Anything “toxic” is never good for you. You wouldn’t go to Chernobyl and breathe in the toxic nuclear fumes. You wouldn’t drink water that had toxic chemicals in it.
Yet, thousands of people end up in toxic relationships, and they stay in them, knowing that it’s causing damage.
Just how much damage can a toxic relationship do to your health? These facts may surprise you and make you think twice about staying in your current toxic environment.
1It Saps Your Energy
Are you always feeling tired and worn down? Do you snap at your kids, friends, or coworkers, and it makes you feel guilty, but you’re too tired to do anything about it?
The problem could be stemming from your bad relationship. You may not realize it, but staying in your current situation is similar to being on a battlefield. At any given moment, you could step on a mine and end up in a fight, but you’re not always sure what those triggers are.
The constant stress wears you down and makes you an easier victim. If you’re being abused, mentally, physically, or both, this is your abuser’s end goal. They’ll get the results they want because you don’t have the energy to fight back.
It’s a cycle that family lawyers see all the time, and it won’t end until someone gets seriously hurt or finally gets the strength to leave.
2You Get Sick More Often
Does it seem like you can’t shake the cold/sore throat/stuffy nose you’ve had for months? Maybe every time you go to the doctor, there’s a new ailment you’re diagnosed with. High blood pressure, heart issues, thyroid problems.
Toxic relationships impact your immune system severely. The cortisol (stress hormone) your body is producing regularly can damage the organs. In fact, studies show that someone in a toxic relationship lives 11 years less than a person living a normal life.
You’re more than one-third more likely to develop heart complications, too. Since your heart is dealing with the emotional side of the relationship, it’s not surprising that it’s physically in pain, too.
3Your Gut Health Suffers
If you’re feeling out of sorts with your digestion, the problem might not be internal. Your gut health suffers when you’re dealing with the stress of a toxic relationship.
The stress, cortisol, and adrenaline floating through your body make it harder to digest certain foods, even if you’ve always eaten them before. These hormones are essential for your survival.
Your fight-or-flight response is based on them. But when your brain is never quite sure if you’re in danger or not because of the toxic environment, your body begins to attack itself, and you’ll feel it in your digestive system.
4You Get Forgetful
Let’s face it. When you’re in a bad relationship, peaceful sleep isn’t something you get too often. The more stress you’re under, the less rest you get. Your brain can’t repair damaged cells as it normally would, and slowly, your memory begins to give you trouble.
As your mind tries to process so many things, like how your partner could be so cruel and how you can get out of the situation, memory processing and retention skills falter. You’re not losing your mind. It’s a physical sign that you’re under too much stress.
5You’re in Danger
As we’ve seen over the news countless times in the past decade, the person you think would never hurt you really can. In the wrong circumstances, with the wrong catalyst, anyone is capable of causing harm.
If your partner is mentally or physically abusive, you’re in danger. When you know you need to get out but aren’t sure where to start, this article can help. It won’t be easy, but staying in the current environment isn’t easy, either. Choose your hard, and let it be the one that brings you the most peace and safety.