Can You Fix a Toxic Relationship?

Are all toxic relationships doomed to fail?

That’s a complicated question that doesn’t have an easy answer!

Knowing if you can fix a toxic relationship involves exploring the issues within the relationship and determining if both partners are willing to make changes to save it.

If you’re asking yourself that question, here’s what you need to know to figure out the answer:

Signs of a Toxic Relationship

When a toxic relationship is caused by one person, there are particular signs you should look for to determine if you are in one:

  • Your partner blames you for everything, including issues in the relationship and their own feelings.
  • Your partner is jealous and tries to manipulate your behaviors based on their “suspicions.”
  • Your partner tries to control your life, doing things like isolating you from your friends and family, telling you what to do and how to behave, etc.
  • Your partner is passive-aggressive and finds ways to upset you so that they feel justified when they complain about things.
  • Your partner covers up relationship problems by sweeping issues under the rug and showering you with love and affection.

Dealing With a Toxic Relationship

If you feel you are in a toxic situation, there are ways to deal with it before considering whether or not it can be fixed:

  • Accept the Situation: This doesn’t mean you have to settle, but it’s important to see the relationship for what it really is. This will help you see the situation more clearly and determine if the relationship can be saved or if it’s time to leave.
  • Be Open and Honest: Even if your partner is likely to blame you for the situation, lying to them will only make things worse. Tell the truth and explain how their behavior is affecting you.
  • Avoid Emotional Reactions: When you do speak with your partner, do it at a time when you are calm and can discuss issues logically instead of emotionally. Getting all worked will put anyone on the defensive, so if you want to address the issues in your relationship, you have to do so rationally.

Dealing with a toxic relationship will help you determine if the relationship can be saved. Based on your partner’s reactions, you can figure out if they are willing to make changes for the sake of the relationship.

Just keep in mind that many toxic individuals will make false promises and change for a short period of time to maintain their control of you.

Can You Fix a Toxic Relationship?

If you believe that your partner is willing to put in the work to save your relationship, there are ways you can try and fix a toxic relationship.

Sometimes a relationship becomes toxic over time because of the behaviors of both parties, not because one partner is innately toxic.

Here are some ways you can fix a toxic relationship:

Take a Break

Taking a break from your relationship can help you and your partner gain perspective and time to think before you try to fix anything.

Just be sure that you discuss boundaries during this break, such as how often you will communicate, the level of intimacy you will maintain, and whether or not you are allowed to see other people.

Identify the Issues

You can’t fix a toxic relationship if you don’t know what the issues are!

By having an open and honest conversation with your partner, you can discuss things that are bothering you and the problems you are facing in the relationship.

Here are some common issues in a toxic relationship:

  • Communication: Effective communication is essential to the success of a relationship. Without it, problems cannot be identified and needs cannot be met.
  • Arguments: Healthy debates are normal in relationships, but constant arguing and fighting is not. Arguing doesn’t solve anything and can make the situation worse.
  • Closeness: When you feel mistreated or unheard by a partner, it’s easy to close yourself off to them. This goes for emotional closeness as well as physical intimacy.
  • Infidelity: When your relationship is unhappy and toxic, it’s possible that you or your partner may stray and seek what you are missing with someone else.
  • Trauma: Toxic relationships often develop based on shared trauma, where both partners relies on each other for support and validation.

Look at Your Behaviors

As I mentioned, not every toxic relationship is created by one person. Sometimes it’s both partners that exhibit toxic traits, often without meaning to.

This happens when two people fall into an unhealthy routine, relying on conflict and passive-aggressiveness to resolve issues instead of openly talking about them.

Or perhaps you or your partner are acting in the relationship the way you saw others act as you were growing up – whether within your own family or in the media.

To look at your own behaviors means doing some self-reflection, looking at the way you act to see if you are contributing to the toxicity of the relationship.

Just don’t ask your partner to identify these behaviors. If they are manipulative, they may gaslight you into believing you are acting ways that you are not..

Get Professional Help

Ultimately, the dynamic of a toxic relationship can be a complete and total mess.

You can seek the help of a couples counselor to help you and your partner sort out your issues. By talking to a third-party, you can gain an outside perspective on the situation.

Plus, a therapist can help you work on self-reflection and guide you through the process.

How to Leave a Toxic Relationship

Unfortunately, you can’t always fix a toxic relationship – especially if your partner is toxic and emotionally abusive.

If that’s the case, it’s time to leave. Even though leaving isn’t easy, there are some steps you can follow to transition out of the relationship:

  • Talk to a lawyer if you have kids or property together. Sort out any legal issues before you end the relationship.
  • Have a safe place to go if you are afraid your partner will become vindictive and angry.
  • Set yourself up financially to ensure you can be independent once you leave the relationship.
  • Break up through a text or email if you fear they will become angry or try to persuade you to stay.
  • Get ready for the aftermath, since toxic people hate losing control of others and may become aggressive.

Overall, you should keep a record of anything that is said and file a police report if necessary.

Getting Over Your Toxic Relationship

You would think it would be easy to get over a terrible relationship, but evicting your ex from your mind is easier said than done!

Sometimes it can be hard to get over an ex because you feel lonely and having someone around was (at the time) better than having nobody.

Or it’s possible that you lost your sense of self-worth during the relationship, so you ended up relying on them for answers and validation.

No matter the reason that you are struggling to get over your ex, here are some things you can do:

  • Grieve and Feel Sad: Even when a bad relationship ends, it’s still a loss. It’s important to let yourself feel in order to start healing.
  • Don’t Contact Your Ex: Don’t reach out to them or follow them on social media. The less you know about their life, the easier it will be to move on.
  • Practice Self-Care: Take some quiet moments to focus on your own care, doing things you enjoy even if it’s to distract you from the situation.

All in all, you need to go easy on yourself! Be patient and don’t blame yourself for what happened,

Toxic Relationships: Stay or Go?

If you’re stuck in a toxic relationship and aren’t sure what to do, start by dealing with the toxicity of the relationship in order to determine if you and your partner are willing to fix it.

Otherwise, it’s more beneficial to your mental health to leave the relationship instead of running it into the ground.

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