When we say toxic relationship, we are not just talking about newly found mates who do not gel or even compatible mates. No, these relationships are not clones but real people, some people in toxic relationships will have more problems, more conflicts, than more compatible mates. But since value these partners put in the relationship they will be willing to make the extra effort to maintain them, even if it takes more effort. And then of course there are toxic relationships too.
The reason toxic relationship happens is due to guilt, anger and other emotions. We are human and when our feelings get the best of us we can easily start blaming our partner for our own shortcomings. Once you start feeling guilty for your behavior then it is very easy to get upset and look for an excuse to put the blame elsewhere; blaming your partner means that you have let yourself become weak and needy.
In order to avoid toxic relationships you should pay attention to four common behaviors. Healthy behaviors include appreciating the differences in your partners, listening and valuing their thoughts and opinions. In unhealthy relationships this is not the case and the partners tend to forget that they are separate individuals with their own unique traits and personalities. So instead of valuing their thoughts and opinions you tend to perceive them as a set of fixed characteristics.
Another behavioral change you should make in order to avoid toxic relationship is to listen carefully to your partner, don’t try to take over the conversation by asking your partner to repeat what they have said. Rather use this opportunity to ask questions related to what they have said so that you can understand what they meant. You might also want to try asking your partner to relate a related story from their past. Once you understand what they meant you can try to understand it yourself and relate a related story of your own.
Your emotional response to someone else’s behavior also plays an important role in forming a toxic relationship. If your reaction is based on invalidation or other unimportant factors, then the relationship won’t work. This will be especially true if your partner’s behavior is irrational. If you want to avoid toxic relationship, you should focus more on validating their viewpoint, listening carefully to their thoughts and opinions, making them feel important and valued, complementing their statements, bringing up creative ideas and sharing similar experiences. Remember that healthy communication involves taking into consideration the feelings of the other person and considering their point of view.
There is a possibility that all toxic relationships could be prevented. If you love both yourself and your adult children deeply you will find the answer. Try making compromises, talking to each other in a mature and respectful manner and accept each other the way you are. You can also take courses on how to create healthy relationships with your partners and even have a marriage counselor or therapist. Even if your relationships don’t turn out to be toxic, you can always learn from your mistakes and apply them to your next relationship.