Relationships can be complicated, but when it becomes toxic, it can take a toll on your entire life. A toxic relationship can cause damage to your emotional and physical health. It may also extend to other areas of your life, such as work, finances, or relationships with friends and family.
If you are in a toxic relationship, this article can help you identify and verify the signs of a toxic relationship, the areas of your life that can be affected by your relationship, how to get out of your situation, and the seven ways to heal after you leave.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship is one where there’s an imbalance of power between the two people involved, often with one person dominating the other. It can also be characterized by either partner’s anger, jealousy, or guilt. It may also involve verbal abuse, manipulation, controlling behavior, and emotional manipulation.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
Understanding the signs of a toxic relationship is pivotal in understanding your current situation and knowing how to get out.
Common Signs of a Toxic Relationship include:
- Feeling constantly on edge or anxious
- Not feeling respected or valued by your partner
- Having to “walk on eggshells” around your partner
- Feeling as though you’re being controlled or manipulated
- Your partner isolating you from your friends and family
- Feeling like you can never do anything right
- Feeling that your opinion is not valued or heard
- Constantly having to make excuses for your partner’s behavior
Something to remember is that people can exhibit one or two of these signs and not be intentionally toxic. More likely, they lack in an area of life and need to grow to be a healthier person. But the focus when discussing these signs is how they make you feel when you experience these behaviors.
How Your Toxic Partner Can Ruin Other Areas of Your Life
A toxic relationship can take a toll on other areas of your life, not just your emotional and physical health. Sometimes, it can create such deep issues that it can feel like they are ruining your life. Often, it’s hard to see this because you are stuck in the cycle of abuse, but once you take a step back, you can see things more clearly.
Here are some ways that your toxic partner could be negatively affecting your life:
- Difficulty Concentrating at Work: A toxic relationship can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress, which makes it difficult to concentrate on work tasks. With emotions high and an inability to focus, it can lead to decreased productivity and affect your career in general. Calling out of work, losing pay because you can’t complete work, or losing your job can all deeply affect the trajectory of your life.
- Problems With Finances: A toxic relationship can lead to arguments about money and decisions not in your best financial interests. Either they want to control all the money between the two of you, limiting how you spend money, or they want to spend all your money like it is theirs, leaving you without savings and money to pay for necessities. This can strain your finances and have long-term implications for your financial stability.
- Strained Relationships with Friends and Family: It can be hard to keep up with your friends and family if you’re in a toxic relationship. Your partner may try to isolate you from them or discourage you from spending time with them. In your partner’s eyes, isolating you from family and friends lessens the chances of them telling you your partner is terrible, leading you to leave them. Being unable to contact and connect with people you love can cause strain in those relationships and make it challenging to keep a strong support system. This is the goal of the isolation your partner is creating. If you have no other support system, you have to rely on your partner for everything, also making it less likely you will leave them.
How to Get Out
Leaving a toxic relationship is difficult but essential for your safety and happiness.
Here are some tips on how to get out of a toxic relationship:
- Make a Plan: It’s essential to have a plan in place before you leave to ensure your safety. This should include having a safe space to stay, money saved for living expenses, and supportive people who will be there for you when needed. If you do not feel safe leaving or feel like your partner might hurt you if you try, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for further assistance to remain safe while leaving the situation.
- Please Seek Professional Help: It’s vital to seek professional help when in a toxic relationship to get the support and guidance you need to make the right decisions to ensure you are safe and well after leaving your partner. A therapist or counselor can provide the tools to help you process what happened within the relationship, navigate the act of leaving your partner, and understand what a healthy relationship looks like to avoid toxic people in the future.
- Find Support: It’s essential to find support from friends and family when getting out of a toxic relationship. Having people who understand what you’re going through can make it easier to get through the process. If you secure a support system before you leave, it helps you feel less alone and safer by starting over and healing yourself.
7 Steps To Heal After Leaving Your Toxic Relationship
Getting out of a toxic relationship is complex. It can feel scary, but it is a necessary step toward living a healthier, happier life. But how do you begin the healing process once you’re out?
Here are seven steps to take that will help you start your journey to recovery:
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings: It is essential to acknowledge and accept your feelings as they arise and not try to push them away or ignore them. This will help you to process and understand your emotions.
2. Talk To Someone You Trust: Finding someone you trust and feel comfortable talking to about your feelings and experiences in the relationship is crucial. This can be a friend, family member, therapist, or counselor.
3. Practice Self-Care: Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally is essential in your recovery from your experiences. Prioritize activities that make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated, such as yoga, meditation, or walking.
4. Set Boundaries: Setting boundaries with yourself and others will help create healthy relationships and keep you safe from potential harm. Make sure to enforce these boundaries if they are crossed.
5. Take Time for Yourself: It is essential to make time for yourself and do things that make you happy, such as reading a book, listening to music, or catching up on sleep.
6. Let Go of Guilt: You will eventually learn to forgive yourself and let go of the guilt you may feel for staying in the relationship for as long as you did. Remember, leaving a toxic situation takes a lot of strength – be proud of yourself for doing so!
7. Reach Out For Support: You don’t have to go through this process alone! Reaching out to support groups or therapy can provide the necessary tools and resources you need to heal. Toxic relationships are complex, bring up many feelings, and sometimes cause trauma. A therapist or support group can help you through these complicated feelings and experiences with people who understand what you are going through.
Ultimately, recovering from a toxic relationship takes time and patience. By taking these steps, you can start to heal and move forward healthily.
Toxic relationships can take a massive toll on our mental and physical health and other areas of our lives, such as work, finances, or relationships with friends and family. It’s essential to recognize the signs of a toxic relationship and take steps to get out of it.
By taking control of your life and seeking the right resources, you can be free from the toxicity of a toxic relationship and start living your life on your terms.
If you or someone you know is in a toxic relationship and need a therapist to help you navigate your exit strategy or your healing process, call us or start here to make an appointment. Take the first step on your path to wellness today!
Are you in a toxic relationship right now? Or were you in one but got out? How were you able to leave and find healing? Let’s talk about it in the comments!