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Toxic relationships, sooner or later we all stumble into one. When it is a friendship that turns toxic most people cut ties and walk away. When its a toxic family member we often find ways to cope, or avoid, or both.
But, what happens when the relationship that turns toxic is the one you have with the man you love?
Its much harder to avoid the man you love than it is your irritating relative. It can also be much harder to cut ties and just walk away than it is would be with a friendship.
Often we want to know, we need to know, that we did everything we could before we walk away from a relationship. So before you walk out the door consider trying these 6 things to heal the toxic relationship you are in.
You can check also the 10 most important Signs Of A Toxic Relationship.
Things to know to heal a toxic relationship
1. Remind yourself how much you love him, and why
Sit down, alone, with a notebook and take stock of your relationship. Write down all the reasons you love your significant other. Often as our relationships turn toxic drama, hurt, and anger become the things we focus on.
So remind yourself why you are there, what makes him the man you fell in love with. Focusing on the good can help put things into perspective, and wash away some of the not so good feelings that likely have become both you and your man’s focus.
2. Identify and accept your part in the issues
Yes, you have a part in this too. And the easiest person to fix, is the one person you actually can, yourself. Even if your relationship fails, realizing and accepting your part in the problems in this relationship will help you in future ones. It isn’t always easy to step back and look at things objectively.
However, if you want to heal yourself or your relationship you need to step back from your emotions and identify what your part might be in all the issues. When in doubt, ask someone close to you, preferably someone blunt, likely they can tell you what they may have noticed.
3. Repeat after me: You are responsible for your emotions and reactions
I know, he did something jerky, or said something mean, or forgot something. No matter what he did, you are responsible for your own emotions and reactions. (Don’t worry this rule runs both ways.) Often arguments in a toxic relationship spiral downward as both people get wrapped up in reacting with their emotions first.
Yes someone said something to kick the fight off, but when we react by flinging it right back at them instead of focusing on the issue that started it all, arguments often turn into a tit for tat of hurtful comments and angry accusations.
It takes time and effort to learn to not react with emotion, but when you choose not to escalate the situation, the chance for a healthy conversation increases.
4. You are not responsible for his emotions and reactions
I am not saying you are in the clear to hurl every insult in the book and then say, “Hey, if you’re hurt or mad that’s on you.” What I am saying is that sometimes we apologize just to end the fight. Sometimes we blame ourselves even when deep down we know were really trying to just be open and honest.
When you are staying calm and being open and honest, that doesn’t mean that the things you say or do might not anger or hurt the man you love. If he reacts with toxic spew, not only should you not react with toxicity back, but you shouldn’t feel blame yourself. We are all responsible for our own behavior; he can’t make you do anything and you can’t make him either.
So you have sat back and thought about things, you know why you love him, you have accepted your part, you have taken time to make note of the things you do to contribute to the toxicity. Now it is time to have the hard conversation, to talk calmly, openly, and honestly with the man you love.
Let him know all the things you have taken stock of. Let him know that even though the relationship has turned toxic that you want to fix it, together. This isn’t about listing off all the things he does wrong, this is about the two of you really talking about what has gone wrong in the relationship you are both a part of.
This will likely be the first time you really have to work to change old habits of descending into negativity. But, if you want to fix things, this is the moment when you need to be your calmest, kindest, and most honest. He can’t begin to work on his part of things if he doesn’t know what that part is.
6. This is not an overnight fix
Relationships turn toxic slowly, they get better just as slowly. Do not go to bed one night and expect to wake up the next day to song birds. It took time to fall into bad habits, it will take time and work to create good ones. At first, you will need to really work at not reacting like you used to. He will too, so be patient. But, every time you choose not to go back to toxic habits it will become easier. And it will make it easier for him to go back to being the man you knew.
Not every toxic relationship can be repaired, not every one should be. Following these steps will help you to not fall into these habits again. And even if your relationship fails, if you follow these steps you will know you did do everything you could, and you will be more prepared to have a mature, healthy relationship the next time around.
It is important to note that there is a fine line between toxic and abuse, and if your relationship has crossed that line, the best thing to do is to get out, you can think it all over from a safe distance, of very far away.