In a healthy relationship, the bond between both of you is strong and you enjoy each other’s company. You make important decisions together and resolve problems through open discussion. You have ups and downs like all couples do.
If you’re in a toxic relationship, it can be harder to spot the red flags. Prolonged unhappiness or feeling drained out by your partner could be a sign that things need to change.
By learning how to heal a toxic relationship, you can not only improve your relationship but your mental and physical well-being. This will need time and self-awareness, but most importantly, a willingness to change and accept responsibility.
Warning Signs of a Toxic Relationship
One of the first things you need to do is figure out whether your relationship is going through a rough patch or if it’s developed into a toxic relationship. Although it’s normal to go through disharmony, tension, abuse, and pain in difficult moments, you need to separate what’s acceptable from what’s not.
If you’re feeling drained out by your partner because they’re highly abusive, then you’re in a toxic relationship. For example, you could be on the receiving end of constant accusations, blame, criticisms, and demands.
As well as major trust issues, there’s a lack of compassion and understanding between partners. Qualities that are vital for a healthy relationship.
Toxic relationships are based on co-dependency, neglect, and emotional manipulation. For more on signs of toxic relationships, check out this detailed piece by Hey Sigmund.
How to Heal a Toxic Relationship: 7 Things You Can Do
Healing a toxic relationship is very difficult, though like all things in life, it’s a challenge that can be overcome with time and perseverance. You can start by trying out the following:
1. Take a Break
Consider taking a break to give yourself and your partner some space to ponder over the relationship for a while before trying to make amends.
2. Share Your Problems
You can’t fix the relationship if you don’t know what the problems are. Arrange a time with your partner to have a discussion about the problems both of you are having with the relationship. If your other half declines, you can note down your views and share them when they’re ready.
Both of you need to look yourselves in the mirror and determine what positive changes need to be made. To have that willingness or desire to change for the betterment of the relationship.
Bustle provides 11 questions to ask yourself to determine whether you’re in the right relationship or not.
4. Stop Blaming
People always like to blame the other person and this is especially true in toxic relationships. You can stop the blaming cycles by engaging in inner work and therapy to be held accountable for your actions. Both of you need to do this.
LonerWolf suggests that practising inner work will allow you to “move past fears, limitations, addictions, depressions, loneliness, and the feelings of unwholeness”.
5. Make Positive Changes
By identifying what individual and collective changes need to be made to make the relationship work, both of you need to apply those changes. This is to ensure that the relationship doesn’t circle back where it was before.
As a couple you can even plan your changes against specific goals and have weekly check-ins to evaluate your progress.
As food for thought, the HelpGuide has tips for building a healthy relationship.
6. Maintain Your Progress
It’s easy to make changes in the short-term and lots of people are good at this, only to revert back to their old habits after a period of time. What’s challenging is to make those changes permanent and by collectively striving towards that, you can achieve a healthy relationship.
7. Try Couples Counselling
Couples counselling can help you understand how to heal a toxic relationship.
People often struggle with carrying out inner work and self-reflection on their own. Professional help from a therapist can help with that.
Couples counselling or relationship advice from an unbiased and trustworthy expert can help you identify signs of toxic relationships, resolve them by setting relationship rules, and help facilitate the prevention of this toxic cycle.
At The Henry Centre, we look to help you improve communication and resolve issues which arise within relationships. We will work with you to understand why things have gone wrong and how problems can be overcome. We look to identify what the issues may be and how, if possible, relationships can be rebuilt.
To learn more and register your interest in couples counselling: https://thehenrycentre.co.uk/issues/relationship-problems/