Destructive Relationships

Almost every brand new relationship is filled with smiles and laughter. Butterflies in your stomach and a skip in your step. But over time, those feelings tend to fade. For many, the butterflies slow down. For others, they disappear completely, leaving behind a sinking feeling. In other words, a relationship can turn from exciting to destructive. Sometimes, you don’t even see it happening until it’s too late. Here are a few signs that you might be in one of these awful destructive relationships:

You avoid certain subjects because they upset your partner.
Your partner often criticises you for the things you do/say/wear.
You don’t feel like you have your own life.
Your friends/family say you are acting different or withdrawn.
You find it hard to make time for yourself, but always make time for your partner.
You lie to your partner or your partner lies to you.

If any of these signs resonate with you, it may be time to evaluate your current relationship and your personal lifestyle. You have to truly be honest with yourself and your partner. If you previously had good communication with your partner, you may be able to work on the destructive issues. If not, it may be time figure out how to get out of a destructive relationship.

Communicate to avoid destructive relationships

The most obvious advice would be to tell your partner how you feel. Of course, it isn’t always possible to tell someone how you feel, especially if you fear their reaction. You may feel comfortable speaking to your partner with a mediator present, such as a family member, friend or professional. Taking this step may be scary, but it may also save your relationship. Unfortunately, a destructive relationship can rarely be fixed, and sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away.

Be confident 

After a break-up, you can find yourself asking the “what if” questions. You may think you were too harsh or that the relationship “wasn’t that bad”. There’s a chance you had good times and truly enjoyed the company of one another. The feelings may have been real between the two of you too. That doesn’t always mean a relationship is going to work out. It’s best to just accept that your decision to end the relationship was in your best interest. Be confident in your decision. Especially if your ex-partner is using guilt tactics because it proves how toxic the relationship really is.

Refocus

The key to being confident and maintaining your decision is finding a new point of focus. Now that you are out of your relationship, it’s time to invest in the most important person of all: You. Do something nice for yourself. Go out with your friends. Pick up a new hobby. Travel. Check out a dating agency.  Keeping yourself busy will prevent you from wallowing and overthinking. You’ll also get to experience the same world you knew as a new person. This is your chance to reinvent yourself.

Reach out

Destructive relationships are often hard to walk away from. If you find yourself struggling, ask for help You can talk with a family member or a close friend. You can even contact professionals, such as counsellors and social workers. You can even contact the local police if you feel like you are in danger. Many people find themselves feeling afraid, guilty and even a sense of obligation. This makes it hard to reach out. However, these emotions are perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with you and you don’t deserve this. Don’t be afraid to ask for help removing yourself from a toxic situation.

James Preece
Dating Coach and Dating Expert at The Dating Guru
James Preece is the Dating Guru.

He is the UK's leading Dating Coach and Relationship Expert, helping 1000s find love each year.