Happiness is what happiness does and let's face it, some men and women joined together in matrimony aren't the greatest masterpieces. In fact deep down and beyond our own awareness we can't help but interpret the success of our romantic partner or potential romantic partner as a sign of our own success or failure. We look for all of the right epidermal resume criteria... We want it all! But are we entitled to having it all? And if we receive even half, will that be satisfactory?
We are told that no one is perfect, but how do you discern when a relationship just isn't good for you anymore? Once you learn that love isn't enough you find yourself being forced to survey ALL of those surface resume criteria just a little bit harder and furthermore with hopes of learning from past mistakes or gathering new answers.
But one thing we all know is that successful relationships don't come easy. In fact they don't even go as planned, and definitely don't come quickly. Relationships are the direct result of mutual hard work and comittment to a common purpose -- staying together. Now are there times when you'll want to pluck your eye lashes off one by one... of course, but hopefully you don't feel that way every day otherwise clicking the appointments link may be a more appropriate course of action. But when should you cut the cord? How do you really know if you should walk away?
Toxic relationships are those chronic attachments to unhealthy persons. They are those relationships that we feel believing the lie seems easier than giving up. It's that relationship we give ourselves permission to remain committed to using maladaptive reasons. And no matter if we have 100 reasons to leave, we prefer to hold tight to that 1 reason to stay. So let's explore when to walk away because in practice I've learned that the easiest person to fool is yourself!
First things first, not all toxic people are cruel. In fact they are not bad people and sometimes do not even have ill intentions. HOWEVER in making your well-being more of a priority, you find that it's OK to love a person from a distance, disconnect from a painful situation, or even break up with someone you truly care about because choosing yourself finally made it to the top of the list. You finally realize that you have every right to leave and create a safer space for the love you have to give and furthermore for that love to be equally shared. It is now time to heed the warnings, pay attention to the signs, and acknowledge what is happening and DISCONNECT. Here are a few signs that may help you in your journey:
- Excuses for every solution to moving forward to the next step in your relationship. Reluctance can be a red flag. It is healthy to be empathetic to verbalized and realistic concerns, however it is a red flag and unhealthy to say one thing and behave another. Indecision forces a couple to live in the gray area. Without a clear purpose for you relationship it remains foggy and eventually unfulfilling. Let the commitment of your actions be a reflection of your words!
- Punch Drunk Love. Abuse or aggression are power and control dynamics. They are used as a form of manipulation to force or make you feel that you should stay. Genuine love is not intimidating, forceful, or unfair. Having a partner with a secure temperament is beyond important particularly when in disagreement, but ultimately LOVE SHOULD NEVER HURT!
- Efforts that do not appear genuine. Feeling comfortable getting up from a table where love is no longer being served can be a challenge. Remaining attached to someone who lacks sincerity in their intentions only gives you an emotional pacifier. It's a placebo to make you feel that you are receiving comfort when you're really not. If you have to question if someone's intentions are sincere that may be a red flag. Pay more attention to your intuition.
- Lacks loyalty. If you can't trust the person sleeping next to you, honey they're you're enemy. If you constantly have to tell someone the exact same thing about how their actions make you feel, they're not listening. You should not be made to feel ashamed of your desire to trust your partner. That person is unfortunately not afraid to lose you. They, in turn, unconsciously know that another chance is available. Be okay with being firm, but fair with your love!
- God Complex. Have you ever been around someone that nothing you say or do is ever good enough? Everything appears to always be about them, what they think, want, and feel. As a result, your feelings suffer right along with your security within the relationship. You shouldn't have to wonder if you’re “good enough.” Even God’s blessings have nothing to do with your performance.
- Not accepted by friends/family. Does your best friend hate your partner? Do your parents not trust that your partner is caring for your heart? This one is touchy. There must be a delicate balance of power between seeking consult from a trusted source and relying on that feedback. Most times our friends and family can serve as those window shopping eyes to our love blind spots. Your best interests are sometimes those interests we ignore. Whether its because we fear being without the relationship, fear being alone, starting over, etc. Allow yourself to seek consult to take better action towards avoiding a binary approach to love.
- Repeat Offender. Have they been given chance after chance? Generally the more chances you give a person, the less respect they have for you. They are not afraid to lose you and subconsciously take advantage of your forgiveness. Never allow anyone to become comfortable disrespecting you.
Bonus: If you find that you blame yourself, are walking on eggshells, frequently question how your partner makes you feel, or your sanity is compromised it may be time to start distancing yourself from that source of pain. It is a problem when you begin to make excuses for how or why someone hurts you. Do NOT rationalize the faults of others!
It is important to leave toxic relationships not because your partner made too many mistakes, but because they made the same mistake too many times. Don't ignore the warning signs because sometimes the heart just needs a little more time to accept what the mind already knows. Although love is unconditional, trust and respect are not! Letting go will always feel like grief and loss, but sometimes you have to let go of the negative to make room for better. Because ultimately you don't let go of a bad relationship simply because you stopped caring about the person. You let go because you finally decided to care more about yourself.
If you don't you'll lose your mind trying to understand the mind of someone else. Sometimes you have to forget what you feel and remember what you deserve. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom; being able to walk away is courage; walking away with your head held high is dignity.