IDENTIFYING A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

Imarose here and I want to give you some valuable information, information that can save you a ton of pain and heartache if you can really internalize it. I think one of the hardest relationship skills to master is recognizing when a relationship isn’t right and walking away.

Today, I am going to share an insight on sure fire signs that your relationship is toxic.  A toxic substance is something that causes damage to you, drains you, and depletes you. A toxic relationship can irrevocably damage your sense of self, and ultimately destroy your destiny, if you don’t get out.

There are toxic relationships and then there are toxic relationships, and I found myself in the latter between 2012 when my engagement ended and 2013. The funny thing about toxic relationships is that, it usually comes in the times when we are the most vulnerable. I have come to the conclusion that toxic people  are emotional predators.

Like most relationships, this one got off to a relatively problem-free start. The chemistry was electric, the attraction was strong, conversation flowed effortlessly, and we couldn’t get enough of each other. We talked morning till night; I dozed off with him watching me and woke up to him on Skype.  No quality and emotionally healthy man is going to keep you on the phone morning till night (it’s not normal).

I felt a pull toward him unlike anything I had ever felt before. This more than anything was mainly because, I was vulnerable and he was highly insecure so he gave me what I thought I needed (attention) too much attention than I was comfortable with, but I  convinced myself that it would all work out because it simply had to, he was a nice guy.

Maybe you think you’re experiencing the typical ups and downs that relationships bring, or maybe you blame some external source and think that as soon as it gets resolved, everything will be fine.

Being able to see a situation for what it is and accept that it isn’t going to change can be empowering. It gives you the ability to look at things through an objective lens and make a decision that is in your best interest. To help you avoid some of the hard roads I had to travel on my way to this super confident woman, who isn’t afraid to step aside and kiss toxicity goodbye, I have identified the biggest signs that you’re with an emotionally toxic men.

Please note that, women can be toxic and same signs apply, but because I am a woman who has experienced toxic men, I am writing about my experience and that doesn’t imply all men are toxic or that only men can be toxic.

Anyways, here are the signs to look out for:

The relationship starts out intense: The problem with most of us today is that we mistake intensity for intimacy or a sign that he/she is your ‘soulmate’. The easiest definition of intimacy is knowing another and being known.  Intensity in relationship terms is getting a surge of whatever makes a person feel good.  Intimacy is developed over time, with patience, with love, with understanding, with compassion, with sacrifice.  Intensity happens quickly and fades quickly. If you start out the relationship and you are ALWAYS together, or he/she calls you their happy place, or you cannot find a moment to think, then know you are headed for a disaster.

This is important in understanding Addiction, Bipolar, Personality Disorders, and just plain ol’ dysfunctional relationship patterns.  For example, with addiction, a person adapts to the world and copes using a substance or person or thing as if it were a relationship- gaining comfort, support, investing time and energy, and to soothe pain. The only difference is that people are not substances so after a while, the receiving partner will begin to feel burdened and will eventually shut down especially at times when they need to be the ones comforted not the comforter.

Healthy relationships take time so don’t fall victim for the intensity, slow it down before you crash and burn.

You never feel good enough: When they were trying to woo you, you made them the happiest, but suddenly, you don’t quite measure up. You become addicted to his validation, his ways of doing things. You want to make sure that his feelings are put first, sometimes before yours and whenever you decide it should be about you for once, all hell breaks loose because you are no longer what he wants you to be. That my dear is emotional blackmail and you better run.

You can’t be yourself: One sign that you’re in a healthy; loving relationship is the feeling that you can just be. A big sign that you are in an unhealthy, toxic relationship is the opposite, the feeling that you can’t be yourself, that your identity is being stifled either directly or indirectly. If you like your hair a certain way he tries to make you do what he likes, or if you MUST listen to his kind of music and forget your own preference because he doesn’t like it. The problem with this is that again, you’ll do everything for  the relationship to work, so you suffer in silence and hope that somehow things will change, that somehow this relationship will magically transform into a healthy, happy one if you pretend to like only what he likes and slowly forget everything that makes you you.

