5 signs you should let go of a toxic relationship

Why is it so hard to let go of a toxic relationship?

Toxic relationships have a way of fooling you into believing that you will be completely lost without your partner. You try to imagine a life without them – and it seems impossible, gut-wrenching and heartbreaking. Surprisingly, this is true even when you feel completely and desperately unhappy in your current relationship.

Often, people who choose to stay in a relationship that they know is already dead, do so because they believe things will change. Alternatively, they look back and remember the times they were happy with their partner, imagining that they will never feel such happiness again. It is this fear that they will never be happy that often makes them hold on to their partner even tighter.

However, holding on to things that hurt is only bound to make things worse. If lately, you’ve been feeling so unhappy that you cannot even recognise yourself, it may be time to let go.

Five signs it is time to let go:

1. You stop being yourself

As with all relationships, at the start your partner might see you as perfect and flawless; as time goes by, they begin to notice your flaws and the things that often irritate them. While this is normal, toxic relationships go further; that is to say, toxic partners often try to change the person they are with. Rather than accepting you for who you are, they make you change until one day, you do not recognise the reflection looking back at you in the mirror.

2. You argue incessantly

If you reach a stage in your relationship where all you seem to do is fight, you might want to step back and take a look at what is happening. Admittedly, all relationships go through rough patches as nothing is ever always perfect. However, while all couples experience conflict, it is how you resolve this conflict that matters most. In a healthy relationship, a conflict is resolved and conclusions are drawn whereas in an unhealthy relationship, things often get swept under the rug and are left unresolved. This means that in a toxic relationship, the same issues come up over and over again, making it difficult to communicate.

3. You communicate poorly – or not at all 

Communication is the key to a happy and healthy relationship. Without the ability to properly communicate, you will find yourself unhappy as you will fail to voice your concerns or hear those your partner may have. Being unable to communicate means that you cannot work on fixing issues in a relationship, no matter how much you may want to do so. What is more, if you find yourself hiding things, lying or not sharing important things with the one person you should, you might have reached the end of the road.

4. You do not want to be intimate

Although intimacy is not the most important aspect of a relationship, it plays a huge role in its wellbeing and success. Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D, comments on intimacy and relationship as she writes: “When just the thought of your partner being close or touching you intimately is off-putting or mildly “disgusting,” it may signal that the relationship is in need of an overhaul, or that a breakup is potentially near”.

5. Your partner can no longer give you what you need

In all relationships, people require different things – whether emotionally or functionally. In a healthy relationship, when a partner fails to understand what you need, your concerns can be communicated and understood. For example, if you explain that you feel as though you need more emotional support, your partner will ensure that you feel heard by trying to give it to you. In a toxic relationship, however, your partner can deflect the blame onto you or completely dismiss you. If you feel as though you are the only person trying, it is probably time to let go.

Losing will not always amount to a loss, sometimes you have to lose those toxic relationships and bad habits to create a space for better things.
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