There are far too many toxic relationship bad habits that people tend to accept. You might think your partner is going through a phase. Maybe they will change. They love you and you love them, so they get a free pass.
Unfortunately, that mindset can lead to unhealthy habits, or even abuse.
Toxic relationships and abusive relationships are technically different, but often go hand-in-hand. In a toxic relationship, your partner might exhibit some of the following qualities:
- Keeping score of your past mistakes
- Showing signs of passive aggression
- Blaming you for their negative emotions
- Showing jealousy
Toxic relationships can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional state, and make you feel stuck. In some cases, yes, people can change. But, there has to be a valiant effort and a strong willingness. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. More often than not, a toxic person will remain that way, and it is up to you to leave the relationship. You don’t want to look back 20 years from now wishing your younger self would have just seen the signs and gotten out.
So, let’s look at some ideas you can use to feel more comfortable leaving your toxic relationship and allowing yourself the peace of safety.
Recognising Emotional Abuse
Toxic relationships can often lead to emotional abuse and/or manipulation. Your partner might convince you that they love you, but they are using words that are actually harmful. Some of the most common signs of emotional abuse include:
- Purposefully embarrassing you
- Discouraging you from going to work or other commitments
- Making your everyday decisions for you (including what to eat)
- Being controlling or angry
- Preventing you from seeing friends and family
Emotional abuse can make victims feel trapped in their own homes, or like a hostage that can’t find an escape. Unfortunately, that often leads to physical entrapment as well, in the form of domestic violence. About 1 in 4 women over the age of 18 have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner.
While physical abuse may be more noticeable, knowing the signs of a toxic and emotionally-abusive relationship is just as important. If you are experiencing any kind of abuse, some of the best resources include national help hotlines. The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233. They are equipped with resources that can help you to find your voice and get out of an abusive relationship in any capacity.
Managing Your Budget
One of the biggest reasons why women stay in toxic relationships is because they’re worried they won’t be able to make it on their own. A big aspect of that is finances. If you and your partner share a bank account or if they tend to make more money, you might think you can’t afford to live on your own.
But, you can work through this by managing your finances and creating a budget. Look at what you’re bringing in each month and what you can afford. If there are things you can cut out of your budget, do it for now, until you get back on your feet.
Once you have a better understanding of what you can and can’t afford, you can start saving for the cost of moving. Having a plan in place to move out is an incredibly smart way to get out of your relationship safely. You may need to downsize, have things appraised to sell, or work extra hours (if possible). But, saving enough money to move as quickly as possible can be your ticket to escaping the toxicity of your relationship.
Finding Friends for a Quick Move
You shouldn’t put up with emotional abuse in any capacity. If you are currently in a toxic or emotionally abusive relationship, you should already be checking out your options for different places to live.
But, in the event that the emotional abuse turns physical or starts to get worse, you absolutely need to leave immediately. Three women die from domestic violence every day. It doesn’t matter if your partner suggests it was a one-time thing or they simply lost their temper — violence is not something to take lightly in any capacity, and you shouldn’t be around a person who is capable of causing you harm.
With that in mind, it’s important to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice, if necessary. You might be more inclined to plan and prepare, but you may not always have that option. In addition to having your finances in order, it can be helpful to have roommates in mind to ease the burden of moving out. They can quickly become a safe haven if you need to move immediately. When you’re looking for a roommate, find someone you can tolerate spending time with and be sure to set ground rules before living together. A new roommate can also help to get you acquainted with a new city, so you can explore new hobbies, go to events, and experience new things.
When you are safe and free from a toxic relationship, you don’t owe your abuser anything. If you want some closure for yourself, you might consider sending them a text message ending the relationship. But, you don’t have to say anything at all. The important thing is your safety and wellbeing. If you’re in an abusive relationship of any kind, start preparing now for a safety plan that can help you to find the freedom you deserve.
The Carousel would like to thank Beau Peters for his article.