Is this really your happily ever after?
We all love a fairy-tale ending where the guy meets the girl, they fall in love, develop a relationship, and live happily ever after. However, reality shows that “happily ever after” can actually be missing a few more words at the end of the phrase: “happily ever after a few painful lessons.”
While there is such a thing as love at first sight, there is also the harsh truth that love means work. Relationships aren’t always butterflies, unicorns, cupcakes and flowers. We are humans who are inclined to see other people’s bad habits, attitudes, and issues which, in short, are pet peeves. These pet peeves create disputes, more issues, arguments, and even fights in a relationship.
We are, however, also a spawn of nature who do not give up so easily. Us ladies love a good fight and an even harder challenge. Is your relationship currently on the rocks? You fight to come out of the storm. Your partner hurt you really bad? You swallow your pride, forgive and try to forget. After all, you love him and he says he loves you, so it’s all worth it. Love is all we need. Or so we’ve been taught.
There are times when “love” will fall short in saving a relationship, especially a toxic one.
All About a Toxic Relationship
A toxic relationship is one that is like any other, imperfect but have crossed the line from something that is worth saving into one that must be left behind. A toxic relationship is one where you are constantly drained, depleted, and distraught. There is close to zero instances where it’s all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows in a toxic relationship.
Check to see if you are able to relate with the following checklist that describes a toxic relationship below.
- It’s all about him – a relationship where you give your all with no reciprocation is a toxic one.
- You’re drained – instead of being happy and productive in your relationship, you feel unmotivated, uninspired, and lack the energy to do anything.
- You don’t trust him – this one is easy to spot. He says he’s stepping out to be with his friends but you have doubts as to the truth of his plans. When you have second thoughts and doubts to the words coming out of your partner’s mouth, then chances are trust is broken.
- Walking on eggshells – if you are afraid of angering your partner because of how he might react and what he might do, then this is a clear sign of a toxic relationship. Safety and security are tantamount to a healthy relationship.
- You don’t talk – communication is the fuel of a relationship. Without it, the relationship fades away eventually.
- Fights and drama – if you feel your relationship always has an ongoing issue (can be the same recurring one) to fix and things are so complicated and messy then it shows the opposite of what a healthy relationship should be.
- You feel controlled – a good relationship is built on trust and independence. You can make decisions for the relationship with no judgments coming from your partner. However, if you feel like you are in a tug-of-war with your partner who has turned into your opponent, then it’s time to rethink some things.
5 Reasons for Letting Go of a Toxic Relationship
1. You are unhappy
A relationship is all about happiness. Why love someone with the goal of getting hurt? Stop and think when was the last time you shared a laugh with your partner or smiled at the thought of him? If neither occur, then he no longer makes you happy. If you would rather be elsewhere than in a room with him, then the relationship no longer makes you content.
2. You don’t know you anymore
You used to love painting but your brushes have acquired dust. You were an avid photographer yet you haven’t picked up your camera in a while. If you find yourself letting go of your passions and hobbies for reasons not related to your busy schedule or personal choice, then your relationship has made you lose your identity.
A toxic relationship can also be spotted by how distant you’ve become with your friends and family mainly because you don’t have the energy to stay connected to anyone. Having someone say, “You’ve changed,” or “What happened to you?” are a few warning signals to observe whether or not your relationship is toxic one.
3. You actually want to be alone now
You may call it “taking a breather,” but considering to spend some time away from your partner and taking some moments to be alone is not a good sign, especially if you have those thoughts while you are together and it happens often. Being alone doesn’t mean you will be or are lonely. It gives you the opportunity to take a step out and back from the relationship to analyze the situation.
4. You’re abused
Abuse doesn’t just happen physically, although it is a red flag when your partner raises a hand on you, but it could happen mentally and emotionally. Mind games, emotional rollercoasters, and everything in between are not healthy and must be cut away from your soul like a weed in a garden.
5. You’re not growing
Do you feel stagnant and stuck in a cycle? When was the last time you felt a sense of accomplishment? If the reason for the lack of growth stem from your relationship then it is time to walk away or at least have the talk. A healthy relationship is one that grows. Always.
5 Tips to Letting A Toxic Relationship Go
1. Are you really ready?
Leaving a relationship is always a serious decision that must be thought out. You may feel like you want your freedom right now as you sip your coffee alone but things will be different then and there as you begin your separation speech. A good way to gauge whether you are ready to let go is to have a limit. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the point of separation, how close are you to being ready to leave? You may be at a 7 right now so that would mean that you need a bit more time to really think things through. Once you’re at a 10, there’s no stopping you and there’s no going back.
2. Block, block, block him everywhere
So, you’ve done it! You have finally chosen your freedom and fought for it. Now, it’s time for proper closure and healing. This means reprogramming your mind and psyche that you are now single and that that person is out of the picture. Block him in all social media platforms, avoid going to places with memories, and just practice extra foresight that you will miss him (or get angry at him) and prepare for it.
3. Be clear and set some boundaries
Your partner-now-ex might want to keep you around but you need to be clear about what you want post relationship. Do you really want to see him again? If not, then make it clear. Boundaries are great at getting you to where you need to go, in this case, your sanity, freedom and happiness.
4. Keep the truth in mind
In case Facebook shows you your 5-year-old memory at the top of your news feed one day, you see you and your ex happy and in love, and hate yourself for forgetting to delete some pictures, it’s alright. However, you must always remember the truth and the reason why you broke things off. The blissful memories are nothing compared to all the pain and stress you went through in the toxic relationship. Always keep the truth in mind for it will keep your feet walking towards your goal.
5. Think about yourself and shine again
It’s time to be selfish. Gone are the days when it was all about him. Now, every day is your day. Pamper yourself, pick up that paintbrush or camera, spend time with family and friends, or just bask in the beauty of the sun shining once more.
“Happily ever after a few painful lessons” is a fitting catchphrase for a toxic relationship. Having stepped out of one, you realize that you are so much wiser, stronger, and stable. All those nights of insecurities, doubts, and anxiety were actually workout sessions making you more resilient. The painful lessons need to happen, sometimes, but always remember that you were made for it.