Being weighed down by a relationship could be taxing. You invest so much into it that you forget what you want. You give yourself a backseat and make your partner a priority, trying to fulfill all their needs and wants. All you have in mind is to keep your relationship intact.
If all the sacrifices and efforts are only one-sided, and your partner is neither acknowledging your efforts, nor reciprocating, then you must understand that the relationship is getting toxic. If you feel that your soul has been sucked out from you maintaining a relationship, and you have no standing of your own, or the self-confidence to face the world anymore because you remain so depressed all the time, then it is definite that you need to find a permanent solution.
Understanding The Dynamics Of A Toxic Relationship:
If a relationship is characterized by a behavior pattern that is emotionally or physically damaging to the partner concerned, then by definition it is considered as a toxic relationship.
A healthy relationship helps in the individual’s growth, whereas in a toxic relationship you feel criticized for all the wrong reasons and can tend to lose yourself in the process. Unlike a toxic relationship, a healthy relationship is all about encouraging each other, sharing experiences and emotions, and taking decisions together.
How Can You Identify Being In A Toxic Relationship?
If you are always attacking each other in the meanest manner, or if one partner is being abused by the other, emotionally or physically and have lost that common ground where you can approach each other regarding anything, without fear or concern, then it is the time you look for solutions to control the damage. The power dynamics in a toxic relation is not balanced, and you feel controlled and dominated leading to no self-growth. Step one should be the acceptance of reality that the relationship is dying.
What Are The Categories Of Toxic Relationships?
A healthy and a warm relationship too can have some momentary phases of toxicity, but that is never a permanent situation. The couples eventually understand the value of each other and sort out their differences cordially so that they can live together and encourage each other’s growth.
In a healthy relationship, there is always scope for improvement and acceptance of the flaws. But that does not mean that one toxic partner will always take the upper hand over the other and dictate the path of the relationship.
The types of toxic relationships that psychologists encounter every day and deeply analyze the key facets of such relationship dynamics are:
The Mean Belittler:
The kind of a toxic partner who is too critical of your conduct or ways of life, which humiliate you. The habit of demeaning you, often publically, and taking a gibe at you for no reasons at all can severely damage your self-esteem and sense of worth.
He or she will be pointing out your silliest mistakes. There is no scope for improvement in such kind of criticism by the partner as it is motivated to make you feel ashamed of yourself, making it easier for the toxic partner to dominate you and call all the shots.
If they are constantly telling you how lucky you have been to have them as no one would ever want to be with you, then you know the kind of toxic partner you have and how it is affecting you as an individual.
The Bad Tempered One:
If you are too scared to discuss any problems in your relationship for the fear of making him/her angry, then you are with a person who uses fear to control the entire relationship.
With them around, you will always be walking on egg shells, unaware of what action or word of yours can trigger an extreme reaction from them and you try to avoid any bitter confrontation. Being in such a relationship can be incredibly draining for a non-toxic partner as the suppressed emotions remain bottled up all the time which can lead to anguish and pain on the victimized partner.
The Guilt Trip Inducer:
In a relationship, if you are constantly accused of being the wrong person and are being blamed for everything that is going wrong, then you are surely with the guilt trip inducer. Your partner will encourage you to feel guilty for everything and take advantage of the situation, feeding on your guilt.
If you spouse encourages you to follow your dreams and is supportive in the beginning but criticises you for not spending enough time with the family and kids, or whines for any other reasons, then it could put you off. It would force you to question your decisions towards your work. Your partner makes you feel guilty and tricks you into having their say in every aspect.
The Over Dependent:
If your partner is too clingy about everything, is heavily dependent on you for the emotional and financial support and restricts you from everything to the extent that you feel suffocated, then you are with the over dependent partner for sure.
He or she will be excessively dependent on you for their needs and requirements, emotional satisfaction, and other desires. You will just be a tool of wish-fulfilment for them.
If your partner encourages you to be isolated from your family or friends, tries to make you feel that it is only them that should have the top most priority in your life, even if that leaves you incomplete and bereft, then you need to get help immediately to salvage the situation you are in and do something concrete to solve the problem.
The Excessively Possessive One:
Being a little possessive about your partner is sweet, and you may find it extremely adorable too. But when your toxic partner’s possessiveness turns into a mad rage when you divert your attention, then it is surely the red herring for you to get out of the relationship.
An over possessive partner will not let you be yourself in any way. It works as a tool for him or her to control your actions or outlook, making it impossible for you to find your space or create a niche for yourself in life.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Toxic Relationships?
Instances Of Passive Aggression:
It is fine if sometimes you are furious at your partner for something but let it go just to avoid a bitter confrontation. Make that a routine, where you are feeling suffocated every time which is tearing you apart, and that is a sign that you are in a toxic relationship.
You may have lost the spark and the connection, which leaves you wondering if you should still be in the relationship.
Excessive Criticism And Contempt For Each Other:
No individual is completely perfect. We all have our flaws and vices. But when you are in a relationship with someone, living with that person twenty-four hours and 365 days of the year can bring you quite close to the flaws and virtues of that person. It takes a little bit of adjustment and affection towards each other in a relationship to let go of the flaws and see the attributes and concentrate on how well you two gel.
Sometimes, it is also a healthy sign to criticize your partner positively so that if there are some flaws and habits, that you simply cannot take, are pruned or polished. But criticism should never be treated as an outlet to vent your anger towards your partner.
Extreme Jealousy And Too Much Of Blame Game:
If your partner is a little possessive about you and feels a bit insecure, you can ignore such trifle situations. But if the jealousy level is so high that it restricts you from leading a normal life, then you need to look at the signs carefully.
You happen to be a problem to him if you are spending time with your friends, then you need to step back from him and tell him that there are other people you would want to be with, too.
Arguments Without Communication:
having no respect towards each other’s choices, likes, and dislikes, and no enthusiasm to solve issues, is a sign to think about your toxic relationship. The relationship that has no mutual respect and trust cannot be a healthy one in any way.
The bickering and name calling has turned out to be an everyday issue, and even your neighbors know the minute details of your fights with your partner. In such a condition you cannot expect to continue a relationship in a long term manner. It is sure to harm you in more than one way and end up in engulfing you permanently which will leave you damaged forever.
Not only these hideous arguments rift apart the relationship but they also cause serious damage to your personality, character, and worth. The accusations and the blames make it impossible for you to feel good about yourself and lead to personality issues if you remain in such a condition for years. It is important to pay heed when it is still time and repair the damage that is already done.
Avoiding Each Other’s Company:
Talking about your experiences and emotions, the daily life struggles, and encouraging each other to face the challenges of everyday life, is what makes a beautiful relationship. But f you are running away from your partner and can’t stand them, then you lose yourself.
How To Overcome A Toxic Relationship?
If your relationship is toxic to the level that you are physically abused by your partner and there is verbal and physical violence, then you need to get professional help immediately. There is no point in tolerating such behavior as it will not only harm your psyche but also damage your body, leading to serious consequences. Taking the help of the authorities will make sure that your partner is not given the chance to abuse you further, and a legal separation should also be considered.
Apart from that, if the signs and symptoms of abuse in the relationship are not extreme to the extent of domestic violence, then you can take the help of the counselors and relationship advisors, psychologists, and professionals to get things on track.
But at times, the situation is beyond repair and no inside or outside help can salvage the relationship. In such times, you really have to make up your mind, be strong and let go. It is necessary that the individual growth in a relationship is not hampered. Choose to be comfortable and have a peaceful mind.
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