We’ve all been there. At one time or another, we’ve encountered a situation that has rendered us a shadow of our former selves. We’ve done things that are regrettable and completely out of character. An ugly side of ourselves that we never knew we had has been caught in the mirror. It’s scary to think of what we’re capable of when pushed too far.
But that’s how it is with toxic relationships.
No matter how much benefit of the doubt you give, despite all efforts to prove to them that you’re telling them the truth – and you are telling them the truth – they won’t have it. All they want to do is tell you that you’re wrong. They say that your intent lay somewhere more malicious, that you meant to hurt them and that you should be begging on your knees for forgiveness. Don’t let this bravado fool you, though. Providing you’re a good little doormat who apologises profusely for something you never did, they’ll have you back in a heartbeat. They’ll then make you feel special for a while. They may even go overboard with their affections towards you. But time is ticking on the doomsday clock, and sooner or later, it’ll blow.
Be it friend, family or lover, healthy relationships are meant to encourage us to bring the best out of each other – not the worst. That isn’t to say that all good relationships are plain sailing, of course. However, when it comes to bad relationships, even HMS Determined isn’t going to survive those tumultuous storms, especially when they seem to come out of nowhere.
Know that there is no need to tolerate this. You don’t have to “work through” this. And there is nothing in the metaphorical manual of successful relationships that says you should be losing yourself in place of saving what’s already broken.
Just because you have a history doesn’t mean that you have a future, and admitting that it’s no longer working is not a bad thing. Fighting a losing battle, however, is. It doesn’t matter whether they are a toxic person, you are, or maybe neither of you are, but together, you are just like two chemicals that shouldn’t be combined. Like baking soda is to vinegar, despite seemingly harmless on their own, when mixed, things become unstable.
As hard as this may be to stomach, you are not a bad person for giving up. In this life, sometimes that’s the only thing you can do. When it becomes obvious that things in your relationship are unbalanced and unable to be levelled out, then all you can do to save you both from eternal anguish is to call it quits.
Moving forward can be painful, but it’s something we all must endure. There is no need to feel like you have to ball and chain yourself to someone else forever just because, once upon a time, you were a good match. If that spark has gone, then it’s gone.
Saying goodbye is not a crime, so break the chains.
It’s time to set yourself free.