Психология Anna 02.08.2019 277


Have you noticed that all your relationships had been difficult and exhausting? Everything starts perfectly, but then it resembles what is now called a toxic relationship. Probably you are choosing partners who behave in a certain way and you need to look for the causes of this behaviour. However, it can also be a signal of something else.

“What if I'm a toxic partner?” A bold question

Let's start with the terminology. In academic psychology, there is no such thing as a toxic relationship. In popular culture, the term “toxic” is used in the context of a relationship where one of the partners is a victim and the other is an aggressor. Violence in such a couple can be economic, psychological, physical and the like. However, the truth is that both partners are responsible for their relationship. Often the roles in a toxic relationship go around the circle, and yesterday’s victim becomes today’s aggressor. In this case, despite the partner’s discontent with each other, the relationship continues.

If you come to a meeting with psychologist/psychotherapist, their first goal will be to turn you towards yourself. If you tell stories about how bad your partner is, what’s wrong with you? What is your role in the relationship? What do you feel? And at some point, it may turn out that you are the one that suppresses and devalues. Here is a list which can help you to see that everything is not black and white.

You are a control freak

Privacy… what is it? You need to know where he is and who he is with. In general, it would be better for him to always be with you if he is not at work. You also know all his gadgets and social networks passwords, while he probably is not aware of this. Well, it certainly matters to you who this girl is in his friends list and why he likes her posts. And why did he go to a meeting with his friends without you?

There are only your needs

Personal needs are important. It is also important to be able to take responsibility for their address, and not to shift it to another person. There is nothing wrong with asking for gifts or financial support, for example. Yet, you are trying to get what you want at any cost by scandal, tears and other manipulation, or ignoring. This is all manipulation on guilt and shame feelings. Do you think you want to be with a person who makes you feel this way?

You are cold and devalue other people's emotions

If your partner needs support and care, then it does not bother you. All he gets from you is "Get it together!", "Stop being a push-over!", or "I wish I had your problems!". By the way, “ignore mode’ is also a good way to devalue the partner’s experience. Besides, many find it difficult to show their feelings, so if you respond to a sincere declaration of love just like Holly Golightly, then this can also be called “toxic”.

It's all his fault

Whatever problems you have as a couple, from how to spend the weekend to sexual issues, he is the one to blame. And your duty is to prove it to him.

You are trying to change him

It is impossible to change another person - the more you put pressure on him, the more he resists. You can resist in different ways - open rebellion (quarrels, breaks) or passive (ignore, laziness). There is nothing wrong with giving each other advice from time to time (preferably on request), but it is quite another thing to force him to act “that” way and no other.

Direct insults and beyond

Needless to say that in the heat of battle, you can fall for a cry, a direct or indirect humiliation of a partner. And you can even go to physical violence - throw a plate, slap in the face. Never mind, you are a girl.

Do you recognize yourself in what is listed above? It is very hard to admit the fact that we hurt our loved ones and harm relationships. However, the recognition of the problem is a big step towards changing the situation.

I would like to write a bunch of working techniques on how to fix the situation but I cannot. Causes of such behaviour can be incredibly different. Perhaps it is a relationship model in which you grew up and do not know another way. Perhaps you are afraid of loneliness, rejection and that is the reason why you are suppressing your partner and thinking that then he will not leave. Perhaps you have a setup that a partner must address all your needs because you cannot cope with yourself. There are many options. It seems to me that the next step towards changing the situation is compassion for oneself — the way we now behave is often dictated by our childhood need of acceptance, love, and care. The more we are able to pay attention to our wounds, take care of them and about ourselves, the more sensitive we become to other people.