Every great love story has a point where the grand illusions start to disintegrate and imperfections emerge. The endorphin rush wears off, the bathroom habits are revealed, the heated romance cools, and the “happily ever after” appears to be playing out a lot differently than you expected.
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Long after the rose-colored lenses have faded, healthy marriages retain deep admiration, dedication, and friendship. What happens after the honeymoon period, when you discover a world of incompatibilities and dysfunctions? Perhaps your lover disturbs your peace of mind by making you scared of their coming footsteps. Worst-case scenario: your mental health and safety are jeopardized. To put it another way, what if your relationship becomes toxic?
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Even the most loving couples suffer ebbs and flows in their attraction, connection, and intimacy. However, there are a few warning signs to look for that could indicate a toxic marriage and lead you to contemplate divorce. We enlisted the advice of experts to determine whether you and your partner can save your marriage with some tender, loving effort, or if your relationship is so toxic that you should consider moving on. Because a life of “turning the other way,” whether legally compelled or not, is not a life worth living.
Reasons Your Husband Hurts You
It’s as though your opinions and thoughts have been muted.
In a toxic marriage, you’re rarely “allowed” to express your feelings, desires, or points of view. If you’re lucky enough to get a microphone, they’ll try to drown out your voice. Your partner may dismiss, dismiss, or dismiss any reasonable attempt to express oneself.
You seem to have very little control over your daily decisions.
Do you travel where you want, dress how you want, speak how you want, and talk to whom you want based on your own desires? Or do you make daily choices to avoid a negative reaction from your partner?
According to Katie Hood, TED Speaker and CEO of One Love Foundation, this type of decision dictation is a common symptom that you’ve fallen prey to a possessive, controlling relationship. “You’re probably in a toxic relationship” if you feel that you’re living your life in a constant, stressful effort to avoid eliciting a negative reaction from your partner.
Compromise is an uncommon visitor in your home.
Your spouse’s behavior and words suggest that their tastes and priorities trump yours in all major decisions, from the art and furniture that decorates your home to how and when you will be intimate. The window of compromise is rarely opened, and bringing it up in conversation is treated as an uninvited guest.
“If the partnership isn’t balanced—if one member is usually making the decisions without gently and thoroughly hearing the other person out—a it’s symptom of a poisonous relationship.” “In a good partnership, decisions are made equally and mutually, with respect for both people,” Hood explains.
When you try to set boundaries, they are ignored.
Let’s say you tell your spouse that your boss has made it a point not to phone or text you during business hours, but they still send you notifications. You ask them not to show anyone specific images from your beach vacation, but you later realize that they have been seen by all of their friends. Your husband won’t stop looking for information because a member of your family is going through a terrible time and has sworn you to secrecy.
Toxic partnerships prioritize their own desires over your safety and comfort. “A loving marriage” is defined by Dr. Phillip as “being attentive to each other’s feelings as well as being honest and understanding of your partner’s needs.”
They hinder your efforts to improve or make you feel bad for trying.
When you strive to activate your inner champion—perhaps by changing your eating habits, training for a half-marathon, or interviewing for a big-shot promotion—your spouse may shatter your emotional legs with subtle jabs, all the while revealing your flaws. They may even reject your recent efforts at self-improvement as selfish or unjust to your spouse.
This is because toxic people are afraid of being outperformed or left behind. As a result of your uncertainty, you may be admonished, mocked, or inundated with caustic words, causing your charisma to fade, your momentum to stall, and urging you to crawl back into a shell of stagnancy.
In a good marriage, though, your partner’s love is consistent, enabling you to confront the world with confidence and to stand taller. Nothing in your partnership makes you feel any smaller than you’d like. Dr. Phillip adds, “A loving partner wants to see you happy and ensure that your life is meaningful and complete in every aspect.”
There may be some puzzles to solve.
The explanations and arguments don’t add up. Secret bank accounts, cryptic bar receipts, and dubious emails are all possibilities. Maybe every day is a maze of ambiguity, and no matter which way you turn, a new trail of doubt emerges. When you try to acquire answers or confront them about a suspected indiscretion, they either ignore you or gaslight you, responding with a tight-lipped refusal to address your concerns.
They seek to make you stand out from the crowd by eroding your personality.
Even if you are legally linked, marriage is not enmeshment. Rather, it is two persons who have committed to navigate life together, each with their own goals, talents, temperaments, and backgrounds. Whether you have nothing in common or nearly everything in common, being married does not mean you stop being yourself. Everyone should be able to follow their passions, hobbies, and interests. If your spouse tries to crush your individuality by isolating you from society, it may be a symptom of approaching danger.
According to Hood, isolation cannot be exaggerated because it is a sign of poison. “‘I love you so much that I want to be with you all of the time and have you all to myself,’ is a form of abuse that encourages you to give up your personal dreams and connections to any part of your life that exists outside of the relationship.’ It makes you feel insecure and reduces your support network “she clarifies
They invade your privacy and personal space.
