Things started out so well between you. The relationship was strong and your bond seemed unbreakable. You supported each other, uplifted each other, and felt fulfilled and content. However, suddenly things started to go downhill and now you’ve gone so far, you’re not sure if there’s a way back. Sadly, if your relationship has turned toxic, the likelihood of making it healthy again is pretty slim. Here’s why it’ll never work.
- We all change constantly over time. Our personalities should never be the same at 30 as when we were 15. As a result of life experience and normal changes we experience over the years, the relationships we undergo should move in tandem as people change with us. You might think that that allows for toxic traits in our youth to grow and become healthier over time. However, sometimes you have to cut your losses. You don’t need to cling to the past just because it’s comfortable or what you know. Both parties deserve better, but more than that, it’s hard to get that trust back. If you lost the trust and respect in your relationship earlier, even if you’re both markedly different people, it doesn’t mean that you owe each other another stage of your relationship. That’s okay. As a society, we have to allow the sunk cost in our lives to not tie us to mistakes. Just because we’ve contributed time or money to an experience it doesn’t mean that we need to stick with those decisions when they no longer serve us. We can let go of toxic relationships.
- Healthy relationships take two. It takes two to tango, but it also takes two people to commit to change and to a healthy relationship. You can’t have unequally distributed love or commitment in a relationship. It brews insecurity, anxiety, and fear, and if you love someone, it should be a safe space. If the other person isn’t willing to make that change, and people rarely are, you can’t expect to change the relationship. You can’t force the relationship and you can’t force someone to love you in the right way. Sometimes you have to love people where they are, but you can’t waste your time thinking they might get better or be more deserving of you.
- Your brain will always know that they hurt you. Even if they seem like they’ve grown, and even if you might have forgiven them, a part of you will always know that. Your heart will constantly tell you otherwise, but your brain will eventually catch up with it. Believe me.
- Their “growth” will gaslight you. The early toxic stage of a relationship creates issues of perspective. This is because any small gestures of progress or growth will be amplified in comparison to how bad they were to start with. Just the bare minimum will then be enough to impress you, and that will keep you in that relationship. Trust me, you don’t want that. It might seem like you’re making progress and changing them, but you aren’t their nurse, you aren’t their therapist, you aren’t responsible for the growth of another person. They’re not responsible for your happiness either. We have to be individuals and not define ourselves by other people.
- You have different definitions of healthy. If the poor communication skills in the toxic relationship are any evidence, time by itself won’t fix all the wounds of the past. You have to both put the work in to know what your shared goals are and if they don’t learn about themselves and what they want, they can’t tell you. If neither of you learn about yourselves, you can’t tell people how to love you. There will be an inevitable disconnect and sometimes it’s just not meant to be.
- We have to stop accepting our own discomfort. Don’t put off your own pleasure because you think you’re building to something bigger. We’re all masochistic with ourselves and we deserve to be happy in the moment, not in some deferred, unattainable future. Staying miserable in an attempt to make a toxic relationship healthy is just not smart.
- You deserve better. No is a complete sentence. You know what you deserve and what doesn’t feel right. Fight for that. Don’t accept the same thing that hurt you. They might do it again. You will stop accepting and attracting toxic guys when you know you’re better off without them.
- Friends and family have long since turned against them. It’s the old adage, once you tell your mum, there’s absolutely no going back. You just can’t. Once they ask about the relationship and you say that someone hurt you, it’s not even safe for that person to cross the state lines. You deserve a relationship that incorporates all parts of your life together, that you can be proud of.
If you’re sat here seeing yourself too much in these articles it’s maybe time to think about the relationship you’re in. It’s so much better on the other side, believe me. There are so many things a toxic relationship will teach you about love, mostly that it’s not real love, and it’s definitely not healthy.