The term “toxic relationship” is pretty common in today’s lexicon, but it should not be normalized if it exists in your relationship. Toxic relationships occur when people become trapped in unhealthy relational patterns and cycles. In this article, we’ll look at the question: Can a toxic relationship be saved?
Can a Toxic Relationship Be Saved
Physical or sexual attraction in romantic relationships can be a powerful force that draws people to stay in toxic relationships, says Melody Li, LMFT, a couples therapist. Unhealthy dynamics can be repaired with conscious time, effort, and self-awareness. To move forward, however, both people must be willing to change and accept responsibility. Here’s precisely how a toxic relationship can be saved and moved forward:
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#1. Determine whether the relationship can be repaired.
Toxic relationships can change. But there is a big if. A toxic relationship can be transformed if and only if both partners are equally committed to overcoming it; through open communication, honesty, self-reflection, and possibly professional assistance, both individually and collectively. It will necessitate that each of you examines your actions and does inner work. Also, If you or your partner are unwilling to put forth genuine effort, the relationship will not change and should be terminated.
#2. Be prepared to walk away.
“Before confronting a toxic partner, ensure your self-esteem and self-confidence are strong enough to know you’ll be fine if they end the relationship with you or if you have to end it with them.” Seek help if you haven’t already, “Miley Gomez, LPC, a trauma counselor, says. “If you want to improve your relationship with a toxic partner, you must be willing to leave if nothing changes. Also, if you refuse to do so, your partner will eventually realize that no matter what they do, you will not leave.”
#3. Search for the ABCDs.
“A toxic relationship can be identified if there is a consistent presence of ABCD—accusations, blame, criticisms, and demands,” Li says. Also, If these behaviors are prevalent in your relationship, discuss them with your partner and agree to work together to break the cycle.
When you do something that makes the situation worse, think about how it makes the argument worse. It’s important to remember that it’s not you versus your partner; instead, it’s both of you versus the communication issue. This collaborative mindset can assist you in naturally reconnecting with your partner.
#4. Make use of your voice
In toxic relationships, you may walk on eggshells to avoid upsetting your partner, leading to resentment over time. Take note if you experience anxiety when communicating with your partner because you are afraid of their reaction. In a relationship, it’s essential to feel comfortable and talk about problems as they arise.
#5. Begin occupying space
In toxic relationships, one person frequently fails to honor themselves or their needs. According to Gomez, you have opinions, likes, and dislikes, but you often do things that are not in your best interests. You don’t want to upset them or hurt their feelings. Furthermore, the relationship may become one-sided over time, making your needs harder to see.
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#6. Seek assistance
“A toxic relationship can be identified if one or both partners feel worse about themselves while in the relationship.” “It could be self-esteem, confidence, or body image,” “Li explains. Being around them does not make you feel stable; instead, it makes you feel as if you are constantly striving to be better to feel good enough.
Healthy love—true, nurturing romance—does not necessitate any acts of earning. You are sufficient simply by being yourself.
#7. Learn to believe in yourself and stick to your convictions.
In toxic relationships, gaslighting is a cognitive strategy used to create a subtle, unbalanced power dynamic to control the moment in the relationship. If you constantly question your sensitivity and judgment, you will soon distrust your feelings and thoughts. Mindfulness practices can help you learn to trust yourself and your own experience. Your truth is unassailable.
#8. Investigate healthier ways to express criticism as a group.
In all contexts of a relationship, constructive criticism can be a healthy expression. However, if someone consistently criticizes you in a judgmental or condemnatory manner that is no longer helpful, they have crossed the line.
“Everything is subject to criticism.” Every time you do something, they comment on what you did wrong or how you could have done it better. “In the end, you feel unappreciated,” Gomez explains.
#9. Be willing to engage in uncomfortable conversations.
Gomez observes that toxic relationships are often riddled with little white lies—on both sides. If your partner has an acidic reaction when things don’t go their way or when you disagree, you may have grown accustomed to telling them what they want to hear because you “don’t want to waste time explaining the truth.”
However, healthy relationships are two-way streets, and honesty is essential if you want to connect meaningfully with your partner.
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#10. Do not leave a conflict without a change plan.
“Without a proper resolution, there is a pattern of escalation (intensifying emotions) and rupture (fighting and conflict).” ” Partners may move on if there is no plan for change and how to approach conflict in a new way,” Li explains. Is that something you’ve heard before?
Also, suppose there is a history of conflict avoidance and a lack of personal accountability. In that case, Li suggests making a safe space where partners can talk about how they feel, what they need, and what they want without using ABCD.
