How To Recognize A Toxic Relationship | 3 Keys To Healthier Relationships
Is there a way to avoid getting in a toxic relationship before you get emotionally connected?
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Yes, according to Dr. Alduan Tartt. There are certain personality types that tend to enter and create toxic relationships:
1) Someone who has a toxic, stressful or neglected background with their own parents (insecure attachment).
2) Someone with mental illness or unresolved issues that make getting along with them difficult (temper issues, insecure, narcissistic, controlling, etc.).
3) Someone who struggles with relationships and has become a chronic taker to protect themselves ("get or be got" is the dysfunctional mindset).
4) Mix in someone with confidence issues or someone who is too nice for the situation who is willing to put themselves last.
When you mix in someone who thinks too highly of themselves with someone who thinks too lowly of themselves, you get the perfect toxic relationship. Why? Social exchange theory...
Social Exchange Theory- concept based on the notion that a relationship between two people is created trough a process of cost-benefit analysis. So one person wants to give the least and get the most to earn the most “profit” from a relationship.
Unhealthy people view relationships as an exchange versus a connection. So, they pick partners who are willing to give more than they get so they can get more and "win". However, they ultimately lose because the nice partner leaves due to unmet needs and unreciprocated effort.
So, what about a healthy relationship or marriage?
Glad you asked and it is part of the reason I host A Weekend For Love Marriage Retreat for couples who want strong marriages.
Three Keys To Healthier Relationships:
1) Investment Size (Consistent Friendship)- the willingness to invest deeply in your partner consistently.
2) Mutual Satisfaction- the mindset that both partners should be equally happy with the relationship/marriage and adjust willingly.
3) Accommodative- the ability to honor your spouse’s dreams even when they don’t fit yours (sacrifice).
If you have those three key ingredients it will allow you positively compare your relationship or marriage and decide to stay.
If you don't however, you will ultimately decide to leave to avoid misery and at least give yourself a chance at finding healthy love.