Toxic relationships occur when there is an unhealthy and destructive connection between two individuals, whether it be with a friend, family member, or romantic partner. These relationships are poisoned by manipulative behaviours, emotional abuse and intimidation.
They can leave both parties feeling drained, depleted, and unmotivated to continue the connection. The effects of a toxic relationship can last for years and can be difficult to undo without proper support.
Here are five hard truths about toxic relationships that we need to hear and accept in order to break free from them.
Truth #1: You Deserve Better
It’s important to recognize that you deserve better than a toxic relationship. It might be hard for you to internalize this truth at first because of the way your partner has conditioned you, but you have a right to live your life free from toxicity and pain.
No matter how much they may try to push down your self-esteem, remember that, deep down, you know you don’t deserve this kind of treatment.
Truth #2: You Can’t Fix Your Partner
No matter how much we love someone else, we cannot change them – only they can do that themselves!
Trying to force someone into changing who they are will not work. Instead, it will only lead to further tension within the relationship as both partners struggle against each other’s expectations.
It’s understandable that you might want to help your partner out of their bad habits or out of their poor mental health state.
But here’s the thing—you can’t fix them.
That person needs professional help and you can’t provide them with that kind of assistance on your own.
All you can do is make sure they get the necessary help so they can work on themselves without dragging you into their issues.
Truth #3: You Don’t Have To Endure Abuse
No one deserves abuse, in any form or shape.
If your partner hurts you in any way, take the necessary steps needed in order to protect yourself and get away from them as soon as possible.
Truth #4: Your Feelings Matter
It’s easy to feel like your feelings don’t matter when you’re in a toxic relationship. You may think that if you just push your worries aside, things will get better on their own, but they won’t.
Your feelings are valid, no matter what anyone else says or does. Make sure that you give yourself the time and space to process how you’re feeling, and make sure that your partner is willing to listen without judgement or criticism. If not, then you need to start thinking of an exit plan.
Truth #5: You Deserve Respect
A healthy relationship should be based on mutual respect. If this isn’t present, then something is seriously wrong.
Respect means listening to each other’s opinions without judgement or criticism. It also means being honest with each other about your feelings and expectations from the relationship.
If your partner isn’t respecting these boundaries then it’s time to reassess why you’re still together.
Truth #6: Communication Is Key
We’ve all heard this before – communication is key for any successful relationship!
It’s important for both partners to be open with each other about their thoughts and feelings, as well as any issues they may be having within the relationship itself. Without open communication, it’s impossible to understand how either party is truly feeling, which can lead to misunderstandings and resentment building up over time.
Truth #7: Boundaries Need To Be Set
Boundaries are essential in a healthy relationship. Both partners need to know where their limits are so that neither feels uncomfortable or taken advantage of by the other person.
This doesn’t mean shutting down communication or avoiding tough conversations. It just means being aware of each others’ needs so both parties can feel secure within the relationship without sacrificing their own freedom of expression or individual rights.
There Is Life After A Toxic Relationship
Things may seem dark now, but know that there will come a day when life will feel less overwhelming and more manageable again.
Taking the time to heal after a toxic relationship can be difficult and challenging, but it’s also an important process if you want to move on in life.
Here are 10 actionable steps that you can take to help with the healing process, from acknowledging your emotions to redefining your notion of love.
Acknowledge What You Feel
It can be difficult to admit that you’re feeling hurt, scared or angry after a toxic relationship, but it’s an important first step in the healing process. Taking the time to name your emotions and accept them is essential for beginning to move on.
Take care of yourself after the end of a toxic relationship by nurturing your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Spend time outside in nature, get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious meals and engage in activities that bring you joy.
Lean on friends and family during this challenging transition period as they can provide emotional support as well as practical help with tasks such as housework or childcare.
If needed, seek out counseling or therapy to help you process your feelings and heal from traumatic experiences associated with the toxic relationship.
Reach out to people who bring positive energy into your life and make sure to stay connected, not just online but also face-to-face.
Building strong relationships with supportive individuals will give you back some of the closeness that may have been lost in a toxic relationship.
Be Kind To Yourself
Your own self-talk is key when it comes to recovering from a toxic relationship. The language you use when thinking about yourself should be kind and compassionate at all times.
Forgive yourself for making mistakes without judgement for choosing wrong partners in the past, as recognizing our flaws is an important part of growth and learning from our experiences.
Allow Time for Healing
Give yourself permission to take the time needed for healing after a toxic relationship ends and don’t rush through it too quickly.
Allow yourself moments of pain, sadness and anger but also recognize that these emotions won’t last forever and there are brighter days ahead if you focus on making healthy choices moving forward.
Use creative outlets like music, drawing or writing as an effective way of processing feelings while restoring balance within yourself after enduring a difficult experience like being in a toxic relationship.
Expressing emotions can also help provide clarity which allows us to reframe our past experiences positively moving forward into healthier relationships in the future.
Challenge Thoughts & Behaviours
Unhealthy patterns that were reinforced during toxic relationships can become ingrained in our minds and behaviours. However by consciously challenging these thoughts we can slowly shift how we perceive ourselves overall, ultimately leading us towards healthier relationships down the line.
Redefine Your Notion Of Love
After escaping toxic relationships, it’s natural to feel discouraged or jaded when it comes to love. but don’t let those negative feelings hinder your chances at finding happiness later on down the road.
Try redefining what love looks like so that any future relationships are based on mutual respect instead of domination and control. This will ensure healthier bonds between both parties going forward!
Reclaim Your Power and Move On
When trying to recover from toxic relationships, remember that no one else has power over how you choose to live. Only you have control over where your journey goes from here, so don’t forget take back ownership of your life and start planning whatever comes next.
Final Thoughts on Toxic Relationships
It’s not easy facing up against these hard truths about toxic relationships, but understanding them is essential if we’re ever going to break free from them and start living healthier lives full of love and respect for ourselves and others around us.
With awareness, understanding, and self-care, anyone can learn how t o recognize when things aren’t right, and find healthier ways of being with those around them.
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Carla Corelli, a writer, advocate, and survivor of narcissistic abuse, draws from her own upbringing with a narcissistic father to shed light on psychological trauma. Fueled by her personal journey, she pursued a degree in psychology and has dedicated herself to shedding light on the complexities of narcissistic abuse.
With over fifteen years of experience in writing and advocating for survivors, Carla is deeply committed to providing support, education, and empowerment to those who have endured similar trauma. Through her articles, Carla aims to offer a compassionate space for healing and growth, while advocating for greater awareness and understanding of narcissistic abuse.
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