Afraid that you may be stuck in a toxic relationship? And, the worst thing is that you still share strong feelings for your toxic partner?
Don’t worry. In this article, I’m going to provide you with a few tips to break free from that circle of toxicity and save your relationship.
On the other hand, if you feel ready to let go of your unhealthy, unhappy relationship, then below, you’ll find some useful advice on how to end it for good and how to recover faster. But first, let’s start with…
What Is A Toxic Relationship?
If I have to provide a toxic relationship definition, I would put it like this: it’s the type of relationship where you aren’t able to speak for yourself, and in which your partner does everything to ruin your self-esteem and make you feel less of yourself.
Rita Richards, LCSW, explains a toxic relationship as “Any act, including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”
I want to be completely honest with you… being in a toxic relationship is a real make-it or break-it life situation. That is, if your feelings for your toxic partner are really so deep that you simply can’t leave them, then you need to find a way to fix and rebuild your relationship.
If you’re in an unhealthy relationship and you’re sick of giving second chances, it’s time to end that toxic cycle and finally save yourself. Save yourself from all that toxicity and abuse… all that mental and emotional pain.
Come to terms with the fact that your significant other isn’t your soulmate, and isn’t the person the universe meant for you to spend your life with.
The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll be able to walk away and let go of them forever…
14 Different Types Of Toxic Relationships
We’ll start with examining the most common types of toxic relationships you should avoid getting involved in at any cost.
1. The controller
If your partner wants to control your life and your decisions, if they’re always giving you some ultimatums in order to make you do what they want, then you’re dealing with a toxic person.
Your relationship will fail for sure because love stands no control.
2. Abusive relationship
You have to know one thing: if you’re experiencing any kind of abusive, toxic behavior, you’re stuck in a deeply toxic and unhealthy abusive relationship. And, you should end it and save yourself before it’s too late…
3. Partnership with a lack of trust
I read a great saying somewhere: the relationship without trust is the same as the car without gas. You can stay in it, maybe even drive it for a while, but it definitely won’t lead you anywhere.
If you want to fix your relationship, you should start with (RE) building trust. And, if you want to know how, here are some simple but effective tips on how to build deep trust between partners.
4. Narcissistic gaslighting relationships
This is probably the worst form of narcissistic emotional abuse. It’s when your narcissistic partner makes you question everything, even your own self-worth and sanity.
It completely destroys your self-esteem and makes you lose faith in yourself. Ruining your emotional and mental health makes it easier for your toxic, narcissistic partner to manipulate you. And, narcissistic abuse recovery is even harder than you think, especially if you don’t seek help in time.
5. Passive-aggressive relationships
Does it ever seem to you like you’re talking to a wall when you’re trying to talk with your partner about your issues? They say that it’s okay or that everything is fine, but their behavior indicates completely the opposite?
This means you’re in a passive-aggressive relationship. It’s a form of toxic relationship where one or both partners don’t communicate their negative feelings at all, but instead, they choose to withdraw and pull the silent treatment.
RELATED: 10 Signs He Is Not Putting Enough Effort Into Your Relationship
6. Partners with ‘hair-trigger’ tempers
If you’re dealing with a person who has temper issues, and you must walk on eggshells around them because you don’t want to make them angry, you’re definitely stuck in a deeply toxic relationship.
7. Relationships with dependency issues
Being overly dependent on your partner in a romantic or in any other kind of relationship is not healthy. It creates an unhealthy emotional attachment between partners that will certainly have a negative outcome.
If you want to make your relationship healthy again, you need to work on remaining a bit independent, but you should also feel free to rely on your partner for some things you can’t do alone.
8. Relationships built on second chances
The truth is that we all make mistakes and deserve a second chance. However, you can never build a healthy relationship by giving way too many second chances.
If your significant other doesn’t change after you give them another opportunity, they won’t do it even after you give them a hundred chances. They won’t do it because they don’t love you, and you don’t deserve to be with someone who doesn’t care if they’ll lose you or not.
