Toxic: What to Do When Your Relationship Turns Against You

You are your relationships.

You cannot separate who you are as a person from your closest associates. Your coworkers, your BFF, your boyfriend, spouse, parents, and children are not just peripherals loosely attached to your life. They are an integral part of who you are, how you feel, and what you do from one moment to the next.

When even one of those relationships turns toxic, it can poison every aspect of your life. Just as an example, there is a lot of social pressure at the workplace. Infighting leads to distractions and poor job performance. It that doesn’t take you directly into unemployment, it will still make your life miserable, as you spend the biggest part of your waking hours at work in those relationships.

It is even worse when the relationship is a spouse. Home is the place you always have to return to. And if the environment is poison at home, you have no safe place to be. It is because of this that you need to know what to do when that relationship turns sour. Here is a good starting point:

Deal with the Underlying Causes

If your spouse starts to mistreat you, or ignore you, or make questionable financial decisions, or neglect the kids, there could be a number of underlying causes. If you try to fix the symptoms without understanding the problem, you could end up making matters worse.

She may have a drug or alcohol problem of which you were previously unaware. The relationship doesn’t have to die. It can be detoxed. The whole point of a women’s recovery center is to help struggling women not only clean out their system of toxins, but to restore the whole person, including those relationships that were left for dead.

It doesn’t have to be anything as dramatic as addiction. High blood pressure or glucose levels could cause a person to be something other than their normally cheery self. When a relationship starts to turn south for no apparent reason, have your loved one see a medical professional. Find the underlying cause, and you will be in a position to save the relationship.

Don’t Make Too Much of Relationship Cycles

Don’t be so dramatic, blowing things way out of proportion the moment your relationship hits a snag. That dreaded seven-year itch is infamous for a reason. Honeymoon periods are supposed to end. Your first major argument is probably long overdue. Relationships have natural cycles. The down cycle can be challenging if you are not prepared for it.

These down cycles can be mistaken for toxicity. But they are natural and expected. New mothers can be depressed after childbirth. New husbands can become afraid and unsure with the first financial crisis. Children change everything about the relationship. The children graduating and leaving home changes everything again.

There are also career changes, bouts of jealousy from both parties, and health issues. Major relationship changes happen when a man turns 40, and a woman turns 50. And these challenges are as old as humanity. Don’t be so quick to call a mature relationship toxic.

Know When to Get Out

No holy book, religion, or priest can tell you when it is time to end a relationship. That decision is entirely up to you. If it is not, then you are not a free person. Even the US constitution makes allowances for the citizens to overthrow the government if things get bad enough.

It is time to go at the first sign of violence. No excuse is good enough. Too much to drink, too little sleep, too much stress: these are all rubbish! Staying in that situation is irresponsible to yourself and your kids. Do not negotiate. Pack. Leave. Do not look back.

Even verbal abuse is too much abuse. There is a reason every mental health professional calls it abuse. And in your relationships, there should always be a zero-tolerance policy with regard to abuse.

Things will not always be rosy. When a relationship turns toxic, deal with the underlying cause. Know the difference between a bad relationship and a natural cycle. And above all, know when to get out.


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