Realizing and Ending Unhealthy Relationships

“Students are experiencing stress and one of the factors is problems around relationships” explained Dr. Rini Setiowati, S.E., M.B.A. as Dean of BINUS Business School Master Program when opening a virtual talk show about self-love and healthy relationships. A Deep Talk About Self-Love and Healthy Relationships: Not All Wounds are Visible was held on 24 June 2020 with two main spokespeople, Dwiana Wahyudi and Wulan Danoekoesoemo.

Dwiana is one of BINUS Business School Master Program’s alumni, co-founder of Ai (Wedding) Organizer, and also a certified wedding facilitator. Meanwhile, Wulan is a clinical psychologist, Counseling Section Head of BINUS International, and co-founder of Lentera Sintas Indonesia.

In the two-hour virtual talk show, both spokespeople and Ayuvita Tiara Silalahi, as a moderator, discussed destructive relationships that they experienced during their college days. Dwiana, Wulan, and Ayuvita invited talk show participants to realize and end unhealthy relationships.

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

Discussion continued on the topic of getting to know the signs of an unhealthy relationship. Signs need to be recognized by whoever is involved in the relationship, be it in a romantic, family, professional, organizational, or even academic relationship.

Unhealthy relationships are not only seen through physical violence. Verbal abuse is one of the signs of an unhealthy relationship, such as saying demeaning comments, body shaming, thinking one’s self is superior, along with limiting personal rights of the other party; limiting to communicate with certain people, setting a certain way for them to dress, and meddling in a personal decision affecting the future.

Those actions may not leave a visible wound, but both will scar one’s heart and mental health, which are the most difficult to heal. This is why you should be courageous in taking the step to leave a relationship should those signs arise.

Get to know and love yourself

Dwiana and Wulan agree that it’s not easy to end a toxic relationship. It takes a long time, but it’s possible. You have to start by getting to know, loving, and accepting yourself.

Self-love means understanding that all humans have self-worth that makes us worthy to be loved, valued, and appreciated. Understanding self-love also makes you realize that the first figure to receive love, value, and appreciation from yourself is you, not anyone else.

When you love yourself the right way, automatically you will understand that everyone is equal; no one is superior in a relationship, despite educational background, career, family, or even gender.

Talk with someone you trust

Someone will have difficulty to end an unhealthy relationship due to them being reluctant to tell their situation to other people, therefore not a lot of people will be aware and be able to help.

This is understandable. You may feel ashamed, fearful of being judged, etc. However, when you have the strength to tell your story, don’t hesitate to reach out to your closest friends and family members that you trust. By doing this, your burden will be slightly lifted from your shoulders.

Prepare yourself to commit

In real cases where one tries to end an unhealthy relationship, they often give up along the way. Some experience their deep-rooted fear holding them back, some feel ashamed, or some may think that the toxic person may eventually change over time (even though what usually happens is that the abuse often continues.)

With that said, it takes enormous courage to commit to ending an unhealthy relationship. Strength is also needed to no longer depend on this other person who has been holding you back emotionally, physically, and mentally. You can acquire this courage and strength by practicing self-love.

Find a new priority

When you practice self-love, you will start to see potential, positive values, or things that bring you joy when you just be yourself. Make this a new priority in your life.

You can focus on reaching your goals that have been put aside when you were in your unhealthy relationship, focus on a certain career that you are interested in, or continue to finish your studies. You can also spend time with family and friends who have supported and valued you as a human being during the tough times.

Give yourself a chance to be happy. “We need to feel good about ourselves, and do good for ourselves,” concluded Dwiana.