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Toxic relationships: Should I let go?

It’s likely that the majority of people have experienced a difficult personal relationship at some point in their lives; many of us probably believe that we are able to recognise the signs of a bad relationship and our advice would no doubt be to cut the ties and walk away.  Sometimes though, this is easier said than done and sometimes we are involved in such a toxic relationship but we can’t see it for ourselves.

If you feel like you might be in a toxic relationship, i.e. one that leaves you emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually drained, then consider the following questions:-

It is a constant uphill battle?

If it feels like each step forward is quickly followed by several steps backwards, then it might be time to let go.  You can’t continue to drag a relationship forward by pure will alone; it has to be a two way thing.  If you feel like there is no end in sight then chances are this is a relationship which needs to be broken off.

It is love or obligation?

What is keeping you in the relationship?  If you do it because you feel you owe the person something, either because they are family or because you have experienced something together then it can be hard to recognise when it is time to let go.  However, if you dread time with that person then chances are you are only holding on out of obligation and not love.

Is it equal?

A good relationship should be one in which you are the giver and the receiver.  It needs to be a two way street in which both parties are listened to, valued and respected.  If you are the giver and the other person is solely the taker, then this is an unhealthy relationship.

Does it make you happy?

Your life is your own to lead and if being around someone makes you unhappy, or they force you to behave in a way which makes you uncomfortable or unhappy then it is not a relationship worth continuing.  You deserve to be happy so don’t compromise on this for anyone.

Guilt and fear form part of the attachment

This is particularly relevant if the toxic person is a partner, long term or otherwise.  We can be bound by a fear of what our lives will be like if we no longer have that person present, a fear that it might be much worse.  Likewise, if you have been with someone a long time then there can be an element of guilt to calling time on a relationship.  However, we all deserve to be happy.  Don’t tie yourself down to a toxic person who doesn’t make you the best you can be.  Go out and find better for yourself.

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