Saturday, March 13, 2010

Toxic Relationships

I've been struggling with this post for some time now. It's not a "feel-good", funny, or entertaining post. So I hope you don't mind some personal feelings. I have friends, family and co-workers who read this blog and I try to post nothing that would cross the line of privacy with them, or reveal "touchy" topics that will only create tension in situations I have no choice but to be involved in. 

But I can't keep my mouth shut thoughts silent anymore.

I have a toxic relationship I need free from. Someone dear to me (ST) is agonizing emotionally over one as well. Why do people feel the need to control every situation? No matter how much they appear to love and care for you, ultimately it is THEIR feeling, wants and desires that come first. And eventually you see that. 

I'm the "Peace-Maker" personality. I work hard to keep peace and avoid confrontation but I need to learn to demand the respect I deserve out of all the relationships that are a part of my life. My hubby has told me many times to stand up for myself and not let people run over me. It's a work in progress and I remember a time I would never even tell the kid at the drive-thru that my order was wrong. Now my son tells me in advance "now, don't make a scene mom" LOL

If you're not sure if you're in one or maybe you know in your heart you are and are in denial, here are some thought-provoking facts and signs you need to read. 

A toxic relationship is characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and, sometimes, physically damaging to their partner/friend. While a healthy relationship contributes to our self-esteem and emotional energy, a toxic relationship damages self-esteem and drains energy.  A healthy relationship involves mutual caring, respect, and compassion, an interest in our partner's welfare and growth, an ability to share control and onship, a relationship where we can be ourselves without fear, a place where we feel comfortable and secure. A toxic relationship, on the other hand, is not a safe place. A toxic relationship is characterized by insecurity, self-centeredness, dominance, controlWe risk our very being by staying in such a relationship. To say a toxic relationship is dysfunctional is, at best, an understatement. *

When I read those words I see faces. Faces of the people I can't change, no matter how much I'd like to. You and I cannot change these people. My heart is heavy today for someone (ST) in the middle of such a toxic relationship. But how does one get out? When it's not possible to erase this person from your life, how does one deal with continued interaction after confronting the toxic person? This is something that I need to know... to do. 

Have you ever confronted a toxic relationship? How did you do it? Are you still in a position to have to interact with this person (either through work or because of a family connection maybe)? I'd love to hear your feedback, thoughts, advice.

*Taken from Chattanooga HealthScope Health & Wellness Magazine


  1. wow.Loved the definition. As I have blogged I did have to face a toxic relationship, but it was so unsafe other then the contact needed for the divorce , there was no further contact! However, sometimes in family members I see toxic patterns. there is no easy answer and I hope you get some good answers. I think facing it some how is eventually the best thing to do. AAnd other times I think avoiding it when possible works too...ugh!! what an issue!

  2. I'm sorry you are going through this. That kind of relationship is so draining emotionally and physically that you must stop it for your own health. I stayed in a marriage 20 years too long, burying my feelings and fears, until my liver was literally beyond repair. I wish you good luck with your toxin.

  3. I ended up walking away from not one, but two ex-husbands.. and most of my family. Why you may ask.. Toxic Shock Syndrome.. it was just all too much. I married twice thinking someday it would change,, it did not.. I stayed with my abusive family because I thought someday I could be good enough to earn the right NOT to be their pissing post.. it never happened. One day I decided.. IT ENDS WITH ME.. it will not be passed on to my baby's baby.. and we walked.

  4. I don't usually comment on weekends, but had to speak up. My last husband was toxic. But, having kids with him, I can never get away. Now I have to contend with his new wife as well. She is also toxic. What is so interesting about her, is that she blames everything that goes wrong in her life on me or my kids. Even though I have nothing to do with her, and she now has nothing to do with my children.

    I am also a peacemaker, and I am tired of this whole thing. I wish they would both quietly go away and allow me and my kids to live in peace. But, life is never that easy. I just try to make it up to my kids best that I can, and hope they make better life choices than I did!

  5. icky. I know this may sound cliche, but when in toxic relationships before I have distanced myself, and prayed. Prayed they would move, or that the distancing would happen naturally so as to avoid an awkward convo or conflict.Prayed for wisdom on how to handle. You do need to stand up for yourself, and learn to maybe say no to seeing this person? ugh. I hate this kinda stuff. So sorry your dealing with it.

  6. The problem is that they never see themselves as a part of the problem, so they won't change. It's up to you. You have to decide how important they are to you and your life, as it is with them at this instant, before you can decide how to interact or just cut the cord. There simply isn't an easy answer. But, my prayers are with you.