Skip to main content

Toxic Relationships

Toxic relationships suck the life out of you.  I have had my share of toxic relationships.  When you are in one, you can find yourself losing all self-respect and begin to doubt your sanity.  They are the opposite of what God wants for us.  God created us for relationships, and the best relationships are those that mirror who He is, a God of love, slow to anger.  Good relationships bring out the best in us and make us feel like we can be more and do more than we ever imagined.

I like Natalie Lue's definition of a healthy relationship.  Natalie is the author of the Baggage Reclaim blog.  According to Natalie, a healthy relationship has these landmarks: Intimacy, commitment, consistency, balance, progression, and shared values, plus love, care, trust, and respect.  Natalie mostly writes about romantic relationships, but I think this is true of any relationship, whether it's family, friends, or a love interest.  When some of these characteristics are not part of a relationship, it's time to end it or at least suspend it.  

Even with family, at times, you need to temporarily disengage to get your head clear before having any kind of conversation.  Relationships can be toxic all the time, or they can start healthy and become toxic.  Rarely does a relationship go from toxic to healthy without a period of no contact.  Having no contact is the best way to grieve a relationship of a person who is still living.  It is basically a way to restore your sanity and get clarity on what you want out of this relationship in the future if anything.  

With no contact, you simply don't contact someone for a period of time and also ask them not to contact you, if they are pursuing a conversation before you are ready.  Here are signs that you are in a toxic relationship:
  • You feel stressed whenever you talk to them or think about them
  • You spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about them
  • Whenever you talk to them, you never say what you meant to say; they somehow get you to back down
  • They have busted your boundaries after you've made them clear
  • They say they respect you/love you/care about you, but their actions say anything but
  • When you talk to them, you end up crazy pants and do or say things that are totally unlike you or against your moral code
  • You don't recognize yourself when you are around them
  • You have tried to walk away from them before or take a break, but they do or say something that re-engages you
 When in the no contact period, it is normal to go through a myriad of emotions: anger, depression, sadness, stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and basically any of the emotions with normal grieving.  In a way, it's exactly like a death, except there is the the chance of reconciliation, but you are grieving the loss of what you thought the relationship was.  In time, you maybe able to have a different type of relationship with this person, but first you have to kill off the old relationship and the unhealthy way it currently operates.

The best thing to do is spend time mourning but also take time to enjoy life and do things that make you feel good.  Killing off toxic relationships allows you to make room for healthy relationships in your life.  Once you have gone through this process, you will find it a lot easier to discover what healthy relationships looks like.  For some of us, this is completely new if we have little to no experience with healthy, fulfilling relationships, but believe me, you are worth it.    


Popular posts from this blog

Border (2018): A Dark Swedish Fairy Tale

Have you ever felt like you are alone? Like you exist and move around in a community of people that you are nothing like?

Imagine how Tina feels. She works as a highly competent border guard for the sole reason that her sense of smell is extrasensory. She can smell fear, shame, and any negative emotion on people as they cross through her security area, and she is never wrong about her suspicions. Her work career, however, might be the only thing she has going for her.

She lives on the outskirts of town with a boyfriend that owns a pack of dogs, and from all counts, they live together in a loveless domestic arrangement that is hard to imagine either of them conceiving. Things become a little clearer later as we learn that Tina owns the home and the boyfriend is enjoying the luxury of living rent free. Tina appears to have no family except for the man she calls father, who claims to have adopted her.

Tina is unattractive by human standards and is most often seen staring attentively and …

Movie Review: Gone Girl (2014) and Lessons About Marriage

Gone Girl is a book-to-movie project that only took 2 years to complete, compared to most movie projects, which take an average of four years (Maze Runner, Twilight, and Hunger Games are all examples of this). Once I heard the movie was being released, I re-read the book in anticipation of the movie release. I have to say, the book was outstanding. I work at a library, and many people were checking out this book. Sometimes I am slow to pick up a hot book, just because I can be stubborn. The book took a genre like suspense, and took it to the new level. The book changes viewpoints and storytelling strategies so many times, and just as you think you have finally predicted the ending, it ends in a way that no one could possibly expect.

Only recently did I find a book that compares called The Farm by Tom Rob Smith, released two years after Gone Girl. Suffice it to say, I am not often enamored with adult fiction. Gone Girl is truly special.

I went into the movie with high hopes, but also r…

The Tradition of the Annual Debbie Macomber Christmas Book

My tradition of reading the annual Debbie Macomber Christmas romance novel started like any tradition does -- by my doing something one time, enjoying, and repeating the experience each year. Before you know it, the repeated action becomes a tradition, and you can't imagine life without it. I don't read any other Macomber novels, but I do read her Christmas books. I normally finish them on the 90 minute flight home.

If you aren't familiar with Macomber's line of Christmas books, let's just say they are similar to a Hallmark movie experience. There is always a smart, savvy female who is stubborn and a rugged curmudgeonly man, often the type that would reside in isolation, in Alaska, for instance. He is normally wealthy, and she normally has a career and feels torn by her feelings. The two fight their attraction but, by the end, they just can't help themselves and fall in love. 
I believe my first Debbie Macomber Christmas book was her 2003 The Snow Bride. Just …