Drew Wislon

Why The Hardest Relationship Is The One After A Toxic Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you know just how much work it takes to heal from it once you realize it needs to end. Let’s say you’ve been in ONLY toxic relationships in your lifetime. That makes the stakes even higher. It’s been said that the hardest relationship you’ll ever be in is the healthy, normal relationship that follows the toxic relationships. Maybe you’re wondering why that is, so we will break it down to make more sense.

When you realize you’re in a toxic relationship and decide to end it, the healing process then begins. You pick apart all the red flags you missed, or likely ignored. It’s at that point that you hopefully start to find ways to heal from it all. Sometimes the healing process pushes you to a whole new world; one in which you won’t sacrifice yourself in any way, won’t let your guard down easily and overthink every situation. This can all create some difficult times. 

Fine Line Between Toxic and Healthy

Certain situations, actions, and issues may pop up in the healthy relationship that mirror things that have happened in the toxic one. There can be a fine line between some toxic and healthy situations, and it’s not easy to differentiate between the two at times. If all you’ve ever known are toxic behaviors, meaning, if you were brought up in a family where abuse and toxic parenting was the norm, it’s going to make it harder to pick up on all that in adult relationships. But just because that’s all you’re used to doesn’t make it right and eventually you realize you deserve better. This quote, “When you’re born in a burning house, you think the whole world is on fire,” sums it up pretty well. 

Time to Put in the Work

So just how do you maneuver through a “normal” healthy relationship when you aren’t fully aware of normal, healthy actions, issues, and situations? Healing and self awareness is key. Learning toxic from healthy behaviors, setting boundaries, and being open to change are all necessary, and not super easy for many people. You can heal yourself, educate yourself and then start to date and realize that all that wasn’t enough. You actually have to swim through the shark infested waters and use what you’ve learned to get you safely to shore. It’s so difficult, but with the right person, it’s so worth all the work. It’s kind of like on-the-job training. You go to college and learn everything you can, but then that first day on the job makes you think you really don’t know much at all. It’s very similar with a healthy relationship after a toxic one. 

Sometimes the difficulty comes with the fact that you don’t feel you deserve a safe, healthy, unconditional love. This comes from how you were treated in the toxic relationship. Sometimes a trauma bond is to blame for you staying in the toxic relationship, and then without that feeling in a healthy relationship, it could create some overthinking and confusion in your head. Self sabotage can also come into play. 

Pulling the Wall Down

Healthy relationships can mean being vulnerable and letting your wall down. When you allowed that in the toxic relationship, nothing good came from it, making it harder to do in the healthy relationship thanks to fear. Fearing the worst – being abused, abandoned, cheated on, lied to, etc, can really mess up your thought process in the new relationship. And if you are in a healthy relationship with someone who’s never had to personally deal with any of the toxic insanity that you had to, it makes it harder to explain the moments that make you seem crazy or uninterested. 

So just how do we push through and do our best to heal and move forward in the new relationship? Honesty with your partner about your past, self love, making sure you recognize when you need to take a step back to evaluate your own thoughts or actions, and never giving up on healing and succeeding are all important to keep in mind. It may take a lot of work and a lot of understanding, but it will be totally worth it in the end.