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What is a toxic relationship? What is Toxin?

A toxin is a poison. Poison is any substance that when introduced into or absorbed by organism causes death or injury. Toxins are acts, attitude or behaviour which we all engage in but which makes others unhappy.

These behaviours or attitudes end relationships over time.No marriage relationship end overnight.

While most marriage expert will agree on causes of divorce but no one can say exactly the beginning of the end of the marriage. Surely there is a beginning of the end. Usually, it is very subtle and never talked about.

No one set out to fail in his relationship. Even in prenuptial ones with the thought of divorce at the back of the mind, the hope is that the relationship will survive the passage of time. The end of every relationship starts with behaviour, action or idea that the other party may initially be indifferent to it, but later becomes intolerable. These are toxins. Accumulation of it over time kills any relationship. Among Christians it may not be divorce but general unhappiness.

Sometimes it could be unresolved differences in our natural makeup. A narcissistic man who only wants to talk about himself and not his partner may radiate a very confident man admired by the opposite sex. This may be tolerable for the wife for some time but then may find it intolerable as both as time goes on. The wife may simply refer to him as too selfish and because it is in his nature, it becomes difficult and cannot change no matter how often it irritates the spouse. For him, it is not selfishness but rather being himself. The woman or spouse may find this intolerable

A spouse who admires a man who always gets what he set out to achieve may be in for a man who will pursue his go at the expense of his family. The spouse may keep complaining about the uncaring, egocentric and self-centred nature but because these attitudes and behaviours are innate, the difference is that the go-getting behaviour is now directed toward his personal go.

While some of this may be toxic in some situation it is indeed a good attribute the other way round. On many occasions, divorced couples extoll the good virtue of their former spouse and this brings into question, if the former partner was that good then where did it all go wrong?

The intolerable behaviour is the good quality turn upside down or inside out.

It is very common to meet some divorcee or separated man or woman and ask why in the world will someone leave this angel? The reason is nothing but the accumulation of toxins that have been allowed to destroy the marriage.

To the Christian, our daily duty of devotion can actually constitute a poison.

A spouse said in one of our meetings that his wife having to wake up early in the morning and pray loud was annoying. This is a good example of a resentment that may mark the beginning of the end.

How common have we heard that a relationship began to go astray when a partner started going to church. The church by all standards should make the best of any relationship and not break it.

There are people who would trace the end of their relationship to going back to church.

Going to church program most of the time and not having enough time for the spouse is another reason identified by couples? Good the pastor may be pleased with you for having someone attending at all the church programmes but your spouse and the children may not.

In all these instances they are poisons that are capable of destroying most relationships.

Also, the following are other causes of breakups :

— Sudden/gradual change in our social circumstances — Communication — Money — Sex — Business – growing apart — Irritability due to stress, Crabbiness, tiredness, hunger — Spiritual gap (Fireproof; don’t leave your spouse behind.)

Suggested action for help — Talk about it at the right time. — Negotiate your difference (Not Demand) — Request for change — Pray for one another prior to talking — Nurture each other. — Invest in your marriage.(time and money) — Spend time in the word of God together

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