You fight dirty: Couples fight, even the happiest ones, it just comes with the relationship territory. Fights can occur over all sorts of things, both big and small. Happy couples aren’t ones who never fight, they are ones who use fights and disagreements as a means to resolve the issue. If something can’t be resolved, they learn how to communicate better and reach a place of deeper understanding.

Toxic couples usually fight to win. They use fights as an opportunity to tear the other person down, to hit below the belt, to get out all the anger and resentment they feel. Dirty fights are a sign that the resentment level in the relationship has hit its limit. These fights are full of hostility and contempt, and each person is overcome by the desire to “win” and prove their case rather than work together to lovingly resolve the issue.

My grandpa used to say a man who is never wrong is the most dangerous man on earth, don’t marry him. How do you know a man who is never wrong? Check how he apologises and or if he apologises at all. If he throws you an apology (you know that kind to shut you up or to get you to talk to them again) he is not sorry! … the same goes for the woman

She/He won’t work on it. The abuser in a toxic relationship doesn’t take responsibility for anything, instead blames the world and makes it all your fault. If you ever meet someone who is always throwing blames even for the littlest of things like weight gain, then steer clear, you may just be the next person he/she blames for their mishaps. Also watch out for how well your partner handles criticism, if they genuinely work on it so the relationship would be better or if they brush it off.

I have a friend who complained how she got tired of telling her man to sort out his personal hygiene because it bothered her but instead of working on it to make her happy at least, he would say things like ‘well you kind of got the raw deal’.

They don’t know you: If your partner doesn’t know your favourite colour, what makes you happy, what kind of music you listen to or what turns you on; then I am sorry to say this but you may have found yourself in a toxic relationship. People in healthy relationships don’t make it only about them, as a matter of fact, they take out time to learn their partner either by asking questions or by observation. This is very key because it shows that they care and your happiness is their happiness as well.

And there you have it, if you have any other points on identifying a toxic relationship or if you’d like to share your experience of being in one then leave a comment below.

Love,

Imarose

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7 thoughts on “IDENTIFYING A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

  1. Your friend is not serious, how can she be begging a grown ass nigga to take care of his hygiene, like dating a dirty man and marrying him hoping he changes, how you meet him is how he will remain nobody can hide personal hygiene

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  2. My friend is about to marry a toxic man. We were just talking about how much she has changed; suddenly she doesn’t care about her appearance anymore, adding so much weight and doesn’t wear makeup because her bae likes it like that. My opinion is, only an insecure man will impose his likes on a woman! Was he blind? Didn’t he see that my friend was a glamorous woman before coming to her? The problem with men like this is that they like what is out of their league but to rule over her they change into something that only they will want! If you want a village girl by all means get a village girl, but don’t come and find a QC girl who did all her schoolings abroad and want to rubbish her so you can feel like a man! I wish my friend whose wedding is this Saturday can read this! In fact I’m sending it to her once my comment is enabled!

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    1. You are a toxic friend tho. Her wedding is saturday and you waited for her to buy dress n do everything n decide to tell her her husband is toxic? Na wah ohz what happened to telling her when u first saw the change?

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  3. An interesting and very captivating piece. I have seen friends, colleagues in toxic relationships over the years but couldn’t help out in anyway those days. What could I’ve done? A particular friend had to pretend to enjoy all her man enjoys, leaving what truly makes her happy. A colleague that used to admired long hairs on fellow ladies, often asking for tips on how to grow hers longer- actually cut those same hair because her boyfriend said he hates”long hair” on his woman. He asked her to cut her hair, go on “low cut” if she loved him. She did. Toxic relationships are dangerous, one needs to identify it on time and move the heck on! It doesn’t get better. Most times it gets worse.

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