Nobody wants to be in a toxic relationship. Yet, many people feel trapped by a partner who is violent, abusive, or who simply makes them feel bad about themselves.
Statistics show that 10 million Americans suffer from physical and psychological abuse from a romantic partner each year. And these are only stats from the United States. Worldwide, both men and women are struggling to get out of a toxic relationship.
If you are in a toxic relationship, you may be wondering what you can do to get out of it or even fix it. Can therapy or taking a marriage course online help? Can anything change your circumstances and bring back the person you first fell in love with?
Here are 6 signs you’re in a toxic relationship and what you can do about it.
Happiness quickly falters when there is a lack of communication in a relationship.
Spouses must be able to talk to each other openly and honestly when something is bothering them. And when arguments do arise, healthy partners strive to work as a team to solve the problem at hand. They do not use disagreement as an excuse to mistreat one another.
If you find that you are constantly arguing with your spouse, with no positive results, it may be a sign that you are in a toxic relationship.
When you’re in love, you should feel like you’re on top of the world. Suddenly, you feel sexier than ever. You feel special and validated. There is stability in your life and you can’t get enough.
But when you are in a toxic relationship, the opposite is true. You feel worthless. You may feel like you never do anything right or that you are unlovable and are lucky to have your spouse, even if they don’t treat you very well.
A toxic spouse will view change as a bad thing instead of a positive learning experience.
Why? Because they enjoy the element of control in a relationship. They manipulate and gaslight their partners in order to get their own way. It is for these reasons that a toxic spouse will resist change at any cost.
If you suggest starting a new job, going back to school or taking a marriage course online to strengthen your relationship, they will not budge. They will give you every excuse in the book as to why all of your ideas are bad ones.
When you are in a good relationship, you can feel it. You practically tingle and glow when you’re around your spouse. They make you feel loved, desired, and respected. There is no question that you’ve found the right person.
But if you’re with the wrong person, you will feel their negative energy lurch into your relationship and suck away your happiness.
Because toxic partners enjoy the element of control, they will often create emotional and physical distance between you and your loved ones.
This is because they know close friends and family will be more likely to both encourage and help you leave an unhealthy relationship.
Do you find yourself reminiscing a lot about your current relationship? Thinking back on old memories can be beneficial for couples. It can remind them of the most romantic, sexy, or special moments in their shared life.
In fact, research shows that reminiscing is actually healthy for your self-esteem and overall wellbeing.
But if you find that you are constantly looking behind at the good times you’ve shared, instead of looking ahead or living in the moment with your spouse now, there may be trouble ahead.
What to do when you’re in a Toxic Relationship
Unconditional love may sound romantic, but when you are with a toxic partner, it can feel more like a chain than a love story. The bottom line is this – You should be with someone who makes you happy. This person should love and respect you.
Since there are different levels of toxicity in relationships, there are various things you can do to help yourself.
If your partner has the occasional toxic qualities but otherwise makes you happy and treats you well, taking a marriage course online may be the way to go.
By taking a marriage course online, you and your spouse will deepen your understanding of how to communicate with one another. This will help prevent misunderstandings (that snowball into full-on arguments) from happening. It also inspires couples to share goals and work as a team.
Taking a course together, or attending therapy will also help deepen your compassion for one another. Once your partner has learned to be empathetic toward your thoughts and feelings, they will work harder to treat you well.
But if your spouse has a narcissistic personality and refuses to change their ways, your best option is to end your relationship.
Inform trusted friends and family of your decision to leave the relationship. Not only will this help you leave a potentially dangerous situation safely, but studies show that getting support from family and friends during distressing situations has been proven to significantly lower psychological distress.
Depending on the level of abuse in the relationship, you may also inform the police or ask them to assist you when you leave the premises so that your risks of a violent outburst are lowered.
About the Author
Rachael Pace is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today’s evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.