This could include a wide range of activities. They could, for example, deliberately listen in on your conversations with your mother. Alternatively, you could be awoken in the middle of the night by an interrogation about an old college photo found on your phone. Maybe your partner rummages through your computer files or clothing drawers hunting for anything. It may feel as if every day is an entrapment game in extreme situations.
“Unhealthy love has a desperate, jealous, and punitive edge to it,” Hood continues, “invading your private and demanding ownership of all parts of you.” Do you desire the type of relentless devotion that you only see in romance novels and Hollywood movies? Now you can, by learning this system and guide from our friend and relationship expert Amy North! Do this, and the thought of leaving you for another woman will be completely unimaginable to your man.
When there is a quarrel, they shift blame.
Despite the fact that arguments between family members are inescapable, Hood believes that taking responsibility for your part of the equation is essential for maintaining healthy relationships. If you ask your toxic partner why they exploded at you on the street curb, they may claim that your wandering eye drove them nuts.
Even the world’s strongest marriages have challenges from time to time. Because you’re two imperfect creatures navigating an imperfect world, disputes and dry spells will inevitably happen, even if you’ve anchored the most loyal partner on the planet. There is an inner knowing that when frustrated words are screamed, tempers will cool and forgiveness will ultimately shine over you.
In a toxic marriage, though, that sense of security is absent. When your partner does not return your calls promptly, your blood pressure may rise, or you may become a terrified, trembling wreck over the tiniest misunderstanding—traumatized by repeated threats of abandonment or adultery.
The relationship is stormy, explosive, or tumultuous.
You might have explosive highs as in romance books and crushing lows like in traffic. The weather in your house is never permitted to be pleasant for long.
Your partner’s reaction could be harsh punishment or derision, followed by Oscar-worthy apologies, showers of devotion, and thick layers of crying self-deprecation. You could feel like you’re always walking on eggshells, never knowing when something you do or say will jar their emotional prison. “Tolerating volatility in a relationship has the potential to make you believe the adrenaline rush you get from the push and pull is normal, which it isn’t. It’s actually harmful to your mental health and overall feeling of good connections “Hood clarifies.
Allowing a partner to provoke verbal conflagrations for small causes, according to Hood, is detrimental to your mental health in the long term. “Continual breaking up and making up causes you to lose your emotional grounding,” she continues, “and then you lose your capacity to advocate for yourself as a person.”
It could appear that your companion is always keeping score.
Acts of affection and love are rarely freely given—at least not without expectation of a reward. Instead, the relationship feels transactional. They quickly remind you of what you owe them when you get a back rub or a neck massage, for example. If they greet you with a large glass of wine after a hard and exhausting work week, they will return the favor later. They may imply that your financial or household contribution is little in comparison to theirs, and that you must repay them in some other way.
Love that lasts and uplifts your partner, according to Berg, is a dance of giving and sharing. “Marriage is not a business transaction, and it should never be regarded as such.” This results in ego-driven love, which centres around the question of “What are my needs?” “Instead of loving someone for who they are, I question myself, ‘What can I get from this?'” she adds. If your love seems pompous, it could be a sign of a bad relationship.
Intimacy is becoming obsolete.
Genuine affection extends beyond sexual pleasure and physical attractiveness. Emotional attachment is required. It might be as simple as sharing a difficult situation and receiving a soothing embrace, a compassionate kiss, or a word of support. It might even be something as simple as cuddling on the couch. True intimacy requires the sharing of personal desires, aspirations, and demons, as well as a safe haven. Dr. Phillip notes, “When intimacy is denied or absent totally, each partner begins to feel unimportant, and the relationship suffers immensely.”
They are really important.
Assume you spend hours in the kitchen moving pots about and preparing a spectacular supper for your guests, but your spouse shrugs and says the potatoes were scorched. Perhaps you prepared a blowout for your anniversary date to look your best. Your aspirations, however, were dashed when you turned the corner for your big reveal and received no applause.
Your lamp is burning out.
The longer you’ve been married, the more vibrant each of you will become. Encouragement from your partner enhances your confidence and strength.
A toxic marriage, on the other hand, takes away your confidence, passion, and zest for life. Conversations with your partner rarely help you feel more confident or inspired. If your partner does not push you to advance in any area while consistently reducing your passion, you may be one-half of an unhealthy relationship.
Your core values are diametrically opposed, which is wreaking havoc on the future you see.
Consider this scenario: you’re saving for retirement, but your partner enjoys racking up credit card debt. Perhaps you have a strong desire to bring children into a large suburban home, but your spouse believes that motherhood is an unneeded burden. Your union may be jeopardized if this is the case.
They attack your character rather than complaining about specific issues.
