When Someone You Love Becomes Toxic

God & Man

“Not all toxic people are cruel and uncaring. Some of them love us dearly. Many of them have good intentions. Most are toxic to our being simply because their needs and way of existing in the world force us to compromise ourselves and our happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people for us. And as hard as it is, we have to let them go. Life is hard enough without being around people who bring you down, and as much as you care, you can’t destroy yourself for the sake of someone else. You have to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone you care about, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create a safer space for yourself.” — Daniell Koepke

It’s never easy determining if someone is toxic for you. Especially if it’s someone you love and care about. Someone who has played a major role in your life. Someone who was once such a positive influence on you.

All relationships change. As you get to know one another and you overcome certain milestones together, if the relationship isn’t adapting and you aren’t growing together, the shift can easily turn from one of your most healthy relationships to one of your most toxic.

And what makes it hard letting someone like this go is because you really do love them and care about them but there comes a point where you each have to realize you aren’t benefitting each other the way you used to.

A healthy relationship is one that is balanced. One where the person is meeting you completely halfway. One where you don’t feel like you’re trying too hard. One where someone is sharing in your success and your joy. One where someone is helping to achieve things. So how does a relationship that is so healthy suddenly crumble and turn toxic? How do two people who love and care about each other suddenly turn into versions of themselves that aren’t good?

It comes down to the relationship not evolving as you are. People are meant to evolve and grow and adapt. But a lot of relationships don’t have that simplistic ability to do that and always provide you with what you need. The hardest thing to determine is if someone’s part in your story is over.

Did they teach me everything they could? Did I give the best I could give to them? Can I walk away with my head high in this relationship with the respect that there isn’t much more either of us can gain from this?

But a lot of the time we allow a history dictates our future. We cling to people we shouldn’t just because of who they were and what to they meant to us. And when you attach yourself to someone just because you have history it doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to have a future.

But so many of us cling to what was instead of looking at what is right now.

Someone who once adored you treats you badly and you allow it.

Someone who once was fiercely independent can easily become clingy then you’re trying too hard and they are overwhelmed.

Someone who used to appreciate all you had to give suddenly starts expecting these things. And you wonder what changed yet you keep trying when they don’t deserve your effort.

Someone who you were close with but you kept at arm’s length suddenly you’re talking every day and they become this habit. Then they start to ignore you.

Someone whose attention you never cared, for now, you’re jumping through hoops compromising your self-respect to get back to the relationship you once had.

Judge people for who they are not the versions of who you want or expect them to be.

When it comes to any relationships you can’t go back. You can only move forward and if this relationship isn’t evolving as you are, it’ll stunt your growth.

And you shouldn’t hone on when the relationship was healthy and how do you get that back. The best people are the ones who know when something is over. The ones who let certain people go because they have to. The ones who know when the relationship was something good and sometimes good things don’t always last.

Relationships turn toxic when each of you aren’t growing the way you need to.

And just because someone you love and care about isn’t meant for you, in the long run, it doesn’t mean there is anything you’ve done wrong or a flaw within you.

The best thing you can do is take the best parts of someone and use it to better yourself.

You want to honor someone you loved and cared about let them go when their time in your story is up and use the good parts of who they are to become the best version of yourself.

I can’t sit here and say you won’t find your way back to each other over time but when you cling to someone just because you are afraid to let them go you don’t just lose them you end up losing yourself trying to keep someone not meant for you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kirsten Corley

Writer living in Hoboken, NJ with my 2 dogs.

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