Can Couples Fix a Toxic Relationship?

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Dr. Chris Tickner

Yes! Couples can fix a toxic relationship. 

A good couples therapist knows that human relationships are difficult. They also know that we are all just doing our best being humans and that we often do things we regret. 

One of the most difficult aspects of fixing a toxic relationship is the ability to take responsibility for your mistakes in the relationship. Both people will have made mistakes in any long-term, serious relationship. Be willing to take responsibility for your mistakes. We all make them. 

In toxic relationships, it can be hard to take responsibility because you might be anticipating that your partner will attack you. Many times, toxic relationships include the feeling of “walking on eggshells” and it can be difficult to share why you feel the way that you feel as well as the mistakes you’ve made if you fear retribution. It can seem as though admitting fault will hurt the relationship further. 

In couples therapy, your therapist will help create a safe space, and keep everyone from hurting each other. In this space, you can safely own your behavior, and also share without fear of retribution what you struggle with your partner. Working through issues with a trusted third party is one of the best ways to fix a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships rarely start out as toxic, and bringing things back to a salvageable place is possible. 

Both partners will need to show up to marriage counseling, ready to work together. Couples counseling for toxic relationships only works when both partners are interested in finding their flaws and making personal behavioral changes at home. The most common reason for the inability to heal a toxic relationship is the lack of commitment from one partner. 

Another difficulty when it comes to fixing a toxic relationship is the ability to be open about feelings within therapy. Sometimes one or both partners have been so worn down over time that they are scared to share what bothers them. It is important that both partners not only admit and discuss their mistakes within the relationship but also that they discuss what hurts them as well. In many toxic relationships, this has been primarily one-sided (only one person reveals how they feel and what hurts them) or zero-sided (no one reveals how they feel or what is hurting them) when we need it to be two-sided. We need both partners to open up about how they feel within the relationship. This is made easier by having a default third party (the therapist) to act as a mediator during these sessions as well as guide conversations. It is difficult to fix a toxic relationship but it is not impossible. 

To begin marriage counseling near me, check out our marriage therapy services. We offer marriage counseling with a licensed marriage and family therapists who can help you reclaim your relationship.

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