Wondering how to deal with a toxic relationship?

All romantic relationships can be challenging and encounter good days and bad days from time to time.  All couples have their differences and see and feel things uniquely which frequently gives rise for the need to reconcile an on-going range of differences.

It is important that we do not legitimise or ‘paper over’ these differences; particularly where they cannot be easily resolved. Relationships dominated by conflict may have elements of toxicity that should be monitored very carefully. A toxic relationship is one where one (or both) of those involved don’t feel supported, where there is conflict and where one seeks to undermine the other (sometimes subconsciously).

There is competition within toxic relationships and generally a lack of respect from one party to the other. They are generally unpleasant and mentally draining for those involved; to the extent that the negatives consistently outweigh the positives.  Toxic partnerships are emotionally, physically, and mentally draining for those involved and can be very damaging if allowed to persist.

Those who constantly seek to undermine, humiliate, control or cause harm to their partner, whether intentionally or not, clearly have issues that need to be supported; so much so that it is possible that they may be suffering with a mental health disorder which may be a contributor to their actions.

These types of abusive relationships can of course be a result of an imperfect or inappropriate pairing, for example two people who require absolute control are clearly not a good match, but if this is the case relationships that are clearly not healthy should not be allowed to continue if it is causing harm to one or both participants.

There are numerous warning signs, the most obvious being any form of violence, physical and/or emotional abuse, or harassment. Toxic behaviours such as this should be addressed immediately and not be tolerated or legitimised under any circumstances. Often however, the warning signs are more subtle or emerge over time.

The most obvious signs are that the partnership is often unfulfilling, fails to provide adequate happiness, is signified by sadness, anger, fear, or anxiety.

Individuals may observe changes in their own mental health, and disposition as warning signs that they are possibly in a unhealthy pairing. These changes can include diagnosable conditions such as anxiety or depression etc.  Moreover, toxicity often results in someone feeling nervous, anxious, or uncomfortable around their partner and frequently feel unable to assert yourself, voice your concerns or as if though you have to walk on eggshells.

Finally, those in and wondering how to leave a toxic relationships should also ask for help and advice from a support network such as close friends and loved ones. Those close to a situation are frequently the last to see it and are sometimes less aware of changes in their behaviour or they simply get used to behaving differently.

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