More people are in toxic relationships than many of us realize. Often, when you’re in such a relationship, it is difficult to think that others go through the same thing.
As despairing as a toxic relationship can be, there is hope. If both partners are willing to make changes for the better, their romance can be saved.
Many times, people don’t even realize that they’re in a toxic relationship. They will feel unhappy though, even if they won’t admit to it.
The First Step
To fix a toxic relationship, you need to acknowledge that you are in one. There can be no recovery and repair if you’re in denial.
You need to take time and think about your relationship – is it as happy as it used to be?
There is no one-size-fits-all kind of approach to repairing toxic relationships. But there are ways of dealing with the problems that are usually in these relationships.
As long as you’re honest with yourself, and your partner, you will be able to rescue your once-beautiful romance.
Are You In A Toxic Relationship?
There are several red flags that will pop up in a toxic relationship. If you find that most or all of the following signs are in your relationship, you’ll need to start working on them.
Remember to be honest with yourself – it is possible that you are the one poisoning your relationship.
Lack Of Communication
The basis of any healthy relationship is good communication. If that is missing, the relationship will suffer.
If there is no real open and free communication in your relationship, it is a bad sign. Likewise, if your partner does not feel like he or she can always come to you to talk things over, you’re being toxic.
Likewise, if you can’t approach your partner when something isn’t right, there is toxicity in your relationship.
Couples have to be able to discuss everything, even the more difficult and uncomfortable subjects that sometimes pop up.
In any relationship, there has to be a level of maturity and responsibility taken. This is something that should come naturally to adults but often doesn’t.
When someone does not want to take responsibility for their actions and faults, it could really ruin an otherwise great relationship.
When there is no accountability, the friction caused by it will eat away at the relationship.
This happens when one person convinces the other that they are acting irrationally or crazy. They also push this narrative to make a situation worse than it is.
Look closely at you and your partner. Is either of you displaying this kind of behavior? It is very toxic and could do a lot of damage to those victimized by it.
Gaslighting is certainly not part of any mature or happy relationship.
This kind of behavior can have serious and deep effects on the mental state of the one being gaslighted. This is a very big and very serious red flag.
All Take And No Give
In almost every toxic relationship, you will find that one partner gives more than the other, while the other is constantly taking without giving.
Relationships should always be an equal situation with both partners giving and taking the same amount.
If you find that things are very one-sided, you’ll also find that the relationship is an unhappy one. The toxicity will grow steadily.
Such behavior often also means that one person is more invested in the relationship than the other. This is never a good thing as it could result in a broken heart.
There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism – in fact, it is recommended and sometimes necessary.
However, constant and intense criticism in a relationship is not a good sign. While constructive criticism is well-meaning and results in growth, toxic criticism only serves to hurt and break down people.
Criticism should come out of a place of love and concern. When it doesn’t, it is just mean, spiteful and hurtful.
Manipulation And Control
When there is excessive control in a relationship, as well as manipulation, it will not thrive.
Sadly, many people get off on manipulating those they supposedly love, and being in control is important to them.
Rather than acting lovingly and with kindness, these people break down their partners and cause them pain.
If you notice a display of this kind of behavior or have been guilty of it, change needs to happen. If it doesn’t, the relationship is toxic and will not survive.
Exploitation and selfishness are not characteristics of a healthy and happy relationship.
Lack Of Trust
Intimate relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. Without trust, a relationship will not grow.
A lack of trust is a clear sign of a toxic relationship as it will be accompanied by some seriously toxic behavior.
Jealousy and invasion of privacy are often found in relationships where there is no trust.
Fixing A Toxic Relationship
Although getting a toxic relationship to a point where it is healthier and happier takes time, it is possible.
Relationships take a toxic turn when the people involved are stuck in a cycle of destructive or harmful behavior.
The toxicity can show itself in many forms, as seen above. You will really need to examine things before you’ll be able to know the behavior that is making you and your partner unhappy.
Sometimes, toxic behavior shows itself in physical abuse. Sometimes, it is emotional and not as easy to identify.
Whatever the case, the course of action you take depends on the behavior displayed and the unique circumstances of your relationship.
You know your relationship best and that’s why you will know the best way to move forward.
Is It Worth Saving?
Before you invest yourself in a rescue plan, take time to think if the relationship is worth saving.
This may sound harsh, but sometimes the damage that has been done is just too much. There is no point in trying if things have reached a point where both people are better off going their separate ways.
Even if you feel that the relationship is worth saving, does your partner feel the same? You shouldn’t try to save something that only you want.
It may be difficult to accept, but if your partner does not feel the same as you, you will be wasting your time. You will also be setting yourself up for disappointment and heartache.
Identify The Problems
Once you are certain that both you and your partner want to be in this relationship, you have to find the issues.
Reflect on your problems and find the toxic behavior. Are you or your partner gaslighting the other one? Is there a lot of manipulation?
Does one partner tend to take and not give? Identify every single thing that could be the root of your problems.
This will likely not be an easy process, and could even be rather painful. However, it is necessary so you can know what to work on.
Seek Professional Help
Many couples are hesitant to ask a professional for help because they think they can fix things on their own.
True, some couples can. But others can’t. It can be really difficult to be objective when trying to rescue a relationship. The input and guidance of someone else could be just what you need.
Someone who knows how to handle toxic relationships will know how to fix one. It is okay to seek help and there is no shame in it.
Be Willing To Change
Without the willingness to change, there is no point in trying to fix a toxic relationship. You and your partner must be willing to put in the work.
Unless there is a mutual willingness to change, there is no room for improvement. Change is difficult and can be uncomfortable. That’s why it is important to be patient and give things time. Nothing is going to change overnight.
As long as both partners are determined and want to save the relationship, however, anything is possible.
This ties in with a willingness to change. You need to commit to the necessary changes so things don’t go back to how they were after a few months.
Constantly remind yourself and your partner why you’re doing this, why you want to improve your relationship.
Your battle may be a difficult one, but if there is enough love, you can do it together.
Be Willing To Walk Away
Even the most determined couples sometimes find that their relationship just cannot be saved. If that is the case, you have to be strong enough to walk away.
When the point comes when both of you agree that there isn’t hope for improvement, it will be hard, but you have to be willing to let go.
Letting go doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it is often the most difficult thing to do. As long as you don’t give up too soon, you may have to end things for everyone’s sake.
Don’t force a relationship to work because you’ll only be able to fool yourself for so long.
While you try to fix your toxic relationship, be mindful of your partner. Always keep their happiness and emotional state in mind.
Once you reach the end of this difficult but rewarding journey, you will know that every hard moment was worth it.
If you don’t, don’t dwell on it. Perhaps you are better off focusing on yourself for a while before you start another relationship.