Being around a toxic person has a negative effect on your self-esteem, making it difficult to function at all. If your spouse has a toxic personality, it may not be possible to salvage the relationship. You may have no choice but to end the marriage as a self-preservation measure.
Some people are overtly toxic, and this makes them relatively easy to avoid in the first place. However, signs of a toxic personality are sometimes much more subtle. Therefore, they are difficult to recognize until you have become deeply involved in the relationship. Here are some subtle but significant warning signs of toxicity to watch for in your relationship with your spouse.
Gaslighting is a form of deception, but it is much more than telling simple lies. Gaslighting is a complex campaign of dishonesty and disingenuousness. If successful, it makes you doubt your very reality. Examples of gaslighting include moving objects around to make you think that you lost them or insisting to you that something never happened when you are sure it did. A spouse who gaslights you wants to exert control over the relationship by making you entirely dependent on him or her. It is a serious sign of a toxic personality.
- Being self-centered
A toxic person is unwilling or unable to sympathize with you. Anytime you start talking about a problem you have, your spouse may refuse to listen or find a way to turn the conversation back to his or her difficulties. Conversely, when something good happens to you, your spouse may not allow you to have your moment. Sometimes it may seem like your spouse is in competition with you to determine who is the happiest or most miserable.
- Bringing up your faults
It is one thing for your spouse to tell you the unvarnished truth about yourself. This type of honesty can be beneficial to the relationship. It is another matter if your spouse dwells on the negative and constantly criticizes you in a way that is not constructive. If every interaction with your spouse leaves you feeling worse about yourself because of the constant nitpicking, you may be in a toxic relationship.