We've all been there, you just might not have realised it at the time, or after reading this, realise you are in one now, a toxic relationship.

Relationships, no matter how long or short the duration, require investment, commitment, and dedication, to make things work, and to maintain what we hope to be a healthy relationship with our partner. For many, the warning signs of a toxic relationship are transparent, both to ourselves, and often to those around us, but for others, the rose-tinted glasses that are often worn in relationships, can mask the signs of an unhealthy, and possibly harmful relationship.

What to look out for

A toxic relationship is defined by one which exists on negativity, characteristically on both sides of the couple. Destructive traits and behaviours will be present almost all of the time, including:

  • Jealousy
  • Paranoia
  • Smothering
  • Argumentative
  • Intolerance
  • Lack of enthusiasm
  • Accusatory remarks
  • Threats
  • Manipulation
  • Rejection

How can a couple exist, and maintain a relationship dominated by such traits? It's easy, they become so embroiled in the repeated behaviours, that they then become detached from what most of us would deem 'healthy' relationship traits. It is reasonable to acknowledge that despite all of the negative behaviours, couples are often deeply in love, and aspects of a relationship that often are the first sign of decay, such as physical contact and affection, may well still be in tact.

For many, they fear being #single, and for those who have been in the toxic relationship a long time, the notion of being alone, without a partner, even one who makes them desperately unhappy, is one that frightens them, therefore they remain.

It's easy to stand on the side-line and comment on couples that choose to live like this, but I suppose, until we experience it ourselves, it is difficult to know what factors drive couples to stay together, rather than divide. Fortunately, I am a 'zero tolerance' kinda girl, I'm well read on the psychology of relationships, good and bad, therefore my radar for negative warning signs is always on full alert, and at the slightest 'sniff' of behaviour traits from a partner that I do not approve of, or threaten me in any way, you won't see me for dust!

How to exit a toxic relationship?

  • Discover your self-worth
  • Gain support from loved ones
  • Be open about what you want to achieve
  • Stand by your decision with honour
  • Make positive future plans
  • Recognise your feelings and emotions
  • Acknowledge the positives
  • Fill your life with events to keep you busy
  • Don't feel guilty about wanting to be happy
  • Don't look for someone to replace your partner too quickly
  • Cut off all contact, or you will go back

Sounds easy, I know, and you may wish to create your own 'exit strategy', however, remember, only you can make the decision, and furthermore, the necessary changes. But first, you have to #Love yourself, and understand how life can be once you've made that difficult step. #toxicrelationships