9. Enmeshed relationships
This happens when a couple doesn’t set clear boundaries at the beginning of their relationship. This leads them to becoming emotionally dependent on each other, and it ends with being stuck in a toxic, enmeshed relationship.
10. Chronic phubbing
Have you ever caught your partner snooping through your phone? If your SO has this bad habit of phubbing, that means they don’t trust you. And, if there’s a lack of trust, your relationship is doomed to fail.
11. Jekyll and Hyde type of relationship
If you feel like you’re dating two different people with very different personalities, then you’re stuck in a so-called Jekyll and Hyde relationship.
You can never know what to expect from them, and you’re constantly walking on eggshells around them. It’ll soon start affecting your mental health, and you’ll become aware that it’s not healthy anymore.
12. Crazy competitive relationships
Remember this once and for all: a relationship isn’t a competition; it’s a partnership where both partners need to provide unlimited support for each other.
If your partner is jealous of your accomplishments and it seems like they’re always trying to compete with you, it’s clear that your partner doesn’t love you as much as you think they do.
13. The roller-coaster relationship
This type of relationship is also known as a tumultuous relationship. It’s when both partners feel all kinds of emotions that are deeper than other people, and it’s full of constant emotional ups and downs.
This kind of relationship happens mostly because one or both partners aren’t emotionally mature, or they feel insecure about themselves, or it may even happen because they feel uncertain about their relationship.
The roller-coaster relationship is full of drama, intense emotions, and burning passion. If they don’t work on fixing their relationship, this toxic pattern will completely destroy it and their emotional well-being as well.
14. A double-standard relationship
Double standards in a relationship occur when one partner has high expectations of their partner that don’t apply to them at all. And, not only is this relationship pattern unhealthy, but it’s also deeply unfair.
13 Warning Signs Of A Toxic Relationship
Have you ever wondered, “Am I in a toxic relationship?”? If you have, I’m going to help you reveal the right answer.
Here are some toxic relationship traits, and if you recognize most of them in your relationship, I’m sorry… I have to break it to you, but you’re dealing with a toxic partner.
1. Lack of trust
To be honest, every new relationship faces these issues because building trust is a process, and it isn’t something that can be done overnight.
However, if your partner still doesn’t believe you even after you’ve been dating for a while, it’s a red flag that your relationship is deeply unhealthy. Trust is one of the building blocks of a healthy relationship, and if there is no trust, there will never be true love.
Sue Kolod, Ph.D. and psychoanalyst in New York, says: “As couples get to know each other better, there should be a progression toward more understanding and less misunderstanding.”
If there is no healthy communication, you’ll never be able to solve your issues in a healthy way. And, that means your relationship will never be able to progress.
A relationship is a partnership. This means that both partners need to motivate, encourage, and above everything else, support each other no matter what.
If your relationship lacks support, or if you feel like you’re alone all the time, it’s a huge red flag that your relationship is spinning in a toxic circle.
4. Mutual respect
If insults, belittling, name-calling, silent treatments, and constant critics have become a part of your relationship, then it’s obvious that mutual respect has left it.
And, you should know that love always follows respect, so you can expect love to leave your relationship very soon, too.
5. Constantly walking on eggshells
If you’re not able to talk freely and openly about everything with your partner because they have a bad temper and you don’t know how they’ll react to it, if you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around them, then it’s definite… you’re in a deeply unhealthy relationship with a toxic person.
6. Hostile atmosphere
In a healthy relationship, everything is about understanding, compromises, and respect. If both partners follow these rules, then they’ll always feel comfortable around each other.
On the other hand, if the atmosphere in your relationship is constantly negative and tense, it means that your relationship lacks all these things above, and it won’t last long.
7. Controlling behaviors
Remember, you’re the only one who has the right to hold the steering wheel of your life. If your partner tries to control you or take that wheel from you, it’s a sign you’re with a wrong, toxic person.
