What does it mean to be toxic and how does it show up in your relationship? Toxicity manifests as emotionally damaging behaviors towards your boo which degrades the intimacy in your relationship. So, what if you’re the toxic one in your relationship? What do you do? Seek counselling? Apologize to your boo? Change? - yes, to all the above. But it may not be as simple as that for you. There may be many reasons why you feel compelled to behave this way. For this article we’re going to talk about things you can do to become less toxic in your relationship.

Firstly, let me start by congratulating you on being honest with yourself. It’s difficult to admit when you’re the one who significantly contributes to the imbalance in your relationship. Often times people point the finger at their boo and blame them for the dysfunction in the relationship. But, maybe you’re not the toxic one and you’re seeking a little inspiration to change the dynamic of your relationship. If so, there’s going to be a few tips in here for you as well.

What to Do if You're the Toxic Partner?


Meditate. Pray. Get to a place of solitude where you can be alone with your thoughts. While you’re in this safe place try to identify reasons why you’re behaving the way you are. What are the things that trigger you and why? How did you even get to this point in the first place? Does this stem from your upbringing? These are all great questions to ask yourself. While you’re in this meditative state, try not to fight the answers that come up. Let them flow easily as they may reveal to you the core issue you’re dealing with. It could be that you aren’t happy with yourself and the current environment and you feel powerless to change it; or maybe you feel threatened and being toxic is your way of dealing with the threat. Regardless of the case, I encourage you to seek a professional to help walk you through this difficult place. By the way, think of this person as a success coach. Someone who's helping you retrain your mind and approach to your intimate relationship. I personally do this and highly recommend it.

Forgive Yourself

We all need to learn how to fully accept ourselves as perfectly flawed human beings without guilt and shame. My commitment to growth and maturity has allowed me to do this. When I make mistakes I give myself grace by realizing I’m on a path of growth and success and that I will have bumps and bruises along the way.  And that’s okay. This doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself to feel guilt or shame. It simply means I don’t take counsel from these emotions about my identity. So forgive yourself and make a commitment to yourself and your boo to get better -  and stick to it! 

Get an Accountability Partner

In addition to a counsellor another great tool is an accountability partner. This person should be someone who will tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly because they genuinely care about your well being. Which means they’ll more than likely tell you the truth about how you’re showing up in your relationship. This person should also be willing to challenge you to be your best. You can do a weekly or daily check in on your progression. This is also a tool I use and it has been very effective.

what if you're the toxic one in your relationship

Ask Yourself, “What do I stand to lose”?

As humans we rarely ask ourselves the hard questions, let alone give ourselves enough time to think about them. I’ve become a person who likes to ponder about situations in my relationship and their impact, from start to finish. I remember asking my wife on several occasions, if we were to continue down a certain path, what would it lead to? Many times it was leading us toward a breakup (I don’t like the “D” word). This one idea has shaped my behavior significantly. I can look at my actions today and the impact it will inevitably have on our future and decide to change the outcome. This is the real power in our relationships. I challenge you to ask yourself this question and the others you may have steered away from and meditate on each of them for 3 minutes.

Practical Ways to Deal with a Toxic Partner.

Address the Elephant in the Room

Make sure your boo knows their behavior is toxic and the impact it’s having on you and the relationship. Feel free to use these conflict resolution tools to guide your conversation. In some situations you’re going to need a professional to navigate this conversation as it’s it may be difficult. If you choose not to engage in this process, you risk building resentment toward your boo which in itself is also toxic and will inevitably drive you and your boo further apart. 

Encourage Behavior that Supports the Relationship

Don’t tell your boyfriend or husband I said this. But men are like puppies in many ways. We want to know that you love us and we want it to be acknowledged by a belly rub (sex). Sorry men, but you’d agree this isn’t that far from the truth. If your man is doing things in the relationship that you like, tell him. I’ve been married almost twelve years, trust me, it goes a long way. But be intentional how you tell him. One of the ways you can tell him is through his love language. This is equally true for women (except for the sex part). Show your women you appreciate what she does for you through kind gestures, words, and Woo's.

Give Room

Sometimes the best thing to do in a relationship is to give your boo room. Time for both of you to be alone and think. I understand how difficult this could be especially if you live together and don’t have anywhere else to go. In this case, you could agree to spend time apart in the home. However be sure to clearly communicate your intentions and reasons for this approach, with an agreed upon time to come back together via counselling or through some other means. The goal here is to create space for both of you to work on yourself. And if this process is taken seriously, you’ll be creating an opportunity for your relationship to heal.

Challenge Yourself to Be Better

It’s easy to point the finger, especially if your boo is the toxic one. But pointing the finger means you’re relinquishing your ownership in the relationship. It’s basically saying the relationship will get better when your boo changes. That’s not completely true. The relationship will get better when you change as well. This is the only real control you have in a relationship. I came to this discovery several years ago. In the early part of our marriage, every counsellor my wife and I visited generally sided with me. You may think it bolstered my ego, but it didn’t. I thought to myself what if my behavior is impacting the way my wife is responding toward me. I took note of this idea and tested it. I began to intentionally monitor the things I said and did around her. Although it didn’t happen overnight I began to see her respond in ways that served me and our relationship. So I’ve come to believe in this idea - Be the change you wish to see your relationship.

With love, 

Colleen x La Vance


p.s. If you’re you and you boo aren’t having fun, you’re not doing it right.

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