Unhappily Ever After: How to Let Go of a Toxic Relationship
In a fair world, we would not end up with the one who broke us. Unfortunately, the world isn’t fair. We fall in love, we connect, we get hurt--- over and over--- but we stay. It is an endless cycle of disappointment. People need human connection but it can come at a heavy cost. If the relationship is a toxic, it can cut deep.
Love can be addictive, as can the hope for love. People spend their whole lives searching for it only to find that the one they found wasn’t worth the trouble. The desire for relationships can be an addiction, but on occasion the power that comes with it can be self-destructive. When it becomes loveless, hostile, or dangerous, you would think it would be easier to leave but they can, in fact, be the hardest ones to walk away from.
A bad relationship is one that consistently steals your happiness and burdens you with that underlying doubt of ‘this isn’t what it’s supposed to feel like’.
Knowing when it is time to let go.
Sometimes the signs are apparent—emotional and/or physical abuse, never ending criticism, cheating, manipulation, or lying. Sometimes there is nothing but a feeling that it isn’t right. The feeling may stem from the loneliness, or a gentle but constant heartache, lack of confidence, connection or intimacy or just a barrier between the two of you. It may have felt right at one time, but that time has passed.
Whatever the relationship entails, there are needs that are not being met. The relationship is existing but that’s all it does and sometimes it barely does that. It is maintained, not through love and connection but through habit or co-dependency. There are circumstances that make leaving hard, although, sometimes there is nothing in your way except for yourself.
You and your partner each play a role in keeping the relationship working. This is not to say that either party is to be held accountable, or deserve the treatment you’re receiving. It means that over time you have fallen into a routine that makes the dysfunction you felt together more tolerable--- a healthy adjustment to an unhealthy situation.
Fight for you
We are always told to fight for the things that we love, but one of those things should always be yourself. If you are feeling alone or helpless, it is possible that your partner is feeling the same. You both deserve to be happy, you may just need to fight for it.
If the relationship feels bad, then it is bad for you. That’s the only truth that’s worth its weight. There is nothing wrong with fighting to keep your relationship, but when there is no fight left, the truth will be starring you in the eye.
All relationships go through their ups and downs, the difference is, healthy relationships recover. They grow from the challenge and become stronger, more resilient.
Only you can decide whether or not to go, but keep in mind your reasoning. Sometimes the most difficult things lie not in what we do, but in what we stop doing.