Our minds are shaped by affection and flourish within social situations and connections. From our initial relationships, we develop bonds that help wire our brains as we become attached to our connections. As such, because humans are hard-wired for love and relationships, you must engage in healthy love patterns that won’t harm your emotional and mental health.
Signs of Toxicity
Firstly, a “healthy” relationship isn’t to say there won’t be any clashes or arguments. What it means is that, when they arise, they’ll be handled maturely and discussed constructively. If you’re in a toxic relationship, though, you may not see the red flags blaring to everyone else around you.
- Communication Problems
Either no communication occurs between the two parties, or when it does, it leaves one person feeling belittled and criticized. As a result, one or both parties may start to avoid talking about anything.
If any moment of your day goes unaccounted for, you may start to fear that there’ll be repercussions. This may even filter into your friendships where your partner dictates who you may and may not hang out with. One may even start lying about their movements in fear of starting an argument.
Small things easily get blown out into big arguments that leave one (or both) party feeling resentful. Your partner is supposed to be your best friend, but in a toxic relationship, you feel stressed or drained every time you’re with them.
4. Tip-Toeing Around Each Other
You may feel like you have to filter everything you say and continuously walk on eggshells around the other person. Even when your friends mention your relationship, you become overly defensive and avoid having the relationship in the spotlight. There may also be uncharacteristic changes in you where you sacrifice yourself, hoping to save the relationship.
Is It Worth Saving?
Assuming your eyes have now been opened to the toxicity you’ve been living in, let’s now weigh-in to see if it’s worth putting in some effort to save this relationship. If both sides are willing to put in the work, then the relationship might still have a chance. Here are signs your relationship is still salvageable:
- Accept Responsibility
It takes two to tango, so if both parties are willing to turn the finger-pointing to themselves, there might be hope. Coming into the conversation with a level of self-awareness is vital.
- Willing to Seek Help
This is a significant step that demonstrates how invested both sides are. If you’ve reached a point where you need counseling and external help to move forward, do so if both parties are willing to go through the process.
How to Move Forward
If walking away was so easy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Now, let’s address how to possibly save your relationship or tackle the toxicity to move forward. Keep in mind that the work that’ll need to go into making the relationship work as it did before will take time and intentionality. Whatever neglect and unaddressed matters exist need to be faced, then laid to rest.
- Let the Past Be
Address whatever happened to progress from it. Once a matter has been addressed, move on. Don’t make a habit of bringing up the past at every opportunity.
- Practice Compassion
Whenever you feel like pointing a finger, pause, and remember what brought the two of you together and try to reassess the situation from love and compassion.
Home and work stress shouldn’t be used as an excuse to cause problems within the relationship, but if you know your partner is stressed, you can better empathize.
- Couple’s Therapy
Find support for your relationship, preferably from an unbiased source that’ll help you grow, not dwell on things and just vent. You may even find individual healing helpful to see how the changes you may have gone through have shaped you within that relationship.
- Accountability and Good Communication
Until things are ironed over, consider taking a seat from sarcastic comments and jabs that may do more harm than good. Exercise gentleness and hold yourselves and each other accountable in how you both played a role in your love life.
We live in a world that idolizes love to the point where instagrammable “couple goals” matters more than having a healthy connection with someone. If you feel your relationship is taking a toll on your health, you may need to reassess where you lie and decide whether your love can survive the gaslighting and power struggle.