Sat | Aug 18, 2018

Men and toxic spouses

Published:Sunday | March 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Love is something that we do not always choose; sometimes it chooses us, but then again, there are some men who choose one that is not healthy. They often choose women who are not emotionally available or ones in whom they are truly not interested.

Relationship specialist and sexologist Dr Sidney McGill believes that, "Men entering into toxic relationships is an indication that they have unresolved negative childhood experiences."

He notes that this is due to the fact that they try to recreate important dysfunctional relationships from the past. However, it is generally characterised by an intense attraction to one another. The dysfunctional bond alleviates their individual fears and insecurities by forging an emotional dynamic with the partner that is very hard to break.

Sometimes it seems you are drawn to each other like magnets, but that does not mean that the relationship is supposed to be. Passion and desire are not always enough for a relationship to thrive.

McGill lists a few signs of a toxic relationship:

1. When one confuses genuine love with emotional hunger.

2. When the partner has manipulative interactions to get what they want.

3. If there is a parent-child dynamic where one partner is dominant and the other submissive.

4. If the relationship is mostly self-centred instead of partner-centred.

5. Sex is intensely emotional most of the time.

According to McGill, sometimes the best way to escape this is through counselling to improve one's self-knowledge. One has to learn and make note of the characteristics listed above, making note of what draws you to an undesirable partner and why you push the emotionally healthy ones away. With this knowledge and understanding, you will be able to make the necessary decision.