Can A Toxic Relationship Be Saved? How To Know Where You Stand

Can a toxic relationship be saved? While many people’s kneejerk reaction is that you’re best off running for the hills at the first sign of trouble, it’s definitely possible to address and correct the serious issues that are negatively affecting your relationship dynamic. Of course, whether or not your particular relationship should undergo rehab or be put to rest altogether depends on your circumstances. If you can’t decide whether to keep fighting or give up and walk away, read on for a bit of guidance.

  1. If you have both changed, then sure. This is basically the one condition that makes overhauling a toxic relationship possible. Unless you’ve addressed your toxic behaviors and tendencies as an individual and as a couple, there’s no way you can wipe the slate clean and move forward with a healthy, happy relationship. As human beings, we’re imperfect. We mean well, but we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do, which means that we inevitably tend to backslide. When that happens, we revert to the same screwed-up behaviors that got us into trouble in the first place. Can your toxic relationship be saved? Not if you’re the same person you always were.
  2. If one of you changed, don’t bother. That’s just not fair to the one person who did the work to address their issues. Again, that person will be the one who gets dragged down by the one who’s stuck in their old ways. You won’t grow as people and you’ll just be stuck in a constant battle, waiting for the other person to catch up and get on the same page. That’s not fun for anyone. There comes a point when one of you has to be the bigger person and realize it’s time to throw in the towel.
  3. Hurt feelings don’t go away. Even if you think that the previous remnants of an old relationship have disappeared, they haven’t. They never will. Hurt always sticks with you. It’s like a defense mechanism that reminds you not to do the same thing again. You’ll always snap back to the memory of that hurt the next time they hurt you. Believe me, you’re only ever one argument away from those memories. They’ll get thrown back into your face in arguments and you’ll throw them straight back. Try to let go. Who can grow in a relationship like that?
  4. You learn their toxic habits. It’s like when a puppy learns bad tricks from your cousin’s dog — they come away from the family visit a changed thing. Suddenly, they’re behaving badly and being disobedient. But humans do the same thing. The longer you spend in a toxic relationship or with a toxic partner, the more you start to absorb and display those same behaviors. If they’re passive-aggressive, you’ll become that way too. If they’re secretive and tend to lie a lot, you’ll suddenly be someone with something to hide. It’s not a good situation.
  5. You’ll constantly be reminded of the past. You can’t escape the mistakes you made when you were younger in a past relationship. By staying in the same relationship, you’re forcing your ex to do the same too. You’re better off without them. No one needs to constantly be reminded of all the ways they’ve messed up.
  6. You’ll always argue about it. You may insist that you’re not one to hold grudges and that you’re happy to move on with a clean slate, but you won’t forget and forgive the past. Something will arise at some point that will remind you of all the bad stuff that came before and you won’t be able to help yourself. You’ll succumb to those feelings even if you’re not open with your partner about them. Your view of your partner will change and they’ll notice. Things will get just as messed up as they were before and heartbreak will ensue.
  7. You’ll stop talking. That’s even worse than arguing too much. Your relationship will devolve and narrow to a point of resentment and disgust. Yet neither of you will be brave enough to see what’s outside each other to actually leave. Fighting is bad, but silence is torture. Don’t do it to yourself.
  8. You’ll waste precious time and energy. The longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the further behind you’ll get in life and the more out of control you’ll feel. You’ll see your friends making mistakes but growing from them and becoming better people. However, you’ll be stuck in the same old place, feeling trapped and treading water in a relationship that isn’t serving you. The best chance you can give yourself to not only survive but thrive is to walk away ASAP.

So there you have it, a slightly uncompromising insight into reasons why toxic relationships can’t ever really be saved. You have to view them as a lost cause and learn to let go and stop attracting guys that are all wrong for you. Only then will you be able to form healthier connections free of those soul-destroying qualities that toxic relationships are known for.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.