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6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
OCT. 1, 2013


There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of arriage, and aybe read a few obscure lo!e stories fro the 1"th century on how not to be. #ut when it co es down to actually handling the nitty$gritty of relationshi%s, we’re gi!en no %ointers& or worse, we’re gi!en ad!ice colu ns in wo en’s aga'ines. (es, it’s trial$and$error fro been ostly error. the get$go. )nd if you’re li*e ost %eo%le, it’s

#ut %art of the %roble is that any unhealthy relationshi% habits are ba*ed into our culture. +e worshi% ro antic lo!e , you *now, that di''ying and irrational ro antic lo!e that so ehow finds brea*ing china %lates on the wall in a fit of tears so ewhat endearing , and scoff at %racticality or uncon!entional sexualities. -en and wo en are raised to ob.ectify each other and to ob.ectify the relationshi%s they’re in. Thus our %artners are often seen as assets rather than so eone to share utual e otional su%%ort. ) lot of the self$hel% literature out there isn’t hel%ful either /no, en and wo en are not fro different %lanets, you o!er$generali'ing %ric*0. )nd for ost of us, o and dad surely weren’t the best exa %les either. 1ortunately, there’s been a lot of %sychological research into healthy and ha%%y relationshi%s the %ast few decades and there are so e general %rinci%les that *ee% %o%%ing u% consistently that ost %eo%le are unaware of or don’t follow. 2n fact, so e of these %rinci%les actually go against what is traditionally considered 3ro antic4 or nor al in a relationshi%. #elow are six of the ost co on tendencies in relationshi%s that any cou%les thin* are healthy and nor al, but are actually toxic and destroying e!erything you hold dear. 5et the tissues ready.

2f so eone habitually cheats. This is a double$wha y of suc*age.ustify current righteousness. #ut the fact that she e barrassed you in 2010 and now she got sad and ignored you today in 2013 ha!e nothing to do with each other.1. because that ti e you caught her sending flirtatious text essages to her co$wor*er i ediately re o!es her right to get . (ou were an asshole at Cynthia’s 26th birthday %arty bac* in 2010 and it has %roceeded to ruin your life e!er since. The Relationship Scorecard Shutterstock What It Is: The 3*ee%ing score4 %heno enon is when so eone you’re dating continues to bla e you for %ast ista*es you ade in the relationshi%. #ut that’s O8. 2f this goes on long enough. right7 Wrong. you are choosing to be with all of their %rior actions and beha!iors. but you’re ginning u% guilt and bitterness fro the %ast to ani%ulate your %artner into feeling wrong in the %resent. and therefore who owes the other one ore. Why It’s Toxic: The relationshi% scorecard de!elo%s o!er ti e because one or both %eo%le in a relationshi% use %ast wrongdoings in order to try and . 9ot only are you deflecting the current issue itself.eal with issues indi!idually unless they are legiti ately connected. What You Should Do Instead: . :eo%le s%end all of their ti e trying to be less wrong for each other instead of being ore right for each other. then that’s ob!iously a recurring %roble . +hy7 #ecause there’s not a wee* that goes by that you’re not re inded of it. 2f both %eo%le in the relationshi% do this it de!ol!es into what 2 call 3the relationshi% scorecard. 2f you don’t acce%t . so don’t bring it u%. (ou ust recogni'e that by choosing to be with your significant other. so it’s *ind of e!en. both %artners e!entually s%end ost of their energy trying to %ro!e that they’re less cul%able than the other rather than sol!ing the current %roble .ealous.4 where it beco es a battle to see who has screwed u% the ost o!er the onths or years.

