What are the Signs of a Toxic Marriage?

What are the Signs of a Toxic Marriage?

Signs of a Toxic Marriage

Marriage is supposed to be a sacred bond between two people who love and cherish each other. Yet, there are still situations when a marriage can become toxic and unhealthy. The person who once made you feel loved can become your sole source of pain or betrayal. A toxic marriage is one in which one or both partners repeatedly engage in behaviors that cause physical or emotional harm to the other person. Here are the signs of a toxic marriage that you should look out for.

Constant Criticism

In a toxic marriage, criticism is constant and you may begin to feel like nothing you do or say is good enough. The constant feeling of not living up to your partner’s expectations can make you feel worthless and unloved. Sustained exposure to relationships of this nature can lead to emotional, psychological, and sometimes even physical harm. The words that are spoken to you become your inner voice and eventually, you will believe these hurtful things. Your self-esteem can be damaged and you may begin to believe you deserve to be treated this way.

Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse that can be very toxic and draining in a marriage. If your partner constantly yells, belittles, or verbally attacks you, there is a good chance you are being emotionally abused. This type of behavior can cause severe emotional distress and has long-term effects on your psychological functioning. If you tell someone something long enough, it will become true. All of the ugly things that are said to you may begin to make themselves at home. No one deserves to be treated this way, so it may be time to reevaluate your relationship.

Toxic Marriage

Controlling Behavior

A spouse that wants to control everything you do is a sign that there are unhealthy habits forming in your marriage. Sometimes controlling behaviors come from good intentions but others stem from narcissistic and abusive tendencies. Control is an indication that your partner feels threatened or that they need to keep an upper hand on you. Sometimes fear or insecurity can be the precursors to controlling behaviors. In many other situations it’s because they want to make you into someone they want you to be instead of who you really are. And any movements you make outside their created identity for you will incur negative consequences. In these situations you may find yourself making excuses to yourself and to others for your spouse’s damaging behaviors. This is a major sign of a toxic marriage.

Infidelity

Cheating is a massive blow to any marriage and can happen on many levels. At a base level infidelity often includes lust and selfishness with many underlying reasons of why they cheat once or cheat many times. Once trust is broken in this way, it is very difficult to repair but can be done if both partners are willing to invest the effort. However, a partner who continuously cheats on you shows that they do not value your feelings or respect you. You may begin to wonder what is wrong with you or what you are lacking, but it takes two to create a healthy relationship and only one to destroy it. If there is any part of you that believes your marriage is salvageable, it is vital that you seek professional marriage counseling from someone trained in helping marriages. If the relationship is too far gone or if you do not feel safe, separation or distance (temporary or permanently) may be your next move.

A Toxic Marriage

Lack of Communication

Communication is a key factor in relationships and is a common issue that brings couples to marriage counseling. Learning to communicate effectively can be a daunting task because the language all of us naturally use comes from a mixture of past experiences, childhood environments, and differing perceptions of the world around us. Culture also has a huge impact on how we communicate. If you and your spouse cannot communicate openly and honestly, it can be a sign that your relationship is on dangerous ground and likely full of unmet expectations.

Next Steps

Toxic marriages are difficult to handle but the first step is to decide whether the relationship is salvageable. If you desire to work on your relationship, reconciliation can be accomplished through hard work and dedication from both you and your partner. Regardless of what your end goal is, it is wise to seek professional counsel if you feel that you’re in a toxic environment. Communication with a trained therapist can help identify the root cause of problems and provide workable solutions. At New Vision Counseling and Consulting, we highly value helping you build healthy relationships full of great communication, trust and covered in love. Whether you are searching for tips on how to save your marriage or need guidance for your future, we are here to help. If you are ready to take the next step towards a better marriage then a natural next step is simple. Reach out to us at (405) 921-7776

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