Anyone who’s been in a toxic relationship knows that hindsight is 20/20. If you’ve successfully moved on from someone who was toxic, you know all of the unacceptable behaviors and red flags you continually ignored when you were still under his spell. Here are a few of the most common ways toxic men affect you and why you should let go for your own sake.
They get you “hooked” before you see their crazy. A toxic guy always starts out sweet and nice, and they make you think you finally found one of the good ones. They keep up the act just long enough to make you fall for them, and then chaos ensues. You’re blindsided, wondering where this monster came from and how you didn’t see it before, but you’ve already fallen for his sweet side.
They “gaslight” or emotionally manipulate you into supporting them, no matter what. Healthy relationships do involve a lot of support, of course, but it’s different with someone who’s toxic. They expect you to support them even when they’re doing things that are ridiculous and no in way acceptable, and they guilt trip you if you disagree with them.
They drag you down in every way possible. Toxic men tend to tear you down as often as they possibly can because they’re insecure, and your self-esteem is threatening to them. When you’re in the midst of it, it becomes an expected daily occurrence, but it shouldn’t be.
They turn their love into a drug. Because they’re constantly changing moods, toxic dudes aren’t always loving. When they are, it’s wonderful, and much of the rest of the time is hell. We naturally crave the affection of the loving guy, so we start adjusting ourselves in an attempt to keep him happy, and that makes his love like a drug; we’re always chasing that high and it can become destructive.
They guilt you into submission. When you’re this deeply involved, it’s actually pretty easy to do. You feel like you’re the one who’s out of line for disagreeing with him, but at the same time you know that’s not right.
They use your feelings against you. You love him, and he knows that, so his manipulative side uses those feelings to ensure your cooperation with his agenda. At the same time, you know that you shouldn’t be going along with him but you can’t say no.
They separate you from your family/friends/true self. Very similar to addiction, a toxic partner can cause you to distance yourself from family, friends, and even your true self. You know they disapprove but you aren’t ready to let go yet, so you just avoid the confrontation altogether by avoiding contact with loved ones who will call you out on the situation.
They’ll keep on dragging you down as long as you let them. Leaving a toxic partner is much like quitting an addictive drug. For a long time after you decide to leave, a dumb little part of you wants to go back and you have to remind yourself of all the reasons you left in the first place.
You have to stay strong when they’re trying to weaken you. Once you’ve made the decision to get out, your toxic partner’s mind is reeling and they revert, in desperation, to the sweetness that won you over in the first place. Even though you’re craving that sweet and loving rhetoric, you know it’s not real, so you have to stay strong and get out because you know you deserve better.
Even after leaving, part of you misses him. It’s not easy to leave someone who’s gotten under your skin. Even when you know the separation is the best thing for you, it feels like a loss and it’s overwhelming. Whatever you do, you have to stay strong day by day until you fully get past it.
They don’t change, but they sure do promise to. When the toxic dude in question realizes you’re serious about leaving, they typically offer a lot of empty apologies and emptier promises in an attempt to manipulate you. Stay strong; you know the promises are BS and you know that you deserve better. Next!
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