Toxic relationships are a common problem, and it’s easy to see why. Sometimes we form a toxic relationship because we’ve got some deep rooted issues that cause us to attract the wrong kinds of people. Other people just rub each other up the wrong way (and we don’t mean sexually!).
In yet more situations the love is there, but the way you relate is far from healthy – making it difficult to let go and move on from each other.
There are so many causes for toxic relationships, but one thing that is consistent in these relationships aside from the toxicity is that most people who are in a toxic relationship who have the potential to turn things around will ask ‘do toxic relationships ever work?’ and ‘is our toxic relationship worth saving?’.
Let’s get straight to the point.
1. Turning a toxic relationship into a healthy relationship
Answering the question ‘do toxic relationships ever work?’ is an easy question to answer.
Because for a ‘toxic relationship to work’ and be fulfilling it must develop into a healthy relationship first – it’s as simple as that!
But the process of turning a toxic relationship into a healthy relationship can be a challenge and one where many couples will fail.
In most cases, and in situations when a toxic relationship works and begins to turn into a healthy relationship it’s because both parties can see that there’s a problem and are committed to doing whatever it takes to resolve the issue, including following through with the actions, even when they run into challenges or issues.
If one or the other partner in this toxic relationship is not willing to do this, and cannot follow up any commitment with the necessary actions to resolve the situation, then the chances are that the answer to the question ‘do toxic relationships ever work’ will be a no.
2. Can toxic relationships that do not change last?
You could say that it is possible for a toxic relationship to work even if it doesn’t turn into a healthy relationship.
The problem here though is that while the toxic relationship might ‘work’ and it might last to the end of time it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be happy, or healthy.
In fact, it won’t be, it will be unfulfilling and emotionally, mentally and spiritually damaging.
It’s a sad reality, but some people who are in a toxic relationship may never know what it’s like to be in a satisfying, fun, happy and healthy relationship. But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t made their toxic relationship work, because they have stayed together.
3. Defining how we perceive a relationship that works
To answer the question ‘do toxic relationships ever work’ you’d need to understand how making a relationship ‘work’ is defined. Perhaps a better question would be ‘what are the consequences of staying in a toxic relationship?’ or ‘how can a toxic relationship be turned into a healthy one?’at least these are the questions that would help you out if you find yourself in a toxic relationship.
4. Two styles of toxic relationships that might ‘work’
So on that note, there are two ways that a toxic relationship will work.
- The healthy way- where both parties work hard to resolve their personal issues, partnership issues and learn how to relate with each other healthily.
- The unhealthy way where a couple stays together in a toxic relationship and merely ride the storms.
The majority of people in a toxic relationship, however, will fall in the middle and eventually leave the toxic relationship which is probably the easiest and most natural consequence of a toxic relationship.
Those who leave a toxic relationship would be very likely to answer the question ‘do toxic relationships ever work with a profound ‘no!’. So as we’ve said, deciding whether a toxic relationship can work really does depend on how you define a ‘working’ relationship.
5. What to do if you are in a toxic relationship
If you are in a toxic relationship, the first thing you need to do is to realize that your relationship is toxic. When you understand this you’ll need your partner to realize, and then both of you must be prepared to work at it in other to make your toxic relationship work by turning it into a healthy one.
If you want to put in the effort, but your partner does not, then you have nothing left to do but decide if you wish to stay in this toxic relationship and allow it to make a detrimental impact upon your health, well being and life experiences or if you wish to leave.
One thing that is for sure is that if you have a partner who is not interested in changing no amount of patience or hope is going to make them decide to change so instead it’s time to face facts and either move on or accept the situation (of course we advise that you move on).
Deciding whether toxic relationships ever work is difficult because it depends on each case, and even if they do work (or last), it doesn’t mean that they are happy experiences. To answer the question ‘do toxic relationships ever work’, you first need some context. For example; ‘do toxic relationships ever last?’, ‘or can a toxic relationship improve?’ might be better questions to ask.
And the answer is that most toxic relationship will eventually break up (which is probably the right decision), some will last, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be a great experience and a few more will turn into a healthy non-toxic relationship if both parties apply the effort.