Written By: Randi Aikau, Intake Coordinator

A healthy relationship is based on the mutual desire to see each other succeed in all areas of their lives. Any relationship will have its ups and downs but telling when it’s turned toxic can be difficult to tell. While it’s always advisable to seek professional help from a therapist or counselor to understand what is happening in your relationship, there are key signs you can be on the lookout for.

In a toxic relationship, one or both partners may feel disrespected, unsupported, or unsafe. Communication may be difficult or nonexistent, and trust may be broken. One partner may be controlling or manipulative, and the other may feel like they are not being heard or taken seriously.

Toxic individuals will often victimize themselves and shift blame in any given situation. They may often be unwilling to hold themselves accountable for their behavior. Individuals stuck in the cycle may find themselves growing resentful of their partner which could lead to passive aggressiveness on either side.

If you find yourself in a toxic relationship, it is important to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. Start by talking to a trusted friend or family member about your situation. They can provide you with emotional support and help you make a plan to get out of the relationship.

It is also important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure you are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that make you feel good. Taking care of yourself will help you stay strong and focused on getting out of the toxic relationship.

For urgent assistance, contact your local crisis hotline. These calls are free and available 24/7. The State of Hawai’i crisis line is 808-832-3100 on Oahu or toll-free at 1-800-753-6879. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233.

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