Unraveling Toxicity in a Marriage or Long Term Relationship

Sometimes when couples have conflict, it’s because one or both partners are, whether they realize it or not, repeating toxic relationship patterns they learned from their families of origin.

As a child, your family or caregivers have a big influence on you and who you grow up to be.

Witnessing toxic relationship patterns in your parents or other caregivers might still be affecting you and your relationships today.

You can move past these patterns, but it takes a little bit of self-reflection and determination.

Why Does This Happen?

If you keep having the same fights with your person, or you keep reacting in the same way to an argument, you might be repeating learned toxic patterns.

As children, we learn what is permissible from our caregivers.

How should we react when someone yells at us? Yell back? Run away? Something else?

When our parents interact with each other or with us, we pick up on their behavior.

Some of these behaviors may be healthy and loving, but either way, we pick up on and continue these relational patterns, for better or for worse.

If your parents yelled at each other during arguments, you might repeat this type of behavior in your own relationships in adulthood – but it doesn’t have to be that way!

How To Move Out of Toxic Relationship Patterns

How can you move past toxic relational patterns? How do you even know if you’re expressing them?

One way to know is if you and your partner are having the same fights over and over again or if you feel triggered by something they say or do – or something they don’t say or do.

You may not know why this is happening, or how to get out of this cycle, but it is possible.

The first step is to try to understand the pattern and its roots, so you can begin the process of developing more awareness, and ultimately moving out of that pattern.

Marianne Marlow talks about how to move out of toxic relationship patterns in the following video.