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It is very easy to get into a relationship, but the challenge arises when you have to maintain it and remain happy together for the years to come. Many people are not willing to accept that they might be in a toxic relationship, which does no good for them or their spouse. It is destined to hit the rocks, leaving at least one of you absolutely broken. Read on to be able to identify the signs so that you can take preventive or corrective measures.
Signs That You Are Living in a Toxic Marriage
Humans are a species with the opposite characteristics of wanting routine as well as being easily bored. As a result, this also plays into their personal lives where conflicting ideas can leave you not knowing whether you are with the right person. Here are some signs that might help you realize that you are living in a toxic marriage.
1. Feeling Drained
If you find yourself constantly trying to make the relationship work and instead of feeling happy and satisfied, you are emotionally tired, it’s a sign telling you to make better choices. Marriages require hard work, but if the work is taking a toll on your well-being, then you need to rethink things.
Lack of trust is one of the most important toxic relationship signs. Trust is one of the biggest aspects of marriage, and if you find your spouse constantly asking you questions about where you are and who you are with, it’s a bad sign. Be careful, because to regain trust is a very difficult task.
3. Control Issues
Control issues manifest in different ways. It makes people try and micromanage their spouse’s lives, which can never end well. If there is a constant tug-of-war going on between you and your spouse, you should sound the alarm bells.
4. Being on the Defensive
Finding yourself on the defensive in order to avoid certain behaviours that you are expecting from your spouse indicates towards a toxic relationship. If any discussion turns into your spouse snapping angrily at you, it means tough times lie ahead. Unhealthy behaviours have a detrimental effect on relationships.
Negative relationships tend to make you feel like you are not adding any value to the relationship. They make you feel like your spouse is too good for you. It is important to be the best version of yourself because your actions affect other aspects of your life and your spouse’s. It’s better to get out of a damaging relationship, not only for you but for your spouse as well.
The relationship is at its end when you find yourselves undermining each other constantly. If you are truly happy with your better half, you will always encourage each other and grow together. Relationships are meant to be reassuring and not to discourage the other person.
Trust and dishonesty are closely related. Lying to your spouse is a big no. Although some people don’t mind white lies, if you notice yourself lying to your other half very often or vice versa, you should get out of that toxic relationship. Suspecting your spouse of lying to you leads to distrust, and that is a definite downfall of the marriage.
This one would seem like it’s easy, but many people choose to stay in relationships even though they are unhappy. For a lot of them, this stems from not wanting to be lonely. Think past that, being single and happy is a lot better than being married and unhappy, every day.
Ways to Get Out Now From a Toxic Marriage
Now that you are aware of some of the signs that you should watch out for, you will be careful and conscious. However, a lot of you might wonder, “yes I think I’m in a toxic marriage, but how do I get out of it?” Some tips that you can use to try and help yourself include:
1. Accept the Reality
The first step is always the hardest. Make sure you are aware of what is going on and you can understand that you are in a detrimental marriage. Bad marriages can have a profound effect on the human psyche, so be confident and mentally strong. Do not try to falsely convince yourself about how you are in a good relationship when the reality is completely different. Admitting to yourself makes the entire process easier to comprehend because any form of abuse – be it physical, mental or emotional -can take a toll on you.
2. Love Is Not the Start and End
You might receive toxic relationship advice and be led to falsely believe that as long as two people love each other, nothing can stop them. This happens only in Hollywood movies whereas in reality, marriages require a lot of conscious hard work to make sure they last for years to come. Saying that you love each other while in reality the marriage is filled with criticism, contempt, jealousy, distrust, lies and other such negative emotions mean you must get out of this toxicity.
3. “I Promise I’ll Change”
If you hear this line over and over again in the course of your marriage but notice that not much has changed in reality, it might be time to get out of it. Stringing your spouse along in the pretence of changing oneself is dishonesty 101. If you really want to change something for your spouse, you would do it without having to tell her. Be careful to understand that some people are manipulative and if you find yourself in a similar situation, it’s time to get out. You can change your spouse unless he/she wants to change him/herself.