your %artner tries to nudge you in the right direction of figuring it out yourself. ) %erson has no reason to be %assi!e$aggressi!e if they feel safe ex%ressing any anger or insecurity within the relationshi%. 2f they lo!e you. What You Should Do Instead: State your feelings and desires o%enly.ustified in co %laining to the . Holdin the Relationship Hosta e Shutterstock What It Is: +hen one %erson has a si %le criticis or co %laint and blac* ails the other %erson by threatening the co it ent of the relationshi% as a whole. )nd a*e it clear that the other %erson is not necessarily res%onsible or obligated to the but that you’d lo!e to ha!e their su%%ort. 2. 2f so ething bothered you that uch a year ago. you should ha!e dealt with it a year ago. 2nstead of saying what’s actually u%setting you. you find s all and %etty ways to %iss your %artner off so you’ll then feel . they’ll al ost always be able to gi!e it. you are not acce%ting the . Droppin !Hints" and #ther Passi$e% A ression What It Is: 2nstead of stating a desire or thought o!ertly. Why It’s Toxic: #ecause it shows that you two are not co fortable co unicating o%enly and clearly with one another.udged or critici'ed for it. &. if so eone feels li*e you’!e been cold to . ) %erson will ne!er feel a need to dro% 3hints4 if they feel li*e they won’t be . then ulti ately.those. 1or instance.

So you lash out at the for being so insensiti!e and callous toward you. They should ha!e gotten off the %hone and ditched their %lans based on your lousy e otional state. 32 feel li*e you’re being cold so eti es. That’s called being a nor al hu an being. (lamin )o*r Partner +or )o*r #. Sure. but they ha!e %lans to go out and see their friends.udg ent or blac* ail will strengthen their co it ent to one another in the long$run. (ou’!e been ha!ing a shitty day and they ha!e done nothing about it.ust *now to a*e you feel better. two %artners who are ca%able of co unicating feedbac* and criticis towards one another only without . you ne!er as*ed. They’!e been on the %hone all day with so e %eo%le fro wor*. Otherwise %eo%le will su%%ress their true thoughts and feelings which leads to an en!iron ent of distrust and ani%ulation. #ut understand that co itting to a %erson and always li*ing a %erson are not the sa e thing. What You Should Do Instead: 2t’s fine to get u%set at your %artner or to not li*e so ething about the .4 they will say. One can be eternally de!oted to so eone yet actually be annoyed or angered by their %artner at ti es. 32 can’t date so eone who is cold to e all of the ti e. '.the . Why It’s Toxic: #la ing our %artners for our e otions is a subtle for selfishness. <!ery inor hiccu% in the flow of the relationshi% results in a %ercei!ed co it ent crisis. (ou want to lay around at ho e together and . instead of saying.n -motions Shutterstock What It Is: =et’s say you’re ha!ing a cra%%y day and your %artner isn’t exactly being su%er sy %athetic or su%%orti!e at the o ent. One can be co itted to so eone and not li*e e!erything about the . On the contrary. but they should .ust watch a o!ie tonight.4 Why It’s Toxic: 2t’s e otional blac* ail and it creates tons of unnecessary dra a. and a classic exa %le of the %oor aintenance of %ersonal of . 2t’s crucial for both %eo%le in a relationshi% to *now that negati!e thoughts and feelings can be co unicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationshi% itself. They got distracted when you hugged the .

boundaries. if y girlfriend gets ad at e once because she’s had a shitty day and is frustrated and needs attention. ust be negotiated and co %ro ised. +hen so eone begins to get u%set. it gi!es the both incenti!es to hide their true feelings and ani%ulate one another. then 2’ soon going to beco e !ery bitter and e!en ani%ulati!e towards her feelings and desires. What You Should Do Instead: Ta*e res%onsibility for your own e otions and ex%ect your %artner to be res%onsible for theirs. Suddenly. that’s understandable. they’re not allowed to %lan acti!ities without chec*ing with you first. )ll acti!ities at ho e . then will de!elo% code%endent tendencies. #ut if it beco es an ex%ectation that y life re!ol!es around her e otional well$ being at all ti es. 0 for each other’s oods and downswings. . There’s a subtle yet i %ortant difference between being su%%orti!e of your %artner and being obligated to your %artner. Sure. all %ersonal desires go out the window because it is now your res%onsibility to a*e one another feel better. +hen you set a %recedent that your %artner is res%onsible for how you feel at all ti es /and !ice$!ersa0. Displa/s o0 !1o$in " 2ealo*s/ . e!en the undane such as reading boo*s or watching T> .. )ny sacrifices should be ade as an autono ous choice and not seen as an ex%ectation. The biggest %roble of de!elo%ing these code%endent tendencies is that they breed resent ent. )s soon as both %eo%le in a relationshi% beco e cul%able /deserving to be blamed or considered responsible for something bad:He was held culpable (= blamed) for all that had happened.

