Since the days of our ancient forefathers, living without a husband has always been considered a taboo; no woman was expected to live without a man. In fact, even in our modern African societies, relationships are still perceived as a sign of social wealth and prominence.
Sadly, a married woman with children, as per our African culture, is viewed as more worthy, successful, and established as compared to a single lady with a booming career.
But, in this time and age, should a marriage determine your social status? Should a woman hold on to a failing marriage for the sake of social standing? Read on to find out why you should walk out the door immediately the signs of toxicity mar your marriage.
What is a Toxic Relationship?
A toxic relationship can be defined as a ticking time bomb. You know, that relationship that instead of allowing room for growth, only makes you or both parties head deeper into the path of gloom, depression, and eventually doom.
So what are the signs of a toxic relationship?
Of course, relationships are anything but easy. Whoever lied that marriage is a walk in the park should be given a life sentence if alive or thrust deeper into the fires of hell if dead.
You see, disrespect is like cancer, it gets worse and even fatal if not addressed early enough. Once you allow your man or woman to get away with disrespecting you over and over, then chances are the disrespect will escalate from random flirting to serial cheating and even sleepovers with the other person. `
Disrespect comes in many forms. However, the highest level of disrespect in a marital relationship is `cheating` or `sleeping around. ` Look, if he repeatedly cheats on you, then he probably doesn't care about you. Aside from the emotional torment associated with cheating, it also exposes you to STIs, UTIs, yeast infections, and other diseases that you had nothing to do with.
Did your partner ever hit you or threaten to dismantle your nose during the first days of dating? No! The only thing your boyfriend could break as you started dating was probably eggshells when preparing breakfast in bed.
Violence is a habit that, once allowed to creep into a relationship, will probably stick like carpenter’s glue. It all depends on how you handle that first slap, punch, or push. If you forgive with ease, trust me, he or she will repeat it, and with ease.
Violence is a no-go zone in any relationship. To prove it, when was the last time your parent hit, smacked, or even pushed you since you became an adult? Exactly! If your parents don't inflict physical pain on you, then why allow another man or woman to do that to you?
A perfect example of a failing and highly toxic relationship is when the dominant partner belittles the other for fun. When all your partner does is remind you of your flaws, instill fear in you or pin down your hopes, then you are better off single.
A good partner should encourage you; he or she should be that final piece to the puzzle of life. Together, you should be indestructible. But unfortunately, we tend to settle for a lot less than we are worth due to low self-esteem and insecurity.
Here's a little piece of advice, if your man or woman makes a habit of lowering your self-esteem, then you are probably better off alone, or besides family members who lift you.
4. Everything comes before you
Is he prioritizing you? Is he putting you before the boys or even other female friends? When your partner loves hanging out with others or spending time doing activities that isolate you, you should not consider yourself as a fiancée, wife-to-be, or even girlfriend.
A man in love will respond to his wife's call like a dog craving for treats. You are in a toxic relationship if your man comes home drunk at 3.am while you and your children slept hungrily.
5. No communication
Let no one lie to you that communication is not a mandatory component of any successful relationship. Be it work, school, or marriage, communication must be present for people to pass valuable messages across.
Some couples stay in the same house but are yet to talk to each other for months or even years. Tob Cohen and his wife Sarah Wairimu, for instance, had lived in separate rooms in their mansion for years before the billionaire's death. Look at the outcome.
If you are not in talking terms with your husband or wife, it sits better to give each other some space to figure things out. A little space never hurt anybody.
Should you hold to your Toxic Relationship for your Kids?
Would you want your kids to hold on to their failing, violent, and abusive relationships for their children? Obviously not!
As parents, we all want the best for our children, and sometimes, the best thing for a child is a peaceful environment. Walking out doesn't mean that you are giving up on your relationship. It only proves that you love yourself and your family enough to make tough choices.
If your relationship ticks all the boxes above, then you need no expert to inform you that your marital space is unhealthy.
Do yourself and your kids a favor, walk out of that toxic relationship for you to walk into a world of endless opportunities.