When you’re in a toxic relationship, you only have two options. You can either try to work on your relationship or you can split up. Your toxic relationship can improve if both partners are willing to accept responsibility for their behaviour and work on it. Here are some suggestions to help you decide whether your relationship is worth working on or not.
Understand whether the relationship can improve
Toxic relationships can change but only if both partners want to work on it and are open, honest, willing to self-reflect and get professional help. Interactive counselling offers counselling services for those who want to improve their relationships. In therapeutic settings, couples can help each other to heal and practice new healthier ways to communicate and connect.
Both partners have to do some inner work and examine their behaviour if a relationship is to heal. If only one partner is prepared to put in the work, it is probably better to move on. Of course, if you’re in a relationship involving abusive behaviour or physical violence, you need to leave.
Be willing to walk away
A toxic relationship is usually full of demands, criticism, blame, and accusations. If these behaviours are present in your relationship, you need to talk to your partner about them and agree together to try and end the cycle.
When you confront a toxic partner, you need to be prepared for the fallout. Your partner may end the relationship or you may have to walk away from it if your partner is unwilling to change. If you aren’t prepared to walk away and don’t want the relationship to end, your partner will know that regardless of what he or she does, you won’t leave.
Learn to communicate your feelings
If you’re walking on eggshells all the time trying not to offend your partner, you can start to feel resentful over time. If you’re afraid to communicate because you fear how your partner will respond, you will never be comfortable and relaxed in your relationship or confident to bring up concerns as they arise.
Your partner may be unaware of behaviours that make you feel on edge. If you want to make your partner aware, you need to share how you feel when you are upset rather than just sweeping it under the rug. Helping your partner to understand how certain behaviour affects you is the only way to start rebuilding trust.
Honour your own needs
Toxic relationships are often one-sided. One partner’s needs are met and the other partner stifles their opinions, dislikes and likes in an attempt to avoid upsetting the other partner. Suppressing needs is unhealthy and over time, the imbalance in the relationship can grow greater and greater.
If you see this dynamic in your relationship, it is important to have the courage to speak up to prevent the cycle from being perpetuated. Let your partner know that you have needs too and you deserve to have them met.
Learn to trust yourself
A sign that you’re in a toxic relationship is when you feel worse about yourself in the relationship than when you are on your own. You may live in a constant state of trying to prove yourself so you can feel good enough. Your body image, self-confidence and feelings of self-worth suffer.
When you learn to trust yourself, it can change the power dynamic in the relationship. You will no longer distrust your own thoughts and feelings or resist any attempts to question your judgment. In a nurturing relationship, you do not have to keep proving yourself and you’re accepted for who you are.