If you are in the midst of a toxic relationship, for sure you know what this article is about. First of all, let’s try to define a toxic relationship and what are the consequences for those who live it.
Of course, toxic relationships aren’t just love in nature, they can also refer to a relationship with a family member or friend. In this article, however, we will limit ourselves to couple relationships.
A toxic relationship always has something that “compensates”
A toxic relationship is the bond we have with someone we can’t break away from. It is a very strong, intense and at the same time destructive union. We get lost in this relationship. We become someone we are not. We morbidly try to be there even when this means suffering the greatest and ugliest damage, the loss of our self-love.
Logically, if we find ourselves in such a relationship, it is because there is a great compensation or, at least, because it encompasses something that we are not willing to give up. Enough compensation to keep us from ending the relationship. However, if we were able to look at the report from a broader perspective, we would have the resources to understand that we should either change its toxicity or end it.
Behind these kinds of relationships hides a mechanism that sustains an addiction. This is why it is so difficult to get out of it: the more time we invest in such a relationship, the more difficult it is for us to end it. We may not believe it now, but it is possible and even rewarding to get out of these relationships, as well as to end addiction to smoking or cocaine.
I too can recover my lost responsibility and act accordingly
In general we tend to blame the partner. “He’s the toxic one!”, “She’s the toxic one, not me!”, “I’ve already given him a second chance and he can’t change, I don’t know what else to do!”. Perhaps now there is nothing to be done, perhaps the healthiest, most advantageous and self-love-based option is to end the relationship. It makes no sense to insist on reliving a relationship that is now dead, a heart that no longer pumps blood with oxygen.
Popular wisdom says: “Don’t ask for the impossible”. We cannot expect someone to be who they are not. It’s been a long time, enough to figure it out. How much time of our life do we have to waste in this endeavor which is so dangerous for our mental and emotional health? How many opportunities are enough to know? “Maybe I have to give it more time, maybe I have to wait a little longer …”.
Meanwhile, along the way, we move away from ourselves. We get lost. Let’s stop loving each other. We offer our life to a kind of parenthesis in which the other undoes his knots and until he does, we do not give up on our task. And what about what we all deserve? What about our needs?
Getting out of a toxic relationship takes a titanic effort
Anyone who comes out of a relationship of this kind has superhuman merit. First of all because he recognizes that he has no power over the other (a very common belief in many people: “I will change him!”).
Secondly, because he becomes aware of how much effort he was investing in an impossible mission, transforming it into the effort to love himself and take care of himself enough not to fall back into a relationship destined for failure (personal and couple).
Blaming the other is useless if we carry on the relationship that binds us
We cannot go through life blaming the other for being who he is when we ourselves keep choosing him as a partner. We are talking about a toxic, unhealthy relationship, which like everyone has its good times and bad times.
We are talking about taking responsibility for our decisions and choices. If we know that someone is dangerous to our health, we must move away from them. Like the child who knows he is allergic to peanuts because he feels bad when he eats them.
Self-love begins when we listen to each other sincerely
Something similar happens in a toxic relationship. Sometimes, however, our radar, our inner guide, is so atrophied that it prevents us from looking beyond this love that seems so passionate, almost mystical. The child feels bad, but us? We must listen carefully and become aware of the situations we find ourselves in to perceive the damage we are suffering.
As long as we are aware of our share of responsibility and choose to run away from what hurts us, then we gain power over ourselves. In a way, we take back some of the power we gave to our partner. In the end we get out of it. In the end we choose ourselves and our well-being.
Images courtesy of Sara Herranz.