In the previous post, we discussed the issue of a toxic relationship, and what it is. If you feel that your passive aggressive relationship has progressed to this stage, and you want to do something about it, there are some choices available to you.
A note of warning:
if you are deeply unhappy in this relationship, probably you are also depressed and hopeless, with little capacity to think by yourself on the future you want...then it will take a strong personal effort to dis-entangle yourself from it.
Even being low and beaten down, can you see what's ahead? Can you see how your life could be improved and made worthwhile through some necessary changes? Do you see how much happier you can be? No? Well, please, look at this future picture a bit longer, because you need this picture of a "happy you" to move out from the present trap!
One of the first steps in this healing process is to identify and accept your own contribution to the state of your marriage now. Were you too lenient with negative attitudes? Did you ignore insults or cold shoulders for too long? By not speaking out, did you seem to approve of nasty behaviors like insulting, yelling and trashing the other's image in public? Are you yourself responsible of also doing them to your spouse?
Take a bit of time by yourself and write down the list of hurtful behaviors common now in your household...each one of them. Now, time to think: what do you want instead of each one of them? Take time to visualize what could be.
Now, you need to have a conversation with your partner. Is it possible? If it is not possible because the risk of aggression is too high, you and your partner may want to take a break from one another to work out your own feelings. It doesn't have to be long - for some couples, a month apart from one another is enough to clear their heads and find out what they really need from one another.
When you return from the separation, you will be better prepared to think, "Okay, do both of us have anything positive left to keep this relationship going?" Sometimes, separated couples find that once they are away from each other, they realize they were less interested in staying together than they thought. If you or your partner comes to this realization, it has to be respected (even if you decide later to stay together). If one or the other forces someone to stay even when they're not sure they want to, the toxic cycle will just continue.
The most important thing to realize when devising a strategy is this: what do I have to do to get my happiness back? Or to grow up into a person who can enter into a relationship knowing what she needs to be happy, and secure that the other person understands and can deliver what she needs?
As you can see, there is a long road in front of you: the good thing is that there is more happiness in front of you....keep your eyes focused!