Here’s how to spot and get out of a toxic relationship.
We are often faced with relationships that present characteristics that are not healthy, but we have difficulties to identify when they offer risks and thus, to leave them. Know that the most important step for you to get out of an abusive relationship is identifying whether you are in such a relationship. Below, we have some toxic relationship “symptoms” to help you identify if you are living or know someone who is in this situation:
Many abusive relationships do not start with physical aggression, but with psychological aggression. It can be psychological pressure against the victim, using mental triggers, blaming her for situations that she is not to blame or, often, situations that did not even happen (in these cases, this is called Gaslighting). This phenomenon consists of distorting information and even creating situations that have not yet occurred in order to weaken the victim’s psychology in order to benefit the aggressor.
In addition to manipulation, aggressors tend to be selfish, negative, especially when there is a new project for the victim, discouraging her. Victimism is also one of the symptoms, often leaving the victim in the position of aggressor, reversing roles. Remembering that, in some cases, the aggressor ends up acting this way by going through abusive situations in previous relationships as a defense mechanism and in these cases, the search for a professional is the most appropriate.
You are deprived of doing what you like
Excessive jealousy is a basic symptom of an abusive relationship. Being deprived of going out with friends, going to places you used to go or even working and studying are signs that the relationship is far from being healthy. The victim, when giving in to the will of the aggressor, is already psychologically weakened to the point that she avoids any conflict and feels guilty for not pleasing him. Generally, the victim distances himself from friends or even family members, both because of the aggressor’s will and because he is ashamed of himself for living in this situation.
Physical violence can come from the aggressor regardless of whether the victim gives in to the aggressor’s will or not. Remembering that, when witnessing a situation where someone is suffering this type of violence, it is of paramount importance that support is given to the victim and awareness to file a complaint. It is worth remembering that an abusive relationship leaves physical and psychological marks on the victim, and it is essential to guide her on seeking specialized help, in addition to surrounding her with people who love and protect her, so that she feels welcomed and has the courage to get out of it all.
But, can only relationships like dating or marriages be abusive? The answer is no. Both “love” and family relationships or even friendships can be toxic. It is valid to advise against fighting toxicity with more toxicity, because, in addition to making you more vulnerable, this can make the aggressor’s condition even worse. Regardless of the relationship, always impose limits through dialogue. The aggressor’s need is to always be on top of the relationship.
The results of an abusive relationship in the victim are the most varied: Their self-esteem is practically shaken, because many aggressors end up comparing the victim with other people in order to diminish it. Often, the victim who leaves this type of relationship is traumatized to the point that they are unable to embark on other relationships, precisely because of the fear that everything will happen no matter how many new people may emerge, regardless of their history or character.
When identifying these symptoms, in addition to the support network, it is essential that any type of contact with the aggressor is cut off, avoiding any type of relapse and also, to preserve their physical integrity. Firmness in the victim’s decision to leave this type of relationship is very important. Prevent relapse from happening, as many aggressors come back showing non-genuine regret to convince the victim to get back with the relationship. The problem is that everything goes back to how it was before, becoming a vicious cycle.
If you are in a relationship of this nature or are witnessing a situation like this on the part of other people, be sure to give your support and encourage the victim to leave this relationship. Victims of abusive relationships feel very ashamed of living in this situation and are afraid to seek help. Including fear of receiving judgment from others. What the victim least needs right now is judgments and the support of more people is a big help.
In cases where the aggressor party does not accept the end of the relationship, it is crucial that the victim seeks help in reporting channels. We remind you again that psychological violence is also subject to reporting and any signaling to the police forces at this stage can help to avoid physical violence. Stalk on social networks and physical persecution can also be communicated when the dialogue is no longer effective and the fear of following your life even outside this relationship begins to speak louder.
When we seek a relationship, we look not only for love but for affection, respect, empathy and complicity. Every relationship that is not good for you, oppresses you, makes you sad most of the time, makes you change not by itself, but, to make the other party happy, is no longer healthy, but rather worrying. It’s painful to leave a relationship like this, but every cycle that needs to be ended has a greater weight to end. But, it is necessary when our well-being is shaken.
What’s up? Do you know someone who is going through an abusive situation in a relationship, with their family or with a friend? Offer your support. He is unconditional for the victim’s recovery and can even help the aggressor, or for her to move away or even reflect to seek internal improvement and seek help if necessary. Remember: True love does not hurt, it is careful and heals any wound. What hurts you will never hurt you.