As women’s photographers and confidents, we hear numerous stories of toxic relationship. The main issue with this specific type of toxic relationship is that it does not look like one. Many women feel that a man trying to make them be the best version of themselves is healthy. Alas, it is not, it is a toxic relationship.
The danger of these relationships is that they do not foster self esteem, but they challenge -and crush– self confidence in women.
What are the signs of a toxic relationship and how can you foster a healthy one?
A toxic relationship
It is important to understand that there are many definition of a toxic relationship. In this article we will cover the type of toxic relationship that damages self confidence by challenging women to get a better body.
Men driving this kind of relationships often set the targets of fitness. They challenge women to be fitter than they are. They are the ones that evaluates results and play the role of the touch teachers. The problem is that they should be your partner. In these kind of toxic relationship there is rarely space for a word of comfort and even more rarely a true compliment.
They should understand you. They should respect you. They should walk on your side, not racing against you. This way of managing a toxic relationship puts one against the other, and despite everything, nobody ever wins.
If you love, you accept. This does not matter that you can’t try to help your beloved one to reach her targets. If you love, you need to pretend respect and ask for appreciation.
The effects of a toxic relationship on women
The real danger of this kind of toxic relationship is that is masked by healthy one. It feels that your partner is challenging you to be better, faster, stronger and fitter. Alas, this is the role of a good personal trainer, not the one of a boyfriend or husband.
Being constantly challenges and evaluated on a scale of values which you don’t set is a loosing game. Fear of failure, constant comparison and sense of inadequacy are the results of a toxic relationship. Believe me, no woman living this has a good self confidence!
How to move to a healthy relationship if you are a woman
I know it is difficult. I know you want to be the best woman for your man. I know that you think his challenges are making you better, but they aren’t. While you may rejoice from looking at a scale that shows few pounds less, you will never be enough. The real issue with this toxic relationship is that it never stops. You are never going to be enough, so you need to show love. You need to show love to yourself.
You need to speak up, making clear that you are who you are. You may work hard, but without real appreciation there is no real love. Stop working hard thinking what he is going to think. Stop accepting successes and failures based on his judgement. Start measuring your successes and failures with your scale. These are the basis of a toxic relationship.
It is difficult, but the moment you will play by your own rules, your relationship will get healthier and healthier, which is what real love truly is: acceptance and appreciation.
How to move to a healthy relationship if you are a man
First and foremost you -the man- have to realise that your strategy is not working. Maybe the woman at your side is gaining a better body, but in this process you are destroying her self confidence. Stop pushing on the accelerator, stop comparing her to anyone else. Especially stop comparing her to yourself!
So you have to start to appreciate who you have in front of you. If you can’t see the beautiful woman you are dating or have married, it is time to reconsider your priorities.
Furthermore remember, for how tough it is, if you are looking for a culprit in these type of toxic relationship, you just need to look in a mirror. A healthy family starts from you.