8. Physical abuse
Actually, if you’ve experienced any kind of abuse (physical, emotional, or verbal abuse), it’s a huge red flag that your relationship is toxic.
If you feel your life is in danger, don’t hesitate to seek help before it’s too late. Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline and tell them everything about your abusive, toxic partner.
9. Unreasonable jealousy
Okay, a little jealousy can be good for a healthy relationship. But, there should be some limits.
If your partner is constantly jealous of all of the people around you, it just means that his jealousy is deeply unhealthy and toxic, and that it’ll suffocate your relationship sooner or later.
10. Constant criticism and judgments
I think this hurts the most. No matter what you do, no matter how much you try to be better, you keep being criticized by your loved one and you can do absolutely nothing about it.
This is one of the worst forms of emotional abuse there is. It ruins your self-esteem and makes you doubt your self-worth. And, that’s exactly the goal of your toxic partner; to make you feel small and insecure…
12. Having secrets and lying to each other
Well, I think it’s pretty clear to all of us how poisonous to a relationship it truly is when partners keep secrets and lie to one another.
The fact is that in order to maintain a healthy relationship, not even white lies should be allowed. Because, the truth is that those ‘little white lies’ are nothing but lying by omission and it’s, without a doubt, the worst kind of manipulation.
13. Simply, your loved one is making you everything but happy
Your significant other must make you feel happy, respected, appreciated, and above everything else, loved. If they’ve stopped doing all of this a long time ago, that means your relationship has also ended a long time ago…
How To Fix A Toxic Relationship? Is It Even Possible?
If you care about your partner and your relationship, you’ll first warn them about what their toxicity is doing to your relationship, and you will try to save it before you make the final decision of breaking up for good and leaving them in the past.
1. Take a break
You need to clear out your thoughts and your emotions, too. Maybe the love you once felt for your partner has actually faded away, but you don’t want to accept it. Maybe, deep down, you are aware that there is no point in staying and trying to save your relationship.
After all, the fact is that toxicity is the biggest relationship killer.
But, on the other hand, you may understand that you still love your significant other like you did on the very first day, and that you can’t live without them. In that case, it’ll motivate you to try even harder to rebuild your relationship.
The bottom line is that some alone time will help you decide what’s best for the both of you and if your love is worth a second chance…
2. Focus on yourself for a change
You have been putting up with your partner’s toxic behavior, and that’s a huge red flag that you’ve neglected your own self-worth. Your low self-esteem lets you stay in such an unhealthy relationship.
Now, it’s high time to change those things and shift the focus back on yourself. Build a good relationship with yourself first because the way you treat yourself is the way all other people will treat you.
Try to forget about all your problems for a while and think only about your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Take a wellness day or do whatever usually relaxes you. Give yourself a little bit of that love you were unselfishly giving to all the others. You really owe it to yourself.
3. Lay all the cards on the table
This alone time will make both you and your significant other think about your relationship. You’ll think about all your issues and mistakes, and all the things that were missing in your relationship.
Then, you both need to sit down and have the talk. Open up and talk about everything you were bottling inside of yourself for way too long.
Don’t blame them for your bad relationship, but do emphasize how their toxicity is ruining your connection, destroying your relationship, and killing your love.
4. Find the root cause of the toxicity
This step is especially important if your partner wasn’t behaving in such an unhealthy and toxic way at the beginning of your relationship.
Obviously, something has happened that made them treat you differently.
They’ll probably open up to you about it and admit what the real problem is, but if they don’t, you’ll have to find it out yourself. You’ll have to indulge in some detective work.
Maybe you hurt them in the past and weren’t even aware of that. Maybe they heard something bad about you. It’s also possible that someone is trying to separate you and make your partner think that you’ve done something bad to them…
The bottom line is that the sooner you find the cause, the sooner you’ll be able to fix it and save your relationship.
5. Stop dwelling on your past issues
Okay, you determined the causes and defined all your issues and problems. You talked about it, and now all you have to do is leave all those things in the past.
