If you are a professional in an emerging industry, like gaming, data science, cloud computing, digital marketing etc., that has promising career opportunities, this is your chance to be featured in #CareerKiPaathshaala. Fill up this form today!
As a counsellor I have seen for the woman in a toxic relationship, the change is in reverse. The butterfly changes into a caterpillar, such that people who meet them after a big gap will not even recognize them anymore!
We humans cannot live without relationships. As a baby, a human needs help to survive for a few years and that lays our foundation for longing and need for relationships. Even when we grow to be physically independent, there is no way that can happen to our emotional needs.
Relationships are categorized as familial, casual, professional, friendly, romantic, neutral and many more. Some relationships are just there, they neither nurture us nor do they harm us.
Many of us will think, “How can a relationship harm us or destroy us completely? Why would we allow someone to do that to us? Won’t we walk away from a toxic relationship?” Unfortunately it is not as easy as it looks like. Many people suffer in a toxic relationship throughout their life, finally becoming someone they were not supposed to be nor wished to be. And the worst part of it is, they become addicted to the pattern of a toxic relationship and drama involved in it.
Parents, siblings, friends, colleagues, or a romantic partner/spouse, anyone can create a toxic relationship with us. Or maybe, we ourselves are the creators of the toxic relationship without our knowledge. Though it is easier to walk away from some of them, it is very tough to break the pattern when we have toxic relationships with our parents or spouses.
As children we are indoctrinated to believe that our parents are always right. We follow the religion they ask to follow, adapt their preferred lifestyle and look up to them for guidance. At least in the initial years, no child has a say in his/her own life development and pattern. Since our parents are the most important people in our lives we have to learn how to accommodate and adapt to their idiosyncrasies, their faults, their moods, their demands and their rules. But unfortunately in many cases, parents do not adjust to their children, especially if they do not fit perfectly into the idea they had of a child they wanted.
Parents are supposed to lift us up and support us whenever we fall down, but there are parents who will tear a child apart and bring them down loaded with guilt knowingly or unknowingly.
Parenting is not easy. Discipling children and guiding them to be happy and successful is not easy for anyone. There are times when we have to resort to unpleasant methods for the good of the child. The problem is we have no definitive line that is drawn to show us when parents are crossing the limits and moving towards being toxic parents. A child should never live day in day out in fear, guilt or reeling under their obligation to parents and their demands. An isolated event can be forgotten or forgiven, but the neglect and abuse that is ongoing and progressive can damage the child permanently, leading to more toxic relationships in their lives in future.
Often it is a selfish and self-centred parent who creates a toxic relationship with the child. Some behaviours that lead to a toxic parenting is
People who have been in a toxic parenting relationship, unfortunately often end up finding toxic romantic partners as well or they themselves turn into toxic partners.
In a parent child relationship, a child is unaware and helpless to take a stand. But, when it comes to romantic partners, though there is a choice to walk away from the relationship and the person involved is mature enough, people do not often take that step.
No relationship is a smooth walk, no matter how compatible the couple are. It is often a roller coaster ride, though the peaks and lows or the speed of the ride may vary. Often, a partner accepts the toxic behaviour as normal ups and downs for a relationship to go through until they settle down. Only, this toxic pattern becomes normal and they become stranger to themselves in due course of time waiting for things to become normal.
Toxic relationships last because it follows a pattern, which eventually leads to hope for a future. It is not that men do not become victims of toxic relationships, but today I will concentrate on issues faced by women based on my experience as a counsellor for them and also with a few of my own personal experiences.
When getting married a woman is told that relationships are difficult and it will require a lot of effort from her to make it successful. There are bound to be difficulties, disagreements, dissents and discomfort but she should strive to make it successful in the end for a happy married life.
The toxic relationship is not a mutual sharing of happiness as it is supposed to be in a romantic relationship, but becomes a struggle to keep one of the partners happy at any cost. Finally, nothing becomes enough and the drama followed by an explosion anyway takes place.
At times the woman may think of walking out, but then there is a dramatic change. A fix is offered which looks like a dream come true. Or she made to go through the guilt of being the cause of the explosion that took place harming her. The fixing creates a delusion of extreme love. A temptation to redeem the relationship slowly takes over the despair the victim has experienced, leading to hope once again. The hope will not last long since the insecurities will seep in once again through the self-centeredness, dominance and control of the partner. The cycle repeats.
The more horrific part is, slowly the victim becomes familiar with the pattern and gets addicted to the fix that follows and also the drama involved. Strange but true. As a counsellor, I have heard women tell me that they usually love the fixing part of the drama so much that they look forward to it after an explosion. In fact they look forward to an explosion itself, even if it hurts them a lot.
Not many realize they are slowly changing like the caterpillar which becomes a butterfly, only here the change is in reverse. The butterfly changes into a caterpillar, so much that people who meet them after a big gap in time will not even recognize them anymore.
Unfortunately, the woman in a toxic relationship will not even know what is happening to her, in this cycle of abuse, fixing, giving hope and slowly pushing her down all over again. She will not even believe the people who tell her that they do not recognize her anymore.
If more than 50% of your answer is yes to the below questions, you are probably in a relationship that needs to be evaluated by someone who can identify a toxic relationship. You have to seriously think it over.
I am shocked as I write this article because I have been in a toxic relationship for a long time without even realizing it, but I was saved because my partner worked in the gulf and I did not have to face the drama 80% of the time. Also, I realized the change I was undergoing on time and recovered, thanks to cancer which opened my eyes. I answered yes to quite a few of the questions above being honest to myself.
As a woman, it is not your sole responsibility to make your marriage a success or maintain peace in your relationship. It takes commitment from two people to build a family or a relationship. You deserve the admiration, help, validation and security of a relationship, including on those days when you are not an angel.
A toxic relationship can be mended, but it takes effort from both the partners. No legal document should allow a person to belittle, dismiss or scoff at you to express yourself, give your opinion or put out your perspective. Marriage is all about balance from both the partners who are equal. If it cannot happen, it is always better to move out to breathe fresh once again. There is no better life than you living it yourself without allowing someone else to live it for you.
Image Source: Still from the movie Tumhari Sulu
I am Farida Rizwan, 55, Counselor and Psychotherapist working as Senior Curriculum Developer with Chimple Learning. I am ardent blogger @www.chaptersfrommylife.com and share my life experiences of surviving breast cancer 3rd stage for read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: