If you binged Netflix’s dark comedy Dead to Me, you saw the toxicity of Judy and Steve’s relationship. At first, their relationship was a conundrum until we finally got to see them interact. Throughout the season, we see a repetitive conversation where Steve crosses a line with Judy and then immediately apologizes. Before he can even finish saying, “I’m sorry,” she replies with, “It’s okay.” Anyone with eyes can see that it is definitely not okay. But when you’re inside a toxic relationship, you can get in the habit of rationalizing followed by accepting bad behavior.
The way to stop bad behavior is to reject and eradicate it from your life.
But of course, easier said than done.
Here are ten reasons Judy kept going back to Steve that may be holding you in a toxic relationship too:
1. Sexual attraction
Finding sexual chemistry with someone can feel like a rarity that often keeps you coming back for more. But remember, it’s not so much the sexual intercourse that’s pulling you back as it is the sexual connection you have with this person. As good as it may feel with this person, you’re worthy of having chemistry with someone that can also respect you. An orgasm doesn’t outweigh disrespect.
You think you’ve “peaked” and this relationship or this person aesthetically is as good as it is going to get for you. But if you’re in a relationship with the motive of pleasing others, you will never find fulfillment.
3. Fear that the other person knows best
You’ve adapted to self-doubt, questioning every choice you make. Relinquishing self-power only transfers it to the other person in your relationship. You will always know best when it comes to yourself. No one will take care of you better than yourself.
A tragic loss or catastrophic event that impacted both of you during your relationship can stay with you long thereafter. But don’t let your past entirely dictate your future. You don’t have to give power to past events. Sharing a loss connects you in some ways, but it does not bind you for life.
5. You’re comfortable
They know everything there is to know about you, and you find yourself comfortable with mistreatment because at least it’s familiar. The only reason you’ve become accustomed to this behavior is that it’s gone on for so long. Get uncomfortable and break the cycle.
6. You share a secret
Fear or a secret getting out can keep two people in contact simply because they don’t trust the other person with the information they both have. The thing about secrets is that they always come out, one way or another. Don’t give more power to a secret than it needs.
7. You don’t have a lot of friends or family
Toxic people have a way of isolating you from the other people in your life. Whether it’s friends or family, a toxic person wants to consume all of your attention until there is nothing left for anyone. Or maybe you don’t have much family or many friends, and this relationship is the only real friend you have. Don’t hang onto something just because it seems like they hold all the cards. Grow apart and make room for people that deserve your attention to come into focus.
8. You’re afraid to be alone
You don’t like to be alone, and any relationship is better than not having a plus one physically by your side. Don’t let the fear of being alone keep you in an unhealthy relationship. You deserve to take part in relationships that are both nourishing and fulfilling.
9. You live together
You’re lives are intertwined, and you share a living space. You share bills and décor. Maybe you share pets you look at as children, and you think that you need to stay together for them. Well, whether you have human or animal children, neither warrant you to stay in an unstable relationship. You only hurt yourself and sequentially the people around you who care about you. Breaking ties and separating your lives will never be easy, but it will be worth it.
10. They’ve seen you at your worst
They’ve seen the worst sides of you, and you feel like no one else will accept these parts of you. But here’s your reminder that someone that loves you will love every part of you. No one is free from flaws, we just have to find people that accept and respect us. These people are out there, so make sure you give them a chance to come into play.