They truly belong in the past because they can’t bring you anything good for the future. If you keep talking about it and keep rubbing your mistakes in each other’s faces, you’ll never be able to save your relationship.
Try to work on finding solutions for all those issues. Try to accept your mistakes and make sure you never repeat them again. Focus on the future of your relationship because that’s all you should be interested in from now on.
6. Heal individually first
In order to build a healthy relationship, you need to heal your wounds first. And, it’s a process that you need to go through all by yourself.
Yes, you should be each other’s greatest motivation for healing, but still, you need to do it individually. Accept your mistakes and embrace all the bad things that happened to you. Let them make your relationship stronger instead of causing distance between you.
7. Hold your personal space
After you agree on giving your relationship a second chance and decide to get together again, you need to set clear boundaries regarding your personal space.
Don’t think it’s something bad or that it may affect your relationship negatively. It’ll actually help you both stay happier and calm, and it’ll definitely make your bond deeper and stronger.
8. Be patient and give it time
Building a healthy relationship is a process that takes time, and rebuilding a relationship takes even more than that. The easiest thing you can do is walk away.
But, the point is to fight… to fight for your love, and for staying with a person you love with all of your heart despite all of their flaws and mistakes.
So, be patient and have faith in your love.
9. Try with a support group
There are so many couples that seek professional help in order to rebuild their relationship and make it healthy again. And, this may be helpful for you, too.
Also, you can form a support group and ask them for help. This can be your family members or your friends because, after all, those are people who know you the best.
How To Get Out Of A Toxic Relationship? 8 Steps To Make
Leaving a toxic relationship won’t be easy… that’s for sure, especially, if you still love your partner the same. However, if you follow these steps below, I assure you that it’ll be as painless as possible.
1. Silence your heart and listen to your mind for a change
The first thing you need to do is have an honest talk with yourself. Put all the cards on the table and ask yourself this serious question: what are you looking for in a relationship?
If you see that the other side isn’t interested at all in trying to save your relationship, it can only be because they don’t love you, or at least, they don’t love you as much as you love them.
And, my dear, if there is no love, then there is no point in fixing things. There is no point in wasting your precious time on someone who doesn’t care for you at all.
I know that there is a constant battle going on between your heart and your mind, but this time, you really need to let your mind win.
Let them watch you leave and get out of your toxic relationship. Stop thinking about saving your relationship and start thinking about saving yourself.
2. Stop romanticizing your unhealthy relationship
It’s not love when your partner wants to spend 24/7 with you together; it’s called possessiveness. It’s not love when they constantly check up on you; it’s called jealousy.
There are so many similar things we all need to stop romanticizing in relationships because those aren’t the signs of love. Those things are just freaking sick, and sooner or later, you’ll understand it, too. Let’s just hope it’ll be sooner…
3. Stop making excuses for staying in the toxic relationship, too
If they were mistreating and disrespecting you from the beginning of your relationship, if they have never respected you, if they have never shown they really care for you…
Then, no… They’re not going to change, and you should stop hoping for it.
Stop defending your partner, making excuses, and saying that it’s just a phase, and that it’ll pass. You know you don’t believe in it yourself, so it’s time to stop lying to yourself and to the rest of the world.
4. Make the final decision
First, think about yourself. Are you really happy with your significant other? How many times did you cry yourself to sleep because they’ve hurt you?
Then, think about your relationship. Is it really the kind of relationship you hope you’ll find one day? Do you think that it has a future… that you and your partner will stay together forever?
Think about it all… and make your well-being a priority while deciding about it.
5. Stick to it, no matter what
Your soon-to-be ex-partner may not agree with your decision of breaking up. They may try to win you again or manipulate you into giving up on your decision.
And, that’s the last thing you should do. You already made your decision, and now you need to stick to it and don’t make the usual mistake of giving another chance to your relationship.
6. Practice the magnificent art of letting go
This doesn’t mean that you should just let your partner go. It means that you should let go of all of it.
