What is a toxic relationship? An emotionally toxic relationship occurs when one part of the couple adopts a dominant behavior and the other part can do nothing to avoid that dominance, because they are or believe to be in a situation of inferiority or subordination. The part that exercises the abuse has imposed a hostile and fearful climate in the relationship that makes it difficult to express and live in a healthy way with the other person. From Bigmatrimonial, we want to publicize the effects of a toxic relationship.
Characteristics of a toxic relationship
What behaviors can we observe in a toxic relationship?
- Lack of assertive and empathetic communication.
- Humiliating and ridiculing the other person, either in public or in private.
- Psychologically attacking her: attacking her self-esteem and her way of being. For example: “You are crazy! You are hysterical, no one is going to put up with you like I do! “
- Physical violence : hitting, physically imposing yourself so that the person feels threatened.
- Environmental violence : after an argument that breaks objects in the house or knocks on the table while arguing.
- Sexual violence : forcing to practice practices that the couple does not want.
- Jealous behaviors and control over the other person: constantly asking, where he is, who he is going with and even getting to isolate the couple from their social circle.
All these are actions and behaviors that can occur in a toxic relationship and that can greatly reduce the person who is in it. Therefore, we will see what effects of a toxic relationship we can have after having been in a toxic relationship.
Aftermath of a toxic relationship
Once the toxic relationship ends, it may happen that:
- Guilty feeling
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
- Difficult to focus
- Panic attacks
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Substance abuse (psychotropic drugs and OH)
- Eating Disorders
- Sleep disorders
All these symptoms are a source of discomfort for the person who suffers from them and for the environment that sees a loved one suffer.
Can you have trauma after a toxic relationship?
Having been in a toxic relationship can be traumatic for the person. The possible violence experienced in the relationship can raise doubts about one’s ability in many areas of her life. We can find ourselves with situations like:
Self-esteem is a powerful human need. This is basic and makes an essential contribution to the process of life; It is essential for normal and healthy development, in addition to being valuable for survival. Not having a positive self-esteem can decrease our resistance to face life’s adversities. In a toxic relationship it is one of the first things that can be damaged.
Still, it should be noted that self-esteem is not a static or stable trait over time, but rather a dynamic and subject to change index.
Feeling that it was not you who controlled the emotions since you had another person who controlled them for you. This can lead to a lack of self-confidence, the appearance of convictions of not being worth as a person and high levels of anxiety.
Sometimes, the toxic relationship has also been able to make the person adopt an attitude of resignation and passivity, since in the time elapsed in the relationship they learned what to do, they could not escape from that harmful situation. This phenomenon is called: learned helplessness.
All this can mark future relationships, making the person adopt an attitude of fear towards his future. For many people, that is a source of anguish, since they have the feeling that they cannot leave the memory of the relationship.
Post-traumatic stress after a toxic relationship
When the aftermath of the toxic relationship goes further, lasts over time and becomes paralyzing and everyday in the person’s life, the more likely it is that we are faced with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) .
The PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by an extremely stressful event; such as continued mistreatment, rape, torture, etc.
- Relive the trauma through painful flashbacks.
- Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma.
- Weakening of the general reactivity of the person, more apathy.
- Lack of interest in important activities.
- Feeling of detachment: as if the person were an observer of one’s own body or mental process.
Furthermore, it is usually associated with high levels of anxiety and depression and adjustment difficulties. Symptoms of depression such as listlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, and guilt contribute to making it more difficult to seek help or to take appropriate action.
Battered woman syndrome
Also called complex PTSD. In this case, the impact of the trauma goes beyond a list of symptoms and covers the entire psychological functioning of the person.
Prolonged exposure to violence in all its forms (physical, psychological, environmental, sexual, verbal, economic, etc.) in contexts of ill-treatment is capable of causing intense damage to: personality, identity, relationships and all areas of the psychological functioning of women victims of gender violence.
This article effects of a toxic relationship is merely informative, in Bigmatrimonial we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.