Most couples argue when one spouse yells at the other for not doing the dishes or forgetting to take out the trash, but some spouses criticize their partners in broader terms. “Saying ‘it bothers me when you forget to take out the garbage’ is a specific concern that a partner can address right away,” says marriage and family therapist Weena Cullins. He says, “You’re just so lazy.” “What’s wrong with you?” is a character-criticizing question that is frequently too broad to be addressed. ” And generic quarters like these, whether in public or in the privacy of one’s own home, can be considered emotionally abusive because they destroy one’s self-esteem. Receiving negative signals on a regular basis, particularly from someone who is supposed to love and respect you, can weaken your confidence and diminish your sense of worth, making you less likely to leave a toxic relationship.
They Make a Lot Of “But” Statements.
It’s a red flag if your partner says things like “you look wonderful, but…” or “that’s good, but it’s a little dry,” especially if it happens frequently. “If your partner says something like this numerous times a day, they’re being overly critical,” says Jennifer Seiter, founder of Ex Boyfriend Recovery, a website that helps couples who are going through a breakup. “While such statements may not appear to be significant at first, years of constant criticism will have a negative impact on anyone’s self-worth, which is extremely abusive.”
They Contact You Regularly.
Emotionally abusive spouses communicate with their partners on a regular basis. “Trying to track your location to the point that you’re constantly checking in or even feeling uncomfortable when you’re not is a worrisome symptom,” Cullins says. You are not compelled to keep anyone up to speed on your whereabouts at all times unless you choose to.
You Are Prohibited From Speaking For Yourself.
If your partner starts speaking for you and refuses to let you engage in conversations, you’ll become the “silent partner” of your relationship. This puts you in a situation where you can be manipulated. “This is a gateway behavior to abuse,” says April Masini, a relationship and etiquette expert. ” Because one person’s voice is taken away, this becomes emotionally dysfunctional…
They Do Not Want You To Contact Family Or Friends.
Emotionally abusive partners typically do not want you to talk to your friends or family about your relationship. “There is a privacy or secrecy enforced in abuse relationships because there is a fear that the emotional abuse would be exposed,” says marriage and family therapist Melissa Divaris Thompson. Isolation like this is a major warning indicator.
Knowing how to handle rather than ignore unhappy feelings is crucial to maintaining a good relationship.
Ignoring the pain, acting passive-aggressively, or seeking to injure your partner as a form of retaliation will not help you accomplish your goal of a happy, healthy relationship**.
1. Don’t Allow It to Become Weak
Some of the most terrible fights I’ve seen between spouses began from a minor disagreement that might have been settled years before the big fight.
Angry feelings can grow and become more serious if they are ignored or disregarded. Plan to discuss your feelings with your partner before they get more intense and affect other elements of your relationship.
2. Take some time off.
Have you ever seen a toddler have a tantrum? As they tumble to the ground, they scream, cry, yell, kick, and scream. Can you say something to the youngster that they will understand during their tantrum?
No, normally. This is due to the fact that the part of the brain that controls rational thought is separated from the part that is active during a tantrum. Adults, whether unhappy, angry, or triggered, go through the same thing. Before they can quiet down and listen, toddlers require adult support in learning to regulate their emotions.
We need to assist ourselves emotionally regulate as adults before we can talk about harmed feelings. That’s because if we’re already depressed, we’re more likely to say things we don’t mean, it’ll be tough to listen, and it doesn’t take much to increase negative arousal.
So schedule some time to do the things that help you unwind. For a few moments, take a deep breath. Take a walk. Have a good time with your pet. Stretch your body with yoga stretches. If you chose option 1, take a breather before speaking.
3. Clearly Express Your Emotions
Once you’ve cooled down, tell your partner about what happened and how you’re feeling. Instead of criticizing language, use language that corresponds to your experience and feelings.
Use “I” statements like “I believe…” or “I feel…”
Strive to use language that communicates your feelings without making assumptions about why your partner acted the way they did while expressing your feelings.
4. Make a specific request.
There is no call to action, which is a common cause for irritated feelings to build into a larger conflict. The responding partner is unsure of how to improve the problem.
Ask your partner for everything you need once you’ve stated how your feelings have been hurt. Are you looking for an explanation? Do you have a specific request for them? If you can, make it clear what your partner can do to assist you in adjusting the circumstance.
It’s all too easy to blame the other person when someone’s feelings are wounded. Many confrontations are caused by people’s actions and inactions. Do you want your man to become spellbound by the very sight of You! For more in-depth training and solution to get your man be devoted and committed to you and only you, we recommend Amy North’s Devotion system, check it out by clicking on the link.
Consider where you might be able to take ownership of your actions. Perhaps you were unsure about precise goals or ambitions. Or maybe you didn’t share the truth about how something affected your feelings. Inform your spouse, if required, of your obligations and how you may help prevent future conflicts.
While the majority of individuals yearn for a relationship in which no one’s feelings are ever hurt, this is unattainable. It is realistic and beneficial to practice techniques to confront injured feelings through accountability, communication, and vulnerability. Increased intimacy is the result in most situations involving these three traits.
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