Ending Toxic Relationships
What is a Toxic Relationship?
Toxic relationships come in many forms-
- relationships with family members
- relationships with your children's other parent
- relationships with a significant other
By definition the word toxic means to be poisonous. Think of some of the relationships that are in your life and if you seem to feel sick, distraught, or even angry around anyone. Is this is a feeling you usually have when around that person? Do they have a positive influence on you or your children? But the biggest question I tend to ask myself when trying to figure out if someone is toxic to me and my son is- Am I the best version of myself when I'm around this person?
Often times we also contribute to toxic relationships without even knowing it. The first step to realizing a problem is to understand the part you play in it. Are you an enabler? Do you follow suit even when it's wrong? Are you constantly making poor choices? I can tell you that if I am around a toxic person I tend to make poor choices. Everyone has toxic parts of themselves, but you can't become better if you don't take responsibility for your part in these relationships.
Adress the Issue
Bring the issue to light. In some cases the toxic relationship doesn't have to be that way. By keeping it real and being honest about where your at, can only better the situation for you and your children. Some people don't even know that the things they do or maybe the things they don't do are effecting you in such a negative way. Or they do know and it's not a priority to them. Either way, by you addressing the issue makes it clear that you care and want to turn this toxic relationship into something positive.
Sometimes we are part of the problem. And as easy as it is to write, I know for a fact that it is not easy to look inward and figure out the things we need to fix about ourselves. Self reflecting and understanding the things we do that are toxic, or hurtful to others, is the only way we can truly better ourselves. And as a parent who doesn't want to be the best version of themselves?
Think of a time when you had a conflict with someone. Did you really take the time to understand where they were coming from? Did you try to take yourself out of the problem and look at it from a third party perspective? There are so many ways we can flip the script to really try to understand where the other person is coming from. And sometimes just by doing that you open yourself up to a whole new level of understanding.
Now, I am not saying that every time you are faced with a conflict or toxic relationship that you will in fact be contributing to the problem or issue. There are many times when the other person is the only one who has to do the self reflecting. But take a look inward anyways- it can't hurt.
Find a Solution
Finding a solution is all that matters when it comes to the mental and emotional health of not only our children, but also ourselves. There have been people who I personally can not have a relationship with but that my child can. I know that might be hard to wrap your head around, but hear me out-
Let's say your partners/co parent's family or even your family is unkind and has disrespected you. And you have chosen to not have a relationship with them, that does not mean that your child cannot. After all they are his or hers family. As long as these people are -
- Good to your child
- Do not talk unkindly about you to/around your child
There should really be no reason that any relationship issue amongst the adults should interfere with your child's relationships.
Or maybe you want to have a limited relationship with someone. Setting reasonable boundaries with people is healthy and sometimes necessary. I have had family members that I have not cut out of my life, but I have limited the relationship. I choose to not share certain things with them like I used to and I choose to keep it more on an acquaintance level. And while this sounds unfortunate, which it is, it is the best way for our children to be in each others lives at this time. And that is not to say that one day we will not repair the damaged relationship between us, but for the time being bringing it back to basics works out for us and our children best.