Toxic relationships can cause enormous damage to people, relationships, and families. This is why knowing how to mend a toxic relationship is vital. However, it can prove complicated because such relationships rarely show toxic tendencies right from the start.
Most of the time, these relationships start out as fun and exciting, mimicking the components of a normal relationship. During this phase of the honeymoon, a couple develops enough happy memories, which they desperately cling to when toxicity starts to rear its ugly head.
This, in turn, reduces the scope of trying to make a relationship less toxic because instead of facing the sad reality staring them in the face, people trapped in those relationships hold on to the “happy” past as a denial mechanism.
To be able to fix a toxic relationship, it is imperative to be aware that people change. With this change, their relationships also evolve. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The only way to reverse toxic behavior is to recognize problematic patterns as you see them emerge and proactively seek solutions.
The reasons a relationship becomes toxic can be varied. One of the most common triggers of toxicity is being trapped in a relationship with a toxic partner. Someone who goes through life, leaving behind a trail of broken relationships, hearts and people. But this is not the only factor of toxicity.
It is equally common for a couple to become toxic, due to a long period of unmet needs, unpleasant stories, bad feelings, grudges and resentment towards each other. In these cases, the relationship typically starts off healthy. But over time, the baggage of disappointment and dissatisfaction becomes so overbearing that it begins to pollute the relationship and negatively impact the people in it.
Whether you want to fix a toxic relationship or fix yourself after a toxic relationship, being aware of the red flags is key. The conclusion is that toxic behavior does not manifest itself in a vacuum. There are always underlying causes that become triggers of certain toxic tendencies and signs. And these can exist on a spectrum.
To help you reverse toxic behavior, let’s first take a close look at some of the causes of toxic behavior and the signs or patterns they trigger:
Causes of toxic relationship Signs of toxic relationship
Incompatibility as a Romantic Partner
When you’re not right for each other, you can quickly get out of sync. This can make you feel alone and invisible. Often, these feelings can impact the mental well-being of one or both partners.
Insecurity and Jealousy
An insecure and jealous partner wants the other for himself and can isolate him from his friends, family, and those closest to his romantic partner. Isolation is a sign of being in a relationship with a toxic person.
Unresolved problems from childhood or past relationships
Unresolved problems can lead to toxic signs such as behavior control, dishonesty, lying
Partner dominance and manipulation If you are in a relationship with a toxic person, they would inevitably seek to control your life and behavior through manipulation techniques such as gaslighting, obstruction, aggression, one-upmanship, criticism.
Anger or temperament issues
When one partner’s anger or bad mood becomes the cause of relationship toxicity, the other finds himself walking on eggshells. This manifests itself as a fear of expressing one’s mind or following one’s heart. Often, the affected partner begins to resort to lying and dishonesty to prevent outbursts of anger and unstable discussions.
Phobia of Commitment
The phobia of commitment can lead to toxic relationship cues such as being unsure of relationship status, push-pull dynamics, and feeling stuck in a place where you are neither all-in nor out.