Toxic marriages often end when the victimized spouse takes action. However, it may take a while for this action to happen as people in toxic marriages may not know they are.
There are many examples of toxic behavior within a marriage that range from subtle to severe. Some classify these behaviors as psychologically damaging to the intended target, and rightfully so. Remaining in this type of relationship for any length of time may leave long-lasting emotional impacts. Discover a few signs that a marriage is toxic.
Gaslighting has become synonymous with toxic relationships. It involves the use of psychological manipulation to make someone believe he or she is not mentally stable. Some examples of gaslighting include:
- A spouse denies cheating by accusing the other of it
- One spouse tells the other his or her mind is playing tricks
- A gaslighter may move items and deny it to reinforce the despair the other feels
A toxic spouse may suggest that the couple move away from familiar people. When the move happens, the victimized spouse becomes isolated from those who may otherwise support and help. Control is a top priority for a toxic spouse, so minimizing the interference of others is a key goal.
A spouse who needs control may sabotage the other. This applies to a victimized spouse’s attempts to climb a professional or social ladder, seek counseling or make parenting decisions. In this regard, the toxic spouse remains at the top of the food chain in the marriage.
A relationship with any of these signs is at risk for escalation if the victimized spouse does not get help. When dealing with this marital dynamic, it helps to understand that there is a way out.