A toxic relationship can have detrimental effects on your self-worth and potentially cause serious long-lasting consequences. Two people find each other in a supposedly inconspicuous way and enter into such a relationship unconsciously. The person concerned doesn’t trust their gut feeling and doesn’t listen to their intuition either. Similar to when meeting a narcissist, a subconscious sense of familiarity from previous relationships or childhood is often experienced, which is how they are „tricked“ into it. It is particularly common for people to find themselves in toxic relationships who have their own trauma to deal with and therefore unconsciously attract toxic (narcissistic) partners.
The main components of a toxic relationship are egocentricity, manipulation, power, dependence, insecurity, and fear. Most of the time, the toxic partner will see themselves as the “victim” of the other person*. The intensity and attraction within the relationship is very often misinterpreted for love. Another reliable indicator is the controlling partner who was able to „switch off” your gut feeling. You have probably already had suspicions earlier that this relationship may be unhealthy. The controlling partner keeps the other person at arm’s length, always maintaining a certain distance. However, the person being controlled is constantly available to soothe the other person’s ego, whenever they feel like it. Controlling partners are often people who fear attachment and are very often narcissists. They don’t like being alone and enjoy being in control of their partner. It is very difficult to achieve intimacy and depth with such partners, as they like to keep other people at a distance and thereby remain unattached. Their partner often experiences fear of loss and therefore enters into an inadequate, non-binding, or codependent relationship with the narcissist. This partner gives more and more and often neglects themselves and their environment. They endure seemingly endless pain and give their time and energy, all to make their manipulative partner happy.
The partner who gives more of themselves, who is manipulated and kept small, suffers greatly, which can remain undetected for a long time.
A toxic relationship has nothing to do with fulfilling love and will not „end“ happily either.
*To find out more, read previous articles on narcissistic gaslighting on this very blog.