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Toxic Relationships: Can You Fix One or Just Quit ASAP?

Toxic relationships are easy to recognise when you look from the side. But when you are in this bad relationship, it might be challenging to identify and escape it. Find out the evident signs of a toxic relationship and the ways how to end it.
a hand moving a puppet as an allusion on toxic relationship

What is a toxic relationship?

We are smitten by stories of couples who go through tough times together and live happily ever after. But, at some point in our lives, we realize that there is no perfect relationship just as there are no perfect people, including ourselves. If we ignore this reality, we are all destined for a toxic relationship.
Toxic refers to something that is "very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way." When something is toxic, it is poisonous and capable of causing serious debilitation. It is pernicious. It is damaging.
A toxic relationship, therefore, does not nurture and protect the well-being of the people involved. A healthy relationship does. While a healthy relationship lifts you and magnifies your strength, a toxic relationship pulls you down and drains your energy.

The irony is that love can still exist in a toxic relationship. But without mutual trust, respect, and affection, love takes on an addictive form. If this is so, you need to be vigilant and attentive so you do not develop poor habits.

Evident signs of a toxic relationship

a girl in toxic relationship sitting on the pink floor
There are many signs of a bad relationship, but the people in the relationship are usually the last to realize it. Here is a list of some warning signs of a toxic relationship in the making.


The toxic partner usually desires to dominate the other, but this can only happen if there is an imbalance of power. The scale always seems to tip to one side. The toxic partner seems to always be right, needs to always be obeyed, and always has the last word.

Lack of support

You might end up feeling lonely when your partner does not give you the kind of support you need, that is, the mental or emotional backing you need to feel encouraged and confident. It may even seem like your partner is competing with you. Be wary if you find yourself unsure of your decisions and begin to second-guess everything you do.


Feeling valued and respected is the cornerstone of all healthy relationships. In a toxic relationship, you may be treated like a doormat - without respect. Your partner may tramp on your self-esteem and make you feel useless and humiliated. It can eventually lead to an abusive relationship that is either verbal, physical, sexual, or psychological.


When you are mistrusted, you can be accused of so many misgivings and dishonesty. On the other hand, without trust, your toxic partner can hide behind a shroud of lies, cheating, and other forms of dishonesty that can be projected onto you. All of a sudden, you're accused of being the one who is lying, cheating, or being shady.

Ignoring a partner's needs

One of the sure signs of a toxic relationship is unhappiness. It stems from being ignored or the feeling that you've given up so much and are running on empty. Your needs seem less important or are non-existent. If you feel that you are never heard or that your input doesn't matter, you might be in a toxic relationship.
a couple with toxic relationship fighting


You might have used to think it was cute that your partner was a little jealous of other people giving you extra attention. But in a toxic relationship, this kind of jealousy goes overboard. Your partner starts to track your whereabouts and the time you spend elsewhere. You have a limited social circle and limited time for others - even for your family. This stems from their insecurities rather than anything that you are or aren't doing. Read this article to find out more about insecurities in a relationship.

Do you end or fix your toxic relationship?

Not all toxic relationships are doomed to fail. If both partners recognize that the relationship needs fixing and they are both willing to walk the extra mile, then change can be possible. If both of you accept responsibility for your roles in the relationship and shift from blaming to understanding, hope is not lost. Seeking outside help could also give you a good shot at restoring your healthy relationship.

Read more about mindful relationships here.

For those significant people on the outside looking in, they would easily suggest ending a toxic relationship ASAP. Some may suggest for you to leave when you can, otherwise, it may be difficult to escape over time. If you honestly feel that you are not only in a toxic relationship but in an abusive one, you might want to consider these ways to end the relationship.

7 ways to escape a toxic relationship

Low to moderate caffeine intake doesn't seem to pose significant health risks, but what if you're addicted to high doses of caffeine and want to reduce your intake? Here's how.
a man with a suitcase leaving from his toxic relationship

1. Keep track of your feelings

If you notice a growing sense of unhappiness in your relationship, you should start tracking your feelings and interactions. A good way to do this is to keep a journal and write about your interactions and how they made you feel. If you see a pattern of toxicity, you might want to leave the relationship.

2. Prioritize your comfort

If you feel your arguments and fights might take a turn for the worse, it helps to walk away. The only way to feel at ease is when you feel safe and valued. If you feel otherwise, it would be good to stay away from the relationship and prioritize your comfort by sorting out your thoughts and feelings so you can think clearly.

3. Stop or at least limit toxic communication

If you find yourself in an off and on again pattern in your relationship, put an end to it by cutting off communication. It especially becomes overly toxic when hurtful words are thrown at one another or a new level of name-calling is reached. You might want to change your contact details or take a break from social media.

4. Find support in your friends

If you feel helpless and alone, it is easier to do something difficult, like getting out of a toxic relationship, with the help of people who love and support you. Consult and share your experience with people who truly care and would be willing to help you. One of the best ways to stand up against a toxic partner is to tell others the truth about your relationship.

5. Set boundaries

If you feel you are losing your personal space or even parts of who you are, you might want to reclaim these things and set boundaries. No means no and enough is enough. You should not allow your partner to tell you otherwise when you have already made your decision.
a couple escaped toxic relationship lying on a bed

6. Accept all your emotions

If you've experienced difficult emotions after leaving a toxic relationship, give yourself time to feel all your emotions and heal from all the pain you've experienced. Be honest and patient with yourself as this paves the way for a full recovery.

7. Find a new hobby

If you feel uneasy about the new situation you are in, find a new hobby, or engage in activities that will help you become a better version of yourself. Explore possibilities and learn new skills.


It is perplexing how one song claims, "Love will keep us alive" while another song says, "Sometimes love just ain't enough." According to Mark Hanson, a bestselling author, love should be the product of a healthy relationship rather than the foundation for it. He explains further that love without respect allows you to be treated like a doormat, love without trust opens up many forms of dishonesty, such as lying and cheating, and love without sincere affection leads to a cold and distant relationship.

Healthy relationships take time, patience, and diligence to develop, but so do toxic relationships. Because relationships are created mutually, people should accept that healthy relationships are developed when you nurture them and help each other grow.
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