Cutting ties with toxic relationships was not easy for Kritika and Anshul, but they knew it was necessary for their mental health and their relationship well-being.

Hyderabad Couple Sheds Toxic Relationships to Strengthen Their Bond

Kritika and Anshul sat down with Mahima Sharma, Consulting Editor Baely, to share their life story and how their toxic relationships with some of their friends and family members were affecting their relationship and how they worked together to shed them together as a couple. 

They began by telling her about their childhood in Hyderabad, India. Kritika grew up in a loving family, surrounded by relatives who were always supportive and encouraging. Anshul, on the other hand, had a tough childhood. His parents were constantly fighting, and he often found himself seeking refuge with his friends.

As they grew older, Kritika and Anshul began to form their own social circles. Kritika was always popular and had a large group of friends, while Anshul continued to gravitate toward people who would offer him a temporary escape from his life’s basic problems.

It wasn't until they got married that their parents began to notice something was off. 

Kritika begins unfolding the details, “We were both successful professionals - I was working as a software engineer, and Anshul was running his own business. We had a beautiful home in a quiet neighbourhood and were well-respected members of our community. From the outside, life seemed perfect, but deep down, we were struggling with the toxicity in our relationships that was created by outsiders. 

Kritika's parents could sense that something was bothering her, while Anshul's parents were worried about his well-being.

It all came to a head one day when Kritika's parents asked her if everything was okay. Kritika broke down and confessed that she had been feeling overwhelmed and anxious for a while now. She told them about the toxic people in her life - friends who would constantly criticize her, bring her down, and make her feel like she wasn't good enough or they both were a mismatch. 

“A certain set of Anshul’s friends felt that I was not worthy enough for him, though I was earning a respectful salary, was earning good enough for us to invest and save well too. But they would either pass comments at me or poison his head that he could have found a better earning match. Soon this made me sink into self-judgement, and depression and also created constant fights among us. When I would inform Anshul, either he would say, okay so prove by earning more than you are or you just ignore them. And I would feel frustrated because this wasn’t a logical solution.”

Anshul's parents had a similar conversation with him. They could see that he was unhappy and disconnected from the world around him. Their parents listened intently and offered their support. They made them understand that they both should have a patient ear towards each other and totally ignore such people who were trying to bog Kritika down or extract more money from Anshul. 

Kritika and Anshul were hesitant at first. They had been friends with some of these people for years, and the thought of cutting them off seemed daunting. But as they began to reflect on their relationship, they realized just how toxic these so-called friends were and how it was also affecting their own relationships.

Kritika started with her friends, “Yes even I had some friends who have made me feel that Anshul’s friends were right, and few others would feel that I must give divorce to Anshul. But in my heart, I knew Anshul was innocent.” But she resolved to take the necessary steps and began detoxifying her life by distancing herself from the toxic people in the overall friend circle. “I stopped calling them home or stopped attending to their invites. We as a couple began setting boundaries and prioritizing our own well-being.”

It wasn't easy. Her friends accused her of being selfish, of abandoning them when they needed her the most. But Kritika stood her ground to ensure her bond with Anshul. 

Anshul had a tougher time. His friends were used to him being their go-to guy, always ready to lend them money or a shoulder to cry on. But as Anshul began to pull away, they became more aggressive, even physically. 

"They only wanted me for my money," Anshul tells Mahima. "They never cared about me as a person. I was just a tool they could use whenever they needed something. But I didn't realize it until I started surrounding myself with people who actually cared about me. So one day I told them that I would take legal action if I was not left alone by them. That’s how things began to work in the right direction."

I began to distance myself from them, refusing to lend them money and refusing the party invites bluntly, wherever it needed to be done that way. " Initially I felt guilty," Anshul told Mahima, “I didn't want to hurt anyone, but I also knew I couldn't let them bring me down anymore and affect my relationship. It was time to move on." 

Anhsul knew that he had to do what was best for himself and their relationship. He cut off all contact with his toxic friends, and slowly but surely, he began to rebuild his life with Kritika.

Kritika's toxic relationships were a bit additional and somewhat different. They were her relatives, particularly her aunt and uncle, who had always been critical of her. They would often compare her to her cousins, who were financially rich than she was, and make her feel like she wasn't good enough, and her husband was not good enough.

"It was emotionally very exhausting," Kritika said. "I would dread family gatherings because I knew they would be there, criticizing us and making me feel small. I couldn't stand it anymore, but I didn't know how to cut ties with them. They were family, after all."

But then she had seen what Anshul had done despite his friends getting violent, so she followed in his footsteps. She would excuse out from invites to gatherings. “I limited my interactions with them at family gatherings, if at all I met them.  They didn't take it well, and soon they began to guilt-trip me, making me feel like I was abandoning the family. But Anshul and my parents were my rock ” 

Cutting ties with toxic relationships was not easy for Kritika and Anshul, but they knew it was necessary for their mental health and their relationship well-being.

They took all the necessary steps The major stringent steps are summarised below which helped them heal further:

  • They began to surround themselves with positive people, making new friends and reconnecting with old ones who had always been there for them. 
  • They found joy in new hobbies and activities, exploring new parts of the city and rediscovering themselves as individuals.

"It was like a weight had been lifted off our shoulders," Kritika told Mahima. "We could finally be ourselves without fear and begin to realize just how much they had gained from their decision.”

The Positive Impact

Removing toxic relationships from our helped us in many ways Anshul writes, “We are listing the takeaways and the impact for others, who need the same perspective and push. Firstly, it reduced the amount of stress and negativity we were experiencing. Toxic relationships can be emotionally draining and can cause anxiety and other negative emotions, so by cutting ties with these individuals, we were able to eliminate a significant source of stress from our lives.”

Kritika shares, "Getting rid of the wrong people also freed up time and space for us to focus on ourselves and our own personal growth. This included self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or other hobbies that promote mental and physical well-being. As we spent more time focusing on our own personal growth and well-being, we began to develop a greater sense of self-worth and confidence. This newfound confidence spilled over into other areas of our lives, such as our careers or new and better social relationships, making us feel more capable and self-assured.”

Overall, removing toxic relationships and focusing on improving mental health can lead to a more positive and fulfilling relationship, as individuals are better able to communicate, connect, and grow together.

Read more about other healthy habits that you can build as a couple

10 Healthy Habits for a Strong Relationship: Couples Speak

If you think this story helped you in some way to reflect on your own life or it can help someone else, don’t forget to share it in your circle. Self-mental health is as important as the mental well-being of those around us, both must go hand in hand.

*Symbolic images used at the Couple's request.

About the Interviewer
About the Author
Mahima Sharma
Mahima Sharma is a Senior Journalist based in Delhi NCR. She has been in the field of TV, Print & Online Journalism since 2005 and previously an additional three years in allied media.
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