How to identify toxic relationships and walk out | Thriive.in
How to identify toxic relationships and walk out

How to identify toxic relationships and walk out

20 Feb, 2020

Recently, the director of Kabir Singh tried to normalise slapping around in a relationship. But unless the couple is into something kinky, even a single slap could count as domestic abuse. Often, there is a lot of emotional abuse which precedes physical abuse.

The movie thappad revolves around a slap. Many people minimise both emotional and physical abuse. Something like a single slap is not even worth mentioning according to them.  But, a single slap makes the character played by Taapsee Pannu realise what is wrong with her relationship. She starts seeing how toxic her relationship has been. Like that character, most people who are the victims of such abuse fail to recognise the signs that precede the violence. 

Most of us who have been in toxic relationships tend to rationalise any wrong thing our partner does by making up reasons or giving them the benefit of doubt every time. We find ourselves saying things like, “They must be tried,” or “They probably had a bad day at work,” or “They didn’t really mean to say this,” or “Their mood is bad.” Basically we justify their behaviour and their actions so it never occurs to us to question or challenge these behaviours. 

As these behaviours escalate, we know that something is wrong but we are unable or unwilling to pin it on our partner. We even condone some of these behaviours as they continue to take us for granted. This is because we get attached to how they made us feel in the past when we fell in love or thought things were rosier. We keep hoping that they will act and react in the same way. We fail to recognise how the situation has changed if we continue to ignore some major red flags in the relationship. 

Counsellor & Life Coach Jonaki Thomas helps us recognise some of these red flags where we may feel our emotional or physical boundaries are breached. She also highlights that we may end up experiencing toxicity at a physical, emotional or mental level.

Here are some things you might experience if you are in a toxic relationship:

 

  • You feel threatened or unsafe.

 

 

  • You don’t feel good and end up feeling cornered.

 

 

  • You don’t feel heard or understood.

 

 

  • You end up giving more emotionally or carrying the weight of the relationship all the time.

 

 

  • You are the one who is apologising even if it is not your fault.

 

 

  • You don’t feel engaged in the relationship.

 

 

  • You are unable to put across your point of view because your ideas don’t matter according to your partner.

 

Even if your partner claims that they acted with your consent or out of love then also the fact that you feel unsafe or cornered indicates that your consent was not freely given or that you are being emotionally blackmailed. For example, when your partner expects to have a complete say on finances or is being dismissive of your efforts. Or, if your partner expects you to do things that you wouldn’t want to do and you are straining to keep them satisfied all the time when your needs are not met.

In India due to the kind of societal and family pressures we may feel like sticking through a toxic relationship. This typically makes the situation worse. Trying to gauge whether you need to walk out or continue to stay in the relationship is not easy. 

Therapist Dr. Simarjeet Makkar outlines what you can do if you are experiencing a sort of resentment or recognising that you are not comfortable in your relationship for any reason. According to her the first step is to try and see if you can talk to the opposite person and express how you feel. However, if this doesn’t happen because you are not able to talk to them for any reason, then you evaluate what you want to do without seeking validation from your partner. If that also doesn’t happen, the third step is to determine whether the relationship serves any purpose and if you stay back what will happen a few years down the line. That will help you decide whether you need to walk out. 

 

Even if your partner claims that they acted with your consent or out of love then also the fact that you feel unsafe or cornered indicates that your consent was not freely given or that you are being emotionally blackmailed. For example, when your partner expects to have a complete say on finances or is being dismissive of your efforts. Or, if your partner expects you to do things that you wouldn’t want to do and you are straining to keep them satisfied all the time when your needs are not met.

In India due to the kind of societal and family pressures we may feel like sticking through a toxic relationship. This typically makes the situation worse. Trying to gauge whether you need to walk out or continue to stay in the relationship is not easy. 

Dr. Makkar outlines what you can do if you are experiencing a sort of resentment or recognising that you are not comfortable in your relationship for any reason. According to her the first step is to try and see if you can talk to the opposite person and express how you feel. However, if this doesn’t happen because you are not able to talk to them for any reason, then you evaluate what you want to do without seeking validation from your partner. If that also doesn’t happen, the third step is to determine whether the relationship serves any purpose and if you stay back what will happen a few years down the line. That will help you decide whether you need to walk out. 

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