Toxic relationships, what are the markers? Most Liked

It took me 12 years to figure out that my relationshp with my first husband was toxic.  It took another five to get the divorce because I believed marriage was supposed to be forever. 

The day I was divorced, the freedom was wonderful!  Not until years later and observing him with his second wife, did I realize how toxic our relationship was in our marriage. 

Many Christians hold to the desire for an equally yoked relationship.  That usually means the same values in faith, lifestyle, dreams, family values, etc. 

He was a smoker, drinker, and gambler.  I was a non-drinker, non-smoker, and never found the attraction to gambling.  How we hooked up, I have always wondered… though I would do it again for my sons.  They were raised by me and have the same preferences that I do except they rarely go out and drink with friends. 

It was our difference in faith that broke us up.  We were always fighting and no matter how I tried, he was not satisfied until he had me in tears.  I discovered that he felt I always looked down on him because I would not join him in his vices. 

My vice was decorating for Christmas … crazy as it sounds, I loved the season.

He married a woman who drinks with him, smokes with him, and gambles with him.  They are deeply committed to each other. 

I married my sweetheart from high school.  We stopped seeing each other after he came back from Vietnam.  Close to 30 years later we remet and were together until he passed away in 2001.  He did not smoke or drink.  He did like the slots with a roll of nickles once in a while.  We loved Christmas.  Our wedding was like a winter wonderland.  I loved being with him and we never fought.  There were a few times we expressed our feelings and the other would think about it and we would find a solution.  I felt like he was my guardian angel. 

So, in hindsight … are there markers we can see in advance that  though we think we may love the other person, it is toxic to our growth and our life?  Lets share for a positive outcome for all..

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Posted in family & relationships.

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6 Responses

  1. dynamomma dynamomma says

    I think that time is one of the problems with identifying a toxic man. They come on in their best behavior and  somewhere along the line … wham!  Most toxic men can also be abusers.  Some of the red flags are:  subtle putdowns, says he loves you but behavior doesn’t support it, will attempt to keep you away from family or friends, can act jealous at times, he calls you often to “see what you are doing”, you often feel down about yourself and/or your relationship, he often tells you that things would be perfect if you’d just change, he wants you to be dependent on him and often makes decisions for you without your consent, your opinions are devalued, you begin to doubt who you are.  There are more.  The first of the red flags are about his behavior.  The next set is about your feelings.  Your friends and family don’t like him, you change things about yourself that you don’t like, you mostly do what he wants, sometimes you feel afraid or unsafe, your life feels out of control, your self esteem has tanked, you think it’s your responsibility to make the relationship work, you begin to keep secrets about him from your family, sometimes you feel stupid, you get accused of cheating, one minute he is mr. perfect, the next he is mean, if you make noise about leaving the relationship he turns on the charm, you can’t remember the last time you felt happy for more than a couple days.

    Okay, there you are.  Happy hunting. (smile)

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    • Jurene Jurene says

      My friends and I discussed this a while back. I wrote this in response to several requests throughout here on going forward … to include a referral to a toxic relationship among family members.  You are very accurate on all the points listed… well said!  Thank you for increasing awareness.  


      It is appreciated… 

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      • dynamomma dynamomma says

        How can I read your comments and find the link?  Always interested in learning new things.

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  2. Generic Image Adplus says

    I think the first thing about a toxic relationship for me is when I lose myself.  Over the years, I have tried to take responsibility for my life and not allow others to control or manipulate me.  I am a lot happier these days.  I have spent many years in therapy to learn to validate me and my feelings.  One of my therapists told me that I had to start asking the question, what is in it for me?

    It sounded selfish at first. The reason she told me to ask myself that question was because I never thought of my needs.  She said I had to be selfish to start balancing my life.  I have used that theory and after years of practice, I am now able to balance my feelings and needs with others.  I have found that I have to ask for what I need in the relationship. Waiting for someone to guess what my needs are is not in my agenda anymore.  

    I know how hard all this is, so I applaud you for working on you and looking for answers.  I found a therapist helpful and I used 12 step groups also. 

    I found that I needed a support system with friends who would listen to me when I just needed to vent. That is what your friends at VM do.

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  3. mclaire12 mclaire12 says

    This year i will be alone as my family is in 8 states. We may have a reunion in warmer weather (i am in Chicago) my first

    marriage didnt work out-we were so far apart in values and i have a son and a daughter. he left for his “soulmate” like the governor of SC,i  remarried a wonderful man and we had many happy holidays. Now my X is a widower and is putting the story of his “affair’ in newspapers, on the internet, and has written a book of tribute. I had forgotten him. His late wife was a celebrity and people call all the time about them .I have no idea what to do. I think everything is for growth but this?? Perhaps i am missing the up side of it. Blessings to all 

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  4. Alicia Alicia says

    After 31 years of verbal and physical abuse I found the book which saved my life and I believe it should be required reading for everyone on the planet: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans; I can only hope and pray that after being alone for 10 years, I will meet the man who will be my husband.  Being alone is right next to death for me.  I am a sophomore at age 67, because I wrote about my life of overcoming and won a scholarship.  My goal is to speak on national television to raise awareness regarding verbal abuse; 1 in 3 women will be physically assaulted and it all begins with verbal abuse.  I’ve been writing to talk shows, celebrity types for over 10 years; I will never stop!

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