In a healthy relationship, when conflict arises and you have a quarrel, you learn a bit more about each other, including your partner’s fears, concerns, goals and desires, and with this greater understanding of one another you grow closer and deepen your bond.
By contrast, when you are in an unhealthy relationship, with each and every argument you lose more and more respect, the trust deteriorates, and instead of growing closer you grow farther apart with each seemingly minor spat.
Then there is the quicksand scenario, where at the time you call a truce to some battle you think you have made some progress only to find out a day or so later that your partner has reneged on your deal and instead of taking one step forward, you have actually taken two steps backwards.
If you feel like you are stuck in quicksand, the most likely reason is that you are dealing with someone that is passive-aggressive. These people exhibit their hostility by being stubborn, sullen, and they deliberately procrastinate and fail to complete tasks that they are responsible for– and when you call them out on this behavior they become increasingly hostile and angry.
As the cycle of outbursts, followed by remorse and sullenness, then a slight period of calm before the next explosive episode happens more and more frequently, you will find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into that quicksand, until one day you finally admit to yourself that things will never get better, in fact they will only get worse if you stay. Once you can say this out loud to yourself, and hopefully to a few trusted others, this is when your escape becomes possible and the end of the madness draws near.
Survivors don’t just escape, they flourish once they are out of a toxic situation. The reason for this is actually quite simple– as captured in this quote attributed to Plato: People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.
We all deserve peace and tranquility at home, which is meant to be a safe haven. Don’t stick around those that create a quicksand environment– learn to cut your losses as quickly as possible, and move on to greener pastures full of beauty and serenity.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.