What’s a toxic marriage?
To avoid the pain and misery of being involved in a toxic marriage, it’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs that tell you that this marriage is not good for you. And no, it’s not about relationships that involve verbal or emotional abuse or physical abuse.
There are a lot of marriages that have ended, which weren’t toxic, and others continue year after year although they are harmful and destructive for both partners.
How can marriage be toxic? Imagine a toxic, colorless and odorless gas that you can’t sense, but it will take your breath away and extinguish you moment by moment, inspiration by inspiration.
As well as harmful marriages, you may not see them exist, but at some point you feel that you can no longer live like this. The presence of addiction and lack of self-love can be behind toxic behavior.
Marriages, by their two-way nature, require involvement and adaptation, each partner gives more, gets more involved. Relationships are not perfect, but they must strive for harmony and balance.
You can’t be yourself
You have to hide a part of your personality because your partner simply cannot completely accept you as you are. You can’t express yourself the way you want for fear of being misjudged or even scolded by your partner.
Maybe you need to keep quiet about why you have a certain diet or belief system. Or you may be involved in an activity that is the passion of your life and you may not be able to share these experiences with your spouse.
You are bored or complacent
People meet, go through their honeymoon and then enter a comfort zone. Many people have come to confuse love with comfort and familiarity.
It is important to know if you really love someone or just feel comfortable in their presence. Many people passively accept the marriage because it would mean putting in too much effort to start over with someone else.
Meeting new people, experiencing pain again, starting a new chapter in your life, all these can be scary so that the current marriage, although toxic, is maintained as this requires less effort. Another scary thing is passing through a divorce, which can be rough if the other party won’t agree with it or if the family or society has conservative views and blame the one that took the decision.
The trust lacks
It is toxic for you to lack confidence in your life partner because it makes you anxious and pollutes your mind with thoughts of worry. It is also toxic for your half, which is always on the defensive and must prove its faith every time.
If you constantly experience a lack of trust in your relationship, there is only one reason for this type of behavior: someone is insecure. If he acts like this, maybe he was abandoned several times and this affected him emotionally, due to this he constantly feels the need to be appreciated and loved.
You experience dependency that attracts codependency
Sometimes in a marriage an addiction of one of the partners also attracts codependency. For example, the alcoholic husband holds the wife, often the abused victim in a co-dependency relationship. Continuously manipulated, deceived (self-deceived) that the partner will straighten out. She loses her identity; all she sees is her salvation and forgets to think of herself as a person.
This kind of co-dependence relationships also takes place in other relationships, wife-husband or parents-children. Chronic toxicity leads to loss of self-identity, anxiety or depression.
One addiction attracts another. Seeking specialized help could save the marriage, but if the partner relapses, divorce would be a great idea.
The partner never takes into account the things that are important to you
If you gently remind your partner that it bothers you to always leave his wet towels on the floor in the bathroom.This always ends with an argument, because you know he’s going through a stressful time, that he had a hectic week at the office and you come right now with such requests, you should have a red flag in front of your eyes.
Normally, anyone should know how to receive a remark, even a reproach, and correct themselves. But a toxic person never assumes their mistakes, blaming their significant the other for them, even when this causes emotional pain.
Every discussion turns into a fight
A fight doesn’t automatically mean you are in a toxic relationship, but when your partner can’t listen to what you have to say or if each time you criticize him/her, the discussion is transformed into a fight, this is a toxic relationship. Healthy couples are open to receiving feedback from partners.
You need to be involved in each other’s happiness and look for ways to communicate as effectively as possible. But if, instead of listening to you, your partner always tells you that he doesn’t want to talk about it, or seems distant and absent, or even leaves, then this is the red flag that shows the signs of a toxic relationship.
The partner never takes responsibility
Being in a healthy relationship means first that you can manage your feelings and second taking responsibility, not pointing the finger every time it’s hard for you. Blaming others for your problems is not a healthy behavior.
It is toxic when the blaming falls on the shoulders of your partner.
You feel like you’re doing all the work
In every marriage, there is a natural division of tasks. A healthy relationship is a partnership between the two. If you feel that you are doing all the hard work, and your partner doesn’t even seem to notice, the balance becomes toxic.
If you feel that this marriage is draining you of energy, then it is a sign of toxicity. It can manifest mentally, as if you were tired all the time. A toxic marriage can make our bodies feel bad, and these signs must be noticed in time.
Your partner never remembers your schedule or important dates
No one asks anyone to keep a diary of their partner’s program, but it is important that the one you love remembers the important things in your program and supports you. If your partner asks you to help him with something on the day have your final paper, then it’s a problem. If this situation happened once or twice it can be due to stress or forgetfulness, but if it is recurrent, the relationship is toxic.
If you are always looking for excuses for his/her behavior, whether we are talking about emotional unavailability, lack of empathy, the fact that he is behaving badly with your friends or lack of support, it is a big problem. We all have stressful times, things to do, but if your partner doesn’t listen to your concerns and doesn’t try to improve the situation, maybe it’s time to think about a divorce.
Your partner is super competitive
A little competition in the marriage is a good thing. Healthy couples support each other and people are happy when their partner wins. Competitiveness becomes toxic when your partner is jealous on your success, making you feel bad for it, instead of feeling good as you should.
If you realize that you are trying to hide your victories so as not to make your partner jealous, or you are trying to let yourself be beaten, then clearly, you are in a toxic marriage.
Sometimes mindfulness helps. It brings you here and now, in this moment. Mindfulness meditation makes you aware and brings you to yourself, that self, which becomes diffused in a toxic marriage.
By becoming yourself, loving yourself, you can manage any situation better, including marriages.
Couple therapy sometimes helps to understand relational dynamics better. It often helps the partner to understand what he/she did wrong and correct the behavior.