What Exactly is a Toxic Relationship?
Everything just kind of works in a healthy relationship. Sure, you may occasionally disagree or encounter other roadblocks, but you generally make decisions together, openly discuss any problems that arise, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Another story is about toxic relationships. According to relationship therapist Jor-El Caraballo, in a toxic relationship, you may consistently feel drained or unhappy after spending time with your partner, which can indicate that something needs to change.
Even if you still love your partner, the relationship may no longer be enjoyable. For some reason, you always seem to irritate each other or can’t seem to stop arguing over trivial matters. You might even dread seeing them instead of looking forward to them as you did previously.
What are the Characteristics of a Toxic Relationship?
Toxic signs can be subtle or pronounced depending on the nature of the relationship, according to Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., author of “Joy from Fear.”
When you’re in a toxic relationship, it can be difficult to notice the red flags that appear. Nonetheless, you may see some of these signs in yourself, your partner, or the relationship as a whole.
#1. A lack of assistance
“Healthy relationships are founded on a mutual desire to see the other succeed in all aspects of life,” says Caraballo. When things become toxic, however, every accomplishment becomes a competition.
#2. Harmful communication
Instead of kindness and mutual respect, most of your conversations are filled with sarcasm or criticism and fuelled by contempt — a divorce predictor.
#3. Jealousy or envy
While it’s perfectly normal to feel envious from time to time, Caraballo explains that it can become an issue if your envy prevents you from thinking positively about your partner’s accomplishments.
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#4. Behaviors of control
Is your partner constantly asking you where you are? Maybe they get annoyed or irritated when you don’t respond to texts right away or when you text them repeatedly until you do.
You’re constantly making up lies about your whereabouts or who you meet with, whether to avoid spending time with your partner or because you’re afraid of how they’ll react if you tell them the truth.
Are There Any Signs That Your Toxic Relationship Can Be Saved?
Many believe toxic relationships are doomed, but this isn’t always true. What is the deciding factor? Manly believes that both partners must want to change. “If only one partner is committed to establishing healthy patterns, there is a slim chance that change will occur.” Here are a few indicators that your toxic relationship can be saved:
#1. Acceptance of responsibility
You’re on the right track if you and your partner both recognize that your relationship is struggling and want to improve it. Manly says that both people must be able to see how their past actions have hurt the relationship. It reflects a desire for self-awareness and responsibility.
#2. Willingness to invest
Are you and your partner both willing to invest in improving your relationship? That’s a good sign that your toxic relationship can be saved. “This may manifest as an interest in deepening conversations,” Manly says, or as regular blocks of time set aside for spending quality time together.
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#3. Change your focus from blaming to understanding.
There may be a way forward if you steer the conversation away from blaming and toward understanding and learning.
#4. Acceptance of outside assistance
Individual or couple’s counseling may sometimes be required to help you get back on track. There is no shame in seeking professional assistance to address persistent relationship problems. Furthermore, you can’t always pick up on everything causing toxicity within a relationship, and relationship counselors are trained to provide a neutral perspective and unbiased support.
Toxic communication and behavior patterns can splinter and erode the foundations of your relationship, but you don’t have to sit back and watch your bond with your partner deteriorate.
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When you and your partner are committed to making changes, a relationship therapist can assist you in identifying underlying factors; that contribute to relationship toxicity and exploring healthy, compassionate approaches to communication and problem-solving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a toxic relationship worth saving?
No, not always. A toxic relationship is sometimes worth saving. “They are the result of a relationship dynamic that has a fatal flaw that both partners are unaware of; both believe that in a relationship, one person can be responsible for the emotions of the other person.”
Can a toxic relationship go back to normal?
When we are in a toxic relationship, it eventually becomes comfortable/normal, just like any other aspect of our lives; that we encounter regularly. This is why separating (for good) is so tricky. We return because it’s what we know best. It is possible to overcome toxic relationships!
Do toxic relationships ever last?
Toxic relationships are also more likely to be long-term. What’s the deal with that? Some of my longest-lasting relationships were also some of my most toxic. When I talk to other people in unhealthy relationships, I find that many, if not most, of them have experienced the same thing.
Will a toxic person ever change?
It is possible for toxic people to change if you have addressed toxic behavior with; the person exhibiting it and they have taken it to heart. “Toxic people can absolutely change,” Kennedy says, “but they must first recognize their role in the problem; before they will find the motivation to do so.”
Can a broken relationship ever be fixed?
Even if a relationship is severely damaged, it is still possible to repair it. You can get back on the same team and realign your goals and expectations once you; both start taking responsibility for the repair of your relationship.