What You Should Do Instead: Trust your %artner.Shutterstock What It Is: 5etting %issed off when your %artner tal*s. it’s de eaning. flirts. 2n either case. hangs out. 2t trans its a essage of a lac* of trust in the other %erson. touches. This is absolutely clownshit cra'y to e. 2t’s a radical idea. 2t creates unnecessary dra a and fighting. 2 *now. that’s a wo an 2 do not want to be dating. loo*ing through their text essages while they’re in the shower or e!en following the around town and showing u% unannounced when they’re not ex%ecting you. )nd to be honest.ealous then that would so ehow ean that they weren’t lo!ed by the . 2f y girlfriend cannot trust e to be around other attracti!e wo en by yself. Why It’s Toxic: 2t sur%rises e that so e %eo%le describe this as so e sort of dis%lay of affection. or snee'es in the general !icinity of another %erson and then you %roceed to ta*e that anger out on your %artner and atte %t to control their beha!ior. calls. #ut excessi!e . texts. They figure that if their %artner wasn’t . So e .ealousy is natural. then it i %lies that she belie!es that 2’ either a0 a liar. This often leads to insano beha!iors such as hac*ing into your %artner’s e ail account.ealousy and controlling beha!iors towards your %artner are signs of your own feelings of unworthiness and you should learn to deal with the and not force the onto those close to . or b0 inca%able of controlling y i %ulses. 2t’s controlling and ani%ulati!e.

They ha!e both since inde%endently told e that this was the %ri ary %roble in their arriage? continuously co!ering u% their real issues with su%erficial %leasures. or ta*ing her to a nice restaurant or so ething. then you will find yourself with a uch bigger %roble down the line. 2f you use the to co!er u% your %roble s. Co unicateB There’s nothing wrong with doing nice things for a significant other after a fight to show solidarity and to reaffir co it ent. This is not a gender$s%ecific %roble . instead of sol!ing it. but it also gi!es the an absolutely no incenti!e to actually be accountable for the %roble s in the relationshi%. you * one co!ers it u% with the excite ent and good feelings that co e with buying so ething nice or going on a tri% so ewhere. Trust was bro*en7 Tal* about what it will ta*e to rebuild it. the an 3sol!es4 the issue by buying the wo an so ething nice. but 2 will use the traditional gendered situation as an exa %le. #ut one should ne!er use gifts or fancy things to re%lace dealing with the underlying e otional issues. This post ori inall/ appeared on markmanson. (*/in the Sol*tions to Relationship Problems What It Is: )ny ti e a a. So eone feels ignored or una%%reciated7 Tal* about ways to restore those feelings of a%%reciation.or conflict or issue co es u% in the relationshi%. 5ifts and tri%s are called luxuries for a reason. #ecause otherwise you are only going to e!entually %ush that %erson away. )nd it got the real far? a big fat di!orce and 1@ years of hardly s%ea*ing to each other since. So what do you end u% with7 ) chec*ed$out husband who feels li*e an )T-. deal with the %roble . but it sets an unhealthy %recedent within the relationshi%. -y %arents were ex%erts at this one. Why It’s Toxic: 9ot only does it brush the real %roble under the rug /where it will always re$e erge fro e!en worse the next ti e0. and an incessantly bitter wo an who feels What You Should Do Instead: )ctually. 9ot only does this gi!e the wo an unconscious incenti!e to find ore reasons to be u%set with the an. you only get to a%%reciate the when e!erything else is already good. 6. . =et’s i agine that whene!er a wo an gets angry at her boyfriendAhusband.

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