4. Keep a Journal for Your Emotions
Keeping a record of everything that makes you feel bad or puts you in a foul mood helps you to understand your own emotions better, what you should avoid and the elements you should encourage. If you find that your journal is filled with negative emotions stemming from interactions with your spouse, it’s time to throw out that negativity. Journals help you understand the sanctity of your relationship without getting lost in daily routine. You can also put strikes against certain emotions that are triggered by your spouse, keep a cap on that number and take action once it has been crossed.
5. Find Opportunities Even in the Dumps
Yes, your relationship is toxic, and it is unfortunate. You can be understanding about the parts that you liked. The next time around, when you are looking at a potential suitor, you will know exactly what you want. For, eg., is my current spouse making me feel wanted and attractive? Is he/she treating me like one of my parents once did which is making me attached? These are complex questions but must be answered and delved into so that you can understand your situation better.
6. Don’t Get Gaslit
Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic where a person tries to make you believe that your perceptions and memories are all wrong. It is psychological abuse and is a common tactic to make the other person believe that they are insane. People who gaslight are usually extremely toxic, and a relationship/marriage with them can never be happy. Manipulative people will always be that way, and it would be naïve for you to believe otherwise. Psychological abuse may be overlooked, but you should be wary and mentally strong to identify when it is happening.
7. Fill the Void
Once you are done identifying and understanding the underlying problem, the best way to move on is by keeping yourself busy. Make sure to pick up a hobby or more. Something like playing an instrument, jewellery therapy, reading etc. will help you feel fulfilled and also fill up all that spare time that you might have. Peace and solitude can be a great way to reinvent yourself and find out more about yourself as well. Many people who are out of marriages take the time to better know themselves and reflect on their lives.
Make sure to be around people who instil nothing but positivity in your life. Close friends, family members and mentors are very helpful during this stage in your life, and you should keep them close. Positive friends help you alter your mood and think positive thoughts. You attract positive and negative things based on the kind of mentality you have. Close ones usually help keep you busy and not slide down that wretched hole of self-pity.
If your spouse is not the one for you, don’t think about that toxic relationship and how to fix it. Instead, in order to get out of it slowly, reward yourself at certain stages of the process. Start with daily goals and move on to weekly goals. If you have been able to cut communication for a few days, buy yourself something. It’s the same if you have a tough time saying no and finally, somehow manage to muster the courage to say it. You deserve nothing but the best!
10. Heal and Help Yourself
Do not dive into an endless pool of despair. As long as you understand this, you can get out of your toxic marriage. Know that you deserve better and that you need to take care of yourself before trying to be in a relationship to take care of someone else. Take time to heal and work on yourself and do not let the hope die. You will find someone who will compliment you in every manner.
11. Stay Low-key
This is a great time for you to be by yourself and only work on yourself. Make sure to not overcompensate by making plans and indulging in alcohol and partying. Stay low key, focus on your work and career, make sure to be involved with all your hobbies and stay close and connected with your family and friends. Don’t keep too many activities for the day and just take some rest. It takes energy to recoup from a toxic relationship, so do not downplay it.
If you have children from your marriage, please understand that it is in both your interests to get out of a toxic marriage. Many children who witness their parents argue and fight constantly, grow up to have emotional issues. If not yourself, keep your children and their well being in mind. It is not healthy at all for them to see that side of you and be around that negativity.
13. Pain and Moving On
Please understand that any breakup hurts, especially a marriage. While it is tough to come to terms with the ground reality of the situation, it is the only way to move forward. Accept the fact that it will hurt for a while after the relationship has ended and you will experience a multitude of emotions, but that too shall pass. If you find the emotions overwhelming, make sure to get some help either from close ones or even a therapist. Therapists are great because you can reveal your deepest, darkest secrets and problems to them and they will most often than not, have a logical solution.
As a species, humans are very difficult to please, and it’s okay if you have reached your breaking point with your spouse. You must take charge of the situation and think about your personal growth and well being. If either of these is being violated, it means that you are not married to the right person and you should take corrective measures. Be sure to understand your reality and not live in denial, which can help you from further abuse.