If you’re in a Toxic relationship, the first step is to ask yourself if you really want to fix your relationship?! Toxic relationships can cause serious and lasting harm! Fighting can happen in many relationships, and is not necessarily a sign of toxicity.

Sometimes people fight because there are serious problems and they don’t have the ability to communicate clearly. If a relationship involves a lot of fighting – mutual fighting, where both members engage to similar levels – it’s not necessarily toxic (though it’s probably unhealthy!). 

Here are four ways toxic masculinity shows up in your relationships, according to a therapist.

Financial abuse is about controlling how another person lives their life. Sexual abuse is at its core about power, which is a form of control. Emotional abuse is designed to reduce someone to a more manipulatable state, where they can be controlled.

Look out for statements or actions from your partner like: 

  • “It’s my money, so I don’t feel comfortable with you spending it.”
  • They themselves do something fun (a PS5), but make comments about you spending on your hobbies before essential needs are met. 
  • You buy them treats and they rarely, if ever, reciprocate.
  • Taking care of all of the bills and taxes and telling you “don’t worry about it.” It can seem nice, but it can cut you out of knowing exactly what your financial status is.

WHAT TO DO: People with toxic responses to problems are often struggling with mental health problems. It will be helpful for your partner to go to individual therapy sessions as well (therapy for everyone!). 

Relationship therapy or mediation is one of the best things you can do for a toxic relationship. You need a neutral third party who can sit in front of you and your partner and help you process your relationship dynamic together.

You need to set up careful communication strategies between you and your partner. Pre-plan what each of you will say or do if you feel like you’re being treated in an unhealthy manner. 

Remember: Just because you’ve spent four years in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to stay in that relationship forever! 

You can ALWAYS start over.

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