Relationships are always perceived to be a space where partners are happy and comfortable to be around each other, it is meant to be a safe space for the two individuals. However, this is not always the case. With the rise number of sexual and gender based violence, individual don’t understand what toxic relationship entails or they assume.
Toxic relationship is a term that we often hear, but what does it mean to be in a toxic relationship? What are some of the red flags to watch out for? Why do people continue staying in such relationships? These were the guiding questions during coffee bar Tuesday held at the MuYI Hub.
If a relationship stops bringing you joy and instead consistently makes you feel sad, angry or anxious, and that your well-being is threatened, then it can be defined as being toxic. Views of toxicity in relationships however vary from one individual to another. These are some of the discussion areas that we had during the session where participants were able to identify insecurity, lack of support, lack of communication, physical, verbal and emotional abuse, being manipulative, lack of respect, lack of empathy as the major red flags in a relationship. If you also notice that your partner is jealous, competitive, and generally unhappy when you are doing well, then that’s a huge red flag
“As much as people focus more on physical abuse, emotional and verbal abuse tend to have much more effect on a partner since it messes with a person’s self-esteem and confidence, which takes time to build up once again” said one of the participants.
Despite people seeing these warning signs, some will still prefer to stay with a toxic partner because of various reasons such as: the benefits their family receive, poor background, presence of children, fear of starting over, religious beliefs and harsh judgement from society.
“ When in a toxic relationship, a person starts to change and suddenly they do not seem happy as they used to, they stop doing things that they enjoyed before and they do not engage with family and friends as much as before” was a view that a participant in the session had
Some people are fortunate enough to realize the red- flags early and leave the toxic partner while others end up facing consequences of staying. Toxic trends from toxic partners often cause feelings of low self-worth, helplessness, fear, anxiety and even depression. Severe cases such as murder and suicide have occasionally been reported due to abusive partners.
Both men and women are usually victims of toxic relationships and they should learn how to speak out in case they are facing abuse from a partner, abuse in any way or form from a partner should not be tolerated, therefore no one should feel obliged to persevere such a relationship at the expense of their mental, emotional or physical well-being, it is never too late to walk away from a toxic partner.
Remember, bravery is leaving a toxic relationship and knowing that you deserve better and letting go is an act of self-care. You shouldn’t have any justification of why you’re leaving a toxic relationship. See you on Tuesday!