A toxic dating relationship can last for years. These exhausting affective dynamics are imprinted on communication, treatment and a love that erodes self-concepts and identities. Leaving these harmful circles is not easy, firstly because we are not always aware of it, and secondly, because we do not know how to end these types of ties.
Why it happens? For what reason do we initiate (and maintain) such highly dangerous relationships? The truth is that when we talk about love, no one has the perfect manual that can answer all the questions. Falling in love means letting ourselves be carried away by a series of intense emotions, where it is sometimes very difficult to maintain balance and perspective of what is happening. There are many ways to love and sometimes we end up shaping the most damaging, the one that usually leaves the most consequences.
It is better to be safe than sorry and to be aware before the crush. Knowing the tricks that a toxic person carries out will prevent us from falling into dangerous relationships.
Likewise, it is also indicative that the same person may experience more than one toxic relationship throughout his life. Does this mean that some of us may have the profile of a “victim”, a person who can be easily manipulated?
The truth is that we cannot guarantee such an ideal. Absolutely. Nor should we see the toxic person focused exclusively on the “male role” and the victim, on the “female role.” The manipulator, the person who coerces, punishes and mistreats, can perfectly fall on the side of both genders.
It is worth bearing in mind, despite the fact that, undoubtedly, the cases of women who end up being the focus of most abuses are better known. It is therefore convenient to know what measures we can follow to get out of a toxic relationship. For our sake, for our emotional health.
Why don’t we realize that we are living in a toxic relationship?
Maybe in your personal circle you know someone who is living a toxic relationship. You know it, but she is not aware. He doesn’t see it. And although we try to show him that what he is experiencing is not normal, the person in question refuses to admit it. Why happens? Basically for these dimensions :
- We think that our partner can change , that what is happening is temporary. Since he loves us, sooner or later his behavior will improve. In other words, we create an “idealized” vision of the couple that is not related to reality.
- The manipulated person, sometimes, has a very low self-esteem. Maybe before starting that relationship, he was someone strong and self-confident. But over time, all that psychological fabric ends up boycotted until it forms an absolute dependency.
- We often fall for blackmail. We cannot forget that a toxic couple relationship is sustained through a series of very specific emotional patterns on the part of one of the members: manipulation, victimhood, control and those emotional blackmails with which to coerce the victim.
- The fear of loneliness, abandonment or rejection. Despite living in a toxic relationship, we think that “it” will always be better than being alone. It happens frequently, although it seems surprising.
- Fear of the consequences for leaving that person : there may be a clear fear of how the person will react. Perhaps there is a violent component to consider.
Strategies to get out of a toxic relationship
Awareness: ending self-deception
We said it at the beginning. It is not easy to perceive the cycle of abuse, the bond that haunts us, the jealousy that haunts us, the vocabulary that controls and denigrates. It is not easy because we put a blindfold on our eyes and another on our heart, the one that puts our own love towards the toxic person.
- Realizing this implies assuming something very concrete: even with love, there are certain cases in which distance is better. Also, this is something that our environment, our family and friends always see first. It is likely that at some point they tried to open our eyes, but we, reluctant to see beyond, preferred to stay here more, glued to the toxic person.
- Ending self-deception is being able to see where we are. It is looking inward to perceive the relief of abuse, pent-up pain, absent self-esteem … In essence, unhappiness.
A mantra to be able to put emotional distance
A mantra is an expression, a word that, repeated many times, acquires a meaning in our mind. Thus, and from a therapeutic perspective, this type of mental strategies also help us to become emotionally aware of certain aspects that can be harmful to us.
For example, a mantra that we should integrate in these cases is the following: “what he says and does hurts me. This is not Love. His behavior is not going to change. This simple strategy will help us to distance ourselves when we take that first step and attempts to resume the relationship appear. There are many people who restart their relationships with this type of profile over and over again. Hence, it is necessary not only “zero contact” but to use this tool to maintain distance.
Say no to fear, we deserve better
You have to do it: say no to fear, because that will be the main barrier that we will have to jump. If we do not see ourselves with strength, we should never hesitate to ask for help. To a friend, a partner, that relative who always supports us or any health or social services professional. We don’t have to do it alone. Nobody deserves a life inhabited by psychological exhaustion, by pressure and fear.
It is clear that each pair is a own particular universe, but sometimes, the loneliness is much better than this kind of damaging ties established by a toxic relationship partner.
Invest all energies in yourself. You have spent too much time being like a small satellite orbiting a planet that has not contributed anything to you. It is time to move, to find your own horizon and recover new illusions, those that are our own and that we all deserve.
Getting out of a toxic relationship is possible, it requires courage and good self-esteem. But we are all capable of achieving it, it is at your fingertips and it is the opportunity to turn the knob towards that door that will open a new happiness.
Insecurity is the germ of toxic relationships
Insecurity is a germ that erodes personal relationships. The insecure person will try to make the other feel insecure to control the relationship
Image: Viaska, John Cotmann