Can Toxic Relationships Be Healed?
Can toxic relationships be healed?
I’ve often asked the very same question tons of times while I was dating my toxic ex-partner, the covert narcissist and that was “can I save this relationship?” And shortly after asking that question, another question would quickly follow the first one and that would be,“T, why on earth would you want to stay in this relationship?”
Let’s further discuss.
I personally do not believe a toxic relationship can or should be saved if you have experienced any form of ongoing emotional or physical abuse. Once someone has shown you who they are more than once, please believe them. I get it. There may be a lot at stake within that relationship if you are married, have children with this person, or are financially tied to this person or them to you. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly,
I would like you to consider:
How much WORK have you invested into this relationship, as well as the sacrifices that you have willingly made to ‘save' it?
What have you received in return – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually from this relationship and from your partner?
If your answer is wishy-washy or not an answer that warms your heart or puts a smile on your face—then I think you need to re-evaluate your motives for staying in such a relationship. Only you can decide for yourself whether your current relationship can be saved. However, to help you get some clarity when making your decision of whether you should stay or go, I have highlighted 6-warning signs to consider when you are contemplating can toxic relationships be healed?
These are common warning signs that I have personally encountered within the previous relationships I have been involved with and unfortunately learned, through trial and error, of what I should be weighing as a reason to leave or stay and save the relationship. I encourage you to think about what will be the BEST decision for yourself if you were to leave and save yourself from the consequences of staying in a toxic, destructive relationship that may NEVER progress into a stable, spiritually grounded, and loving relationship that you are most certainly deserving of.
(1.) How have you BOTH changed since agreeing to be in a relationship with one another?
Have you both emotionally and spiritually matured since agreeing to be in this relationship or do you feel stagnant in your life?
Have you noticed that your partner doesn't treat you the same?
Do they treat you as though you are a burden to be around?
Shows little to no attention when you try to engage them in a meaningful conversation?
Have your values changed because of being in this relationship and how have they changed?
Have those changes in your values made you a better person or are you feeling as though you don't recognize your own life anymore?
(2.) How much energy have you invested into this relationship?
What I have learned through trial and error is that being in a healthy, and emotionally stable relationship takes commitment, time, and energy, but giving too much of yourself within that relationship is a slippery slope to becoming codependent, which ultimately leads to one person being taken advantage of in this case you. Now consider how much time and attention your partner has shown you in this relationship. Outside your intimacy, where have they channelled their energy in uplifting, motivating, and supporting you as their partner within this relationship? Do you feel emotionally depleted, as though you've been sucked dry of any feelings whenever you interact with your partner? More importantly, does your partner recognize the fact that you are feeling energetically drained? And what, if anything, have they done to actively REFILL YOUR CUPS?
(3.) Do you feel secure and appreciated in your title/role as being this individual's significant other or do you constantly question where you stand within that relationship?
How has this person shown you, on a - consistent basis, that you are the only one in their life? Have you ever questioned what your role is within this relationship? If you have to guess and wonder if you two are in an officially committed relationship or if you are in fact their significant other, you may want to reconsider what are your motives for staying with this person? If you ever have to question your position in a relationship with anyone you are dating or for that fact married to that is a HUGE red flag that you need to step back and re-evaluate why you are tolerating such behavior and why you are indirectly agreeing to lower your standards while tolerating such low-value treatment and inattention within the relationship.
(4.) How does this person interact and communicate with you?
Have you noticed that your conversations are becoming more aggressive, cold, and detached?
Are they dismissive of your feelings, opinions, and ideas when you try to share them with your partner?
How does that make you feel? Also, it's what they don't say between conversations that speak the loudest in determining the authenticity and motives of your partner within the relationship (action vs. just talking the talk).
Do they speak LIFE into your soul, do they know how to water your spirit and elevate you on the days when you are feeling down?
Have you noticed a difference in how they treat you when in public versus when you are in private? How does it make you feel?
(5.) Does your partner keep and follow through on promises that they make to you?
How often do they break their promises to you and are their reasons for breaking those promises good ones? Have those broken promises been detrimental to your growth together as a couple? Have you, time and time again, accepted their inability to keep promises to ensure that you do not rock the boat by calling them out on their BS for fear of getting into an argument that could lead to a breakup? Furthermore, how many times have YOU broken promises to your partner and not cared about their feelings as a result? This could be an indicator that your respect for the relationship and this person is not where it use to be and you are also absorbing a bit of their toxicity as well.
(6.) Lastly, take a few moments to reflect on the woman you were before entering this relationship and the woman you are today, have you noticed any significant differences (positive or negative) in how you approach and navigate your life while dating or being married to this person?
Is the woman looking back at you in the mirror someone who inspires, motivates, and LIGHTS YOU UP from within? Or do you hesitate to look at yourself in the mirror because you are afraid to acknowledge the fact that you have down-graded since being in this relationship and are embarrassed by what you have been accepting and tolerating from your partner?
Divine Light, if you have identified with at least three of the six toxic relationship signs I have outlined above, then you more than likely are involved in a toxic relationship and I encourage you to re-think WHY you are staying involved in such a relationship. And again, I get it, you may be married to this person, have kids together, and are financially invested in this situation. But a question I would like for you to further consider is what will be the future consequences for yourself and for your family, if you choose to stay and grit it out until the inevitable does happen and you have no plan or support in place to help you bounce back?
As a Breakup and Wellness Coach, Tonya’s work in this world is dedicated to supporting and helping other women to HEAL, RECLAIM and TRANSFORM their life after leaving a toxic relationship. Do reach out if you would like to discuss how Tonya can support you on your journey of recovery, healing, and transformation.