I’ve been seeing in various groups lately and on some of my other social media conversations about Toxic cycles in relationships. This is one of the most difficult dynamics to break free from and recover from because it sneaks up on you. I’ve spoken before about the addictive qualities some relationships have. The reaction in the brain that binds you to a person inside a toxic relationship is the reward center. Once this is activated, every time you’re around that person, it feeds this activation and causes you to feel better. That is incredibly difficult to resist!!
I’ve walked in your shoes
Listen I’ve been there. I consider myself very intuitive and smart and my career is centered around working with people and I still got sucked into this. I was genuinely in love – that I know without question but now , in hindsight I don’t even know why I was. I wasn’t treated well from the beginning but for some odd reason I still hung on for dear life. I actually got stuck on thinking that he not only made my life better, but I thought I could make his better too. That only happens when two people come together in a HEALTHY relationship.
It IS hard to get out of – and it’s chemical
The toxic relationship dynamic is extremely difficult to break free from. Being in it doesn’t mean you are stupid or weak. It simply means you didn’t know what was happening while it was happening. These relationships do not feel bad all the time. On the surface they actually can look and feel pretty darn good!
Don’t let your pride keep you in the toxic cycle
Even if you’ve gone back after identifying that it’s not good for you, don’t give up. Make sure you are not inside your relationship in isolation. Tell someone that you trust what’s happening and if they are a good and supportive friend, they will help you sift through the details. The entanglement is confusing and you will be tempted to obsess over analyzing the other person. Talking it through will help shorten that process and help you to stop prolonging your pain.
Write out the things that went badly
Keep perspective – the person you are enmeshed with likely isn’t who you thought they were. You have probably created a fantasy person based on the good parts of the relationship. Take some time to write out the things that went badly and remind yourself of how those things made you feel. Map out a clear picture for yourself of what TRULY happened (no sugar coating). You don’t have to demonize the other person in order to do this (and I actually suggest you don’t do that) but you can be realistic about the events that took place.
You don’t have to believe the lies
If your person has torn down your character and made you feel at fault (and you are in some regard but still) write down the things they said to you and then answer FALSE or NO to those things if they are contrived. The more your brain sees the manipulation the easier it is to remember the truth and pull yourself away.
Just because it’s fun doesn’t make it good for you
I actually don’t care how good the romance, the sex, the fun, the whatever is – if it’s hurting you over and over again it’s not a healthy bond. When you can’t function normally in your life and find balance because of how wrapped up you are in your relationship it’s time to evaluate things.
Reach out today
If you are in a toxic relationship cycle and feeling like you can’t see the other side – reach out today. There is a method to this madness and I promise you, once you start to take charge and face the harsh reality you will feel more empowered than ever to move forward and free yourself. You can do this.
Join my community here