Social Media……that’s like a loaded phrase these days.
SO much good! And a WHOLE lot of bad have come out of the cyber world. It’s made things that were super secret before SO. VERY. PUBLIC now. The most common TMI moments on social media definitely involve other people’s relationships.
Sometimes it’s obnoxious to see people’s intimate lives played out. Especially when it’s like we’re watching the same scene repeatedly. But it’s also pretty disturbing to me that the constant blow by blow has desensitized us to REAL situations. Our friends and family have been reduced to statuses and tweets vs being acknowledged as human.
We see them posting for the 3rd time this week about their horrible relationship and instead of extending empathy we’re annoyed. I’m not saying I don’t get why BUT, I love challenges SO, I want to challenge you all to shift your thinking.
What we’re seeing is more than instability and over-sharing. We’re getting blow by blows of TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.
And I know, when we’re inundated with what appears to be willful participation in an unhealthy relationship, it can be hard to keep caring. But it’s SO important that you do. Because toxic relationships aren’t just some “bad experience.” They’re dangerous and can even be deadly.
See, everyone is talking about toxic relationships but no one is REALLY talking about them! Because if you’re REALLY talking about toxic relationships there’s no way you can do it nonchalantly!
Toxic relationships are MUDEROUS THIEVES. This is FACT.
They steal your joy, your peace, your inner strength, and sometimes your other healthy relationships. They kill your esteem, your mental health, emotional well-being, your finances, and sometimes even your physical.
Haven’t you ever known someone that was in a relationship and by the time they left they were only a shadow of who they’d once been? That’s because they were stolen from and murdered every single day.
“Well, that’s sad but it’s their own fault for getting into the relationship. Who chooses to get into a toxic relationship anyway?!”
NO ONE. Those of us that have lived through toxic relationships typically didn’t realize right away that it would be toxic.
- Lots of toxic relationships don’t start out that way
How many of you have been in a relationship with someone that’s AMAZING and then 60-90 days in things start to change? The very same thing can happen in toxic relationships too. There’s no rule that says all toxic relationships will obviously be a bad idea from the beginning.
“How did they miss all the signs?”
Sadly, there are many that were never taught what the signs look like OR to look for them. So, some went in blindly. No one took the time to educate them. That’s why blogs like this exist!
But! I can’t absolve us all of responsibility. A lot of us did get into a relationship with someone that showed toxic signs. Unfortunately, we ignored them when they showed up because we figured they were minor.
“Okay, so maybe it didn’t start out that way, they didn’t know what to look for, or they minimized the severity of the situation. But once they realize it’s toxic they can leave! They’re choosing to stay.”
Yes and no. In the most basic sense, yes, they’re choosing to stay. But the REAL is that the health of a relationship doesn’t determine how easy or difficult a break-up will be.
- It’s not easier to walk away from a toxic relationship
Think of your most difficult and painful breakup and realize that toxic relationships can hurt JUST as badly when they end. There is a bond that has formed during the dating process and if you’ve had sex there’s a soul tie too. Both of those are KEY reasons why break-ups are so painful. And that fact doesn’t change just because it’s a toxic relationship. This is why in my second marriage I didn’t even say out loud what I thought I felt until 90 solid days had gone by. I needed to go in with my eyes wide open and my legs firmly shut.
In addition to being so attached emotionally, sometimes when they’re ready to leave they don’t have a safe place to go. And no I don’t mean they need to come and live with you. But who is going to come and confide in the friend that’s been telling them for months they’re stupid for staying? No one! When someone is watching their relationship end it’s painful and they need someone they can trust to share their heart with. Someone they know will support them through the process. Someone they know won’t have an “I told you so” waiting for them. Someone who will remind them that hurting is normal and not an indication that they’ve made a mistake by leaving.
So, the next time you see one of your friends posting AGAIN about their crazy relationship and horrible partner extend them some grace. Recognize what they’re REALLY saying and why it’s so hard for them to walk away. Believe the best for them. Don’t speak arbitrarily about them and their relationship. Pray for them. And always be a safe space.
Because Toxic Relationships Are REAL!