We all have been fools for love, at one time or another, but that's no excuse for someone to take advantage of you. If you recognize the signs your partner is toxic, it's up to you to take control of the situation and do what you need to do to protect yourself. Breaking up might not be enough. Deleting them, unfollowing them, blocking their number and erasing it from your phone might seem a little extreme, but you are the only one who can protect your heart and you should do it by whatever means necessary.
Remember that, although you are deserving of love without condition, you can never, ever change someone or how they treat you. People need to change on their own. Sticking around and waiting for that to happen is doing an enormous disservice to yourself. While you might not be able to provide yourself with the love you need all of the time — and that's OK — you can make decisions that will enable you to receive love from healthy sources: people who will hold and be with you and fight to be in your life.
If you recognize one of these signs in your relationship, you need to make it a priority to seek out love in other places, where what you give will actually be returned:
1. They Make Everything Seem Like Your Fault
Couples' consultant and coach Lesli Doares told Bustle that a toxic partner will manipulate the situation to place the blame squarely on you. "[Your partner will] twist your words and makes everything your fault," she said.
A toxic partner will be unable to be accountable for their own actions and won't even be able to see the role that they had to play. They'll seize power by basically putting you down and making it seem like you're the only one to blame.
2. They Dismiss Your Emotions While Playing The Victim
Doares said that a toxic partner will consistently "dismiss your feelings or opinion as being wrong." At the same time, relationship expert Susan Winter told Elite Daily they will self-victimize, making it seem like everything bad in the world only happens to them.
"People who are preoccupied with looking for problems will certainly find (or create) some with you in time to come," said Winter. Do you really want to still be around?
3. They Manipulate You To Get Their Way
A toxic partner is willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want, even if it means sacrificing the health and well-being of the person they supposedly love.
"[Your partner will] pout, sulk, give you the silent treatment, make you feel guilty or otherwise [try] to manipulate you when they don’t get their way," said Doares, describing a toxic relationship.
And don't forget gaslighting. A toxic partner can even go so far as to make you question your own reality, playing on their access to emotions. Don't give them that chance. You owe it to your heart to protect yourself — and you're the only one who really can.
4. They Are Dishonest And Break Promises
In my opinion, toxic relationships usually arise because two people aren't being honest with each other or with themselves. If you're in a toxic relationship, chances are you weren't honest about the very real warning signs and — consciously or subconsciously — chose to overlook them, at great cost to yourself.
The result of that dishonesty with yourself is ending up with a person who continually violates your trust. For example, "they promise to stop doing something that they know hurts you but never follow through," said Doares.
In a healthy and loving relationship, one person won't want to hurt the other, because they'll recognize that age-old adage: We only treat others how we want to be treated. You don't deserve to be with someone who is going to take out their own self-inflicted wounds on you. Do whatever it takes to find the love that you are worthy of, and let this bad relationship go.
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