Some relationships break down and end. There are a lot of reasons this can happen.
Couples stop communicating well, or at all. One partner advances personally or professionally, while the other does not. Something causes a breakdown in trust, which undermines everything else.
Many of these relationships might prove salvageable with proper help, but not every relationship is worth saving. Toxic relationships harm one partner almost exclusively. Here are some tips on identifying and leaving a toxic relationship.
Identifying a Toxic Relationship
Toxic relationships hover in this weird middle ground between a relationship that needs work, and an abusive relationship. That means you must pay special attention to the warning signs of toxicity.
One sign you should always watch out for is the partner who does or says things that undermine your self-esteem. For example, they may say something cruel every time you get a new haircut or try out new makeup.
Other signs of a toxic relationship can include:
- Controlling behavior
- Power imbalances
- Manipulative behaviors
- Ignoring your priorities
- Borderline abuse
In short, if your relationship leaves you feeling worse about you, your life, or your future, it’s probably toxic.
Leaving a Toxic Relationship
Leaving a toxic relationship can prove difficult. The emotional damage done can leave you feeling less capable of surviving in the world by yourself.
Reach out and discuss the situation with friends and family members. Tell them your plans for ending the relationship. You may find someone willing to let you come live with them to speed up the process.
As far as possible, store away money ahead of time. You’ll likely need money for a new place. Plus, furnishing even a small apartment always costs more than you expect. Once you make the move, break all the lines of communication with your ex-partner. If necessary, due to abuse, get a restraining order.
Healing from a Toxic Relationship
Healing from a toxic relationship takes time. Give yourself a break from relationships while you process what happened and why you ended up in a toxic relationship.
For relationships that verged into abuse, however, you should consider professional counseling. Counseling can help you sort through any guilt, rebuild self-esteem, and even show you where your ex manipulated you.
Counseling can also provide you with strategies for managing trust issues and identifying healthy future partners.
Parting Thoughts on Leaving a Toxic Relationship
Spotting and leaving a toxic relationship is not always as clear cut as it sounds. What makes a relationship toxic can vary from couple to couple.
With that said, manipulative, abusive, and controlling behaviors almost always indicate a toxic relationship. Relationships with a big power imbalance can often slide in a toxic direction.
Lean on close friends and family for emotional support when you leave. Shore up your finances ahead of time to make moving easier. Once you get out, cut your ex out of your life as completely as possible.
Have you recently left a toxic or abusive relationship and need some extra support? Braden Counseling Center offers a full range of counseling services. Contact us today to see if we’re a good fit for you.