Best Life: How to tell if you are in a toxic relationship

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 7:28 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Halloween is happening this month. But for many people, their everyday relationships are scarier than the threat of ghosts and goblins. In fact, one in four women are in a physically abusive relationship. One in two women has been psychologically abused by their significant other.

A friend, a boss, or a romantic partner. Chances are, you’ve been in a “scary” relationship with someone at one time or another!

“It made me question who I was,” said Mary Mitchell.

“I shut that down and didn’t feel,” said Kim Stewart.

“I felt like a liar because people thought that I had a perfect life,” said Mitchell.

But how do you know when an uncomfortable situation is becoming unhealthy?

“One that comes to mind automatically is abusive, so physically abusive, verbally abusive, sexually abusive, mentally abusive, financially abusive, all of those things,” said Cherlette McCullough, License Marriage and Family Therapist.

Some signs of a toxic person in your life: they constantly tease you; they pressure you to do things you don’t want to do, they demand all of your attention, they’re jealous of your other important relationships, they always blame you, they ask you to lie or cover for them, or they gaslight you.

“What gaslighting is, is it’s actually making a person feel like what really causes them emotional harm is really not true,” said McCullough.

So how can you escape a scary relationship?

First: build a support system of family and friends to help you. Make a detailed plan and follow through. If you want out, be honest and cut contact for good.

If you’ve made your decision to end the relationship, stick to it. It might help to journal your emotions during this time, and, therapy can also be a good resource for helping you heal and move on.

If you’re in an abusive situation, you should seek help without delay. The National Domestic Violence hotline offers free, confidential support 24-7. That number is 800-799-7233.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.

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