Let go of memories you have shared together. Let go of all the things that remind you of them. And, finally, let go of your feelings.
7. Build a safety net
You need to think about your breakup and plan it down to the last detail. Think about how you’ll do it, and what will be your first step when you end your relationship…
8. Don’t leave without proper closure
If you leave things unfinished, you’ll keep coming back looking for closure, and you’ll actually never be able to leave for good.
How To Get Over A Toxic Relationship? 7 Tips To Heal Faster
You need to understand one thing: even if you listen to all of this advice and follow it blindly, it still doesn’t mean that you’ll get over your breakup fast.
God made us all different, and we all cope differently with these kinds of losses and the grief they leave behind. So, try to listen to your heart more and wait for it to recover fully no matter how much time it’ll need.
1. Don’t run away from your feelings
I’m sure you’re confused, and your feelings are all over the place. It’s actually pretty normal because you’re ending a relationship with someone you still truly love.
If you feel that you need to cry, then do it. If you want to eat chocolate and ice cream all day long, then do it. The worst thing you can do now is keep bottling your emotions and pretending that everything is okay in front of other people.
2. Keep the positive energy flowing
Trust me, you’ll need it. Don’t allow your depression to get the best out of you and leave you in a miserable state where you’ll end up hating yourself.
Set a support group for yourself, and surround yourself with positivity.
3. Accept that some things simply aren’t meant to be
Do you believe in soulmates? If not, I don’t blame you at all. Actually, most people think that soulmates are overrated. However, I belong to the group of people who choose to believe. I choose to believe in true love.
If you didn’t manage to stay together, it was an obvious sign from the universe that they simply aren’t the right person for you.
4. Give your heart time to heal
This is probably the most important step. The grieving process takes time and healing does, too. As much as you’d like to, you can’t forget about someone over one night.
Just because you let go of someone doesn’t mean that your heart has done the same. It doesn’t mean that your heart is ready to do the same.
So, give your heart a break. Let it get used to the fact that the other side is no longer a part of your life. Give it the opportunity to heal its emotional wounds in peace and make room for someone new in the future…
5. Engage in self-care
I get that your heart is suffering the most right now, but this is the time when you need to focus on your physical and mental health as much as you only feel the pain in your heart. Trust me, it leaves consequences everywhere… In your heart, in your soul, and unfortunately, in your mind, too.
Okay, you can cry, listen to music, and wear pajamas all day long, but that phase shouldn’t last for too long. Change your self-care habits and do something you have never done before.
Make the wellness day at home or change something about your physical appearance. Trust me, even the slightest change will be good for you, and it will help you distract your thoughts from your ex-relationship.
It’s high time to love yourself more!
6. Be proud of yourself and everything you went through
There is indeed one person you really need to be proud of. They deserve it because they were so strong for so long, and they were brave enough to walk away from an unhealthy relationship.
You see, there is something positive in everything bad. I’m sure you weren’t even aware of your strength until you had to go through all of this.
And, now, you’re fully aware of your abilities and strength. It’ll help you get back on your feet and move on faster.
7. No matter what happens, don’t ever blame yourself
Your significant other obviously has mental health issues, and you have absolutely nothing to do with that. It’s not something you caused or provoked.
Victims of toxic relationships usually blame themselves, or else their partners manipulate them into thinking they deserved to be treated the way they were. But, the truth is that no one deserves to be mistreated or abused in any way, no matter what they do.
As I already said; moving on from a toxic relationship is painful as hell and the recovery part will be even harder. If you need more encouragement, or something that will help you ease your pain, you can check these toxic relationship quotes.
Now, you have it. Everything you need to know about a toxic relationship… it’s patterns, and some helpful ways to fix it or break it for good.
If someone stabs you in the back, use that knife or scissors or whichever weapon they used to cut them off your life. And, remember, no matter how much you love someone, no person is worth your happiness and your own peace of mind.
You’ll find love again, and this time, it’ll be the one your kind heart truly deserves… don’t ever lose hope in that.