Toxic Behaviors that Tear Relationships Apart

Toxic Behaviors that Tear Relationships Apart



Angel Chernoff

Over the years, through our coaching practice, Getting Back to Happy course, and live events, Marc and I have worked with thousands of individuals and couples looking to fix their failing relationships, and we’ve learned a lot about what it takes to make this happen.

Whether you’re working to fix your marriage, a dating relationship, or a friendship, there are lots of little things you can do to keep your relationship on track.  And since we’ve recently covered many of these healthy relationship strategies on our blog, today we’re going to take a quick look at the flip-side – the most common toxic behaviors that tear relationships apart.

Truth be told, most failing and failed relationships suffer from the same four basic behavioral issues…

Marc and I have identified some incredibly common toxic behaviors we’ve witnessed over and over again in people’s relationships.  Honestly, whenever a new client or student mentions the fact that they’re having some relationship trouble, we can almost always point to one of these behaviors as the root cause.

Once you understand the toxic behaviors, remember…

The way we treat people we disagree with is a report card on what we’ve learned about love, compassion, acceptance and kindness.

Differences of opinion (even major ones) don’t destroy relationships – it’s how two people cope with their inevitable differences that counts.

Sadly, some people waste years in a relationship trying to change the other person’s mind, even though this usually can’t be done, because many of the disagreements they have with this person are rooted in fundamental differences of opinion, personality, or values.  By fighting over these deep seeded differences, all they succeed in doing is wasting their time and running their relationship into the ground.

So how do people in healthy relationships deal with issues that can’t be resolved?

They accept one another as is.  These people understand that problems are an inevitable part of any long-term relationship, in the same way chronic physical difficulties are inevitable as we grow older and wiser.  These problems are like a weak knee or a bad back – we may not want these problems, but we’re able to cope with them, to avoid situations that irritate them, and to develop strategies that help us deal with them.

Psychologist Dan Wile said it best in his book After the Honeymoon: “When choosing to engage yourself in a long-term relationship, you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unsolvable problems that you’ll be grappling with for the next 10, 20 or 50 years.”

Bottom line:  The best relationships are the best not because they have always been the happiest, but because they have stayed strong through the mightiest of storms.

Therefore, it’s crucial to understand and alleviate toxic behaviors and then consciously remind yourself that…

Acceptance of one another is of vital importance to every relationship.

In the end, how you make others feel about themselves says a whole lot about you.  So treat people right.  Your love, compassion, acceptance and kindness are gifts you can always afford to give.

Your turn…

Please let us know…

What toxic relationship behaviors and circumstances do you try to avoid?

Anything else to share?

We would love to hear from YOU in the comments section.


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