on the foundation of toxicity. Whatever the case may be, here are some traits of a toxic relationship
  • Extreme jealousy: A little bit of jealousy can make your partner feel appreciated; the fact that you are afraid of losing your partner endears them more to you in most cases. However, in relationships filled with extreme jealousy, emotions are very unstable. Extreme jealousy is often due to an unhealthy level of passion where both partners feel threatened by any slight interaction with the outside world. Such jealousy is not necessarily a result of someone else being in the picture; it could be a result of resentment towards the other person’s job or the other person’s attraction to a sport. Basically, anything that takes away attention causes one party to become very unstable and can often lead to violence. If you are in a relationship where the jealousy is more inexplicable than the love, it’s time to pack up and leave. 
  • Revenge: The fact that the word revenge exists in any relationship is already an indication of toxicity. Many people who are in toxic relationships thrive on getting revenge on their partners for every little wrongdoing, or even any words uttered at the peak of anger. If you are in a relationship where you play the cat and mouse game of revenge, and who got who last, then you need not wonder; your relationship is definitely toxic. 
  • Psychological Depreciation: There are many people who are in psychologically abusive relationships, but have been so conditioned to believe they are being groomed for higher standards. Any relationship where you are approached condescendingly, or made to believe you are not good enough is a toxic relationship. Any arrangement where you find yourself chipping away at the armor of your own individuality will not do you any good in the long run. There are many people who derive joy from breaking others; that’s the only way they feel complete themselves. Such people will try their best to tear their partners down psychologically, mostly by aggrandizing themselves and leading the other person to believe they are doing them a favor. If you are in such a situation, take a step back, and another, and another till you are far enough. 
  • Lack of Reciprocity: Many of us fail to understand that love is a two way street. Our naivete causes us to believe love is all about giving; hence, when we find ourselves in relationships with takers, we tend to not realize that we are simply being used. A relationship where your gestures are not reciprocated is toxic! It is impossible for you to love someone enough for the relationship to work without getting any dedication from that person. Reciprocity is a key factor in healthy relationships, and is often conspicuously absent in unhealthy ones. A relationship where your feelings and gestures are not reciprocated is definitely toxic. 
  • Unhealthy co-dependence: Contrary to popular belief, individuals in healthy relationships have a good level of independence from one another. They keep their own circle of friends, and will only mix the two circles when necessary, they don’t spend every second of each day checking on each other, and they are not necessarily each other’s best friends. A relationship where isolation from other friends is a norm is very unhealthy. Relationships where you are both confined to be with one another 24/7 is unhealthy. Relationships where you both shut out the outside world, and feel no need to interact with others have the makings of an abusive tragedy, and should be avoided at all cost. This is not to say couples should never have alone time together or can’t share the same circle of friends in some cases. The key thing here is to ensure you are not so dependent on your partner for interaction, you forget completely how the outside world works. That is a toxic situation. 
  • Lack of Balance: Like so many other things, we underestimate the importance of balance in our relationships. Yes, it’s amazing to have that amazing man who picks up all the bills, and that superwoman who doesn’t shy away from her domestic duties, but studies show that relationships where responsibilities and roles are not evenly distributed lead to a buildup of resentment from on party. Many men with ‘kept wives’ end up cheating with professional women in their circles, and many women who stay home and do all the chores, handle the children and care to their husband’s every whim build up resentment they are too scared to express. It has all the makings of a toxic relationship to leave the burdens of the relationship to one person. In most crimes of passion, you find that while one person bears the brunt of everyday life to provide sustenance for the relationship, the other person feels indifferent, perhaps left out of life, and sometimes goes on to have an affair. In the end, one person ends up murdered due to the toxic build up from lack of balance. 
If you are in a toxic relationship, you definitely need to leave and seek help. 

My next article will address the steps you can take to ensure you safely remove yourself from the situation. XOXO

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