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The 6 main types of toxic relationships

The 6 main types of toxic relationships

May 6, 2021

We have previously talked about toxic relationships, but there is one fact that needs attention: this is a concept that encompasses many different types of situations.

That is There are several types of toxic relationships with different characteristics that encompass different forms of relationship in which one or both members of the couple experience discomfort.

Why do some people insist on complicating the lives of others?

For example, in some cases the toxic relationship is part of a dynamic of mistreatment towards the couple, while in others it is a relationship in which resentment and frustration appear but you do not get to hurt the other person deliberately.


These are relationships that tend to get worse over time due to the attitude of a particular person. The problem with this type of relationship is that, in the end, there is always someone who ends up paying for the broken plates and suffering .

The main types of toxic relationships

That is why it is good to have in mind even if it is a scheme about the main toxic relationships and the way in which they can be identified.

1. The relationship in which power of decision is given

In some couples, one of the two people takes the ability to make important decisions and becomes, in some way, the boss or head of the relationship. Of course, this hierarchy of the couple has no real justification, since unlike what happens in teams focused on a specific goal (sell or produce a type of product), the couple is not focused on performing certain tasks with efficiency: its existence is justified by the affective bonds of its members.


Therefore, the reasons behind this takeover can not be justified in view of how useful this is to achieve certain goals and, in addition, It undermines the autonomy of one of the couple's components, which sees their decision power drastically reduced .

This may not be perceived as a problem at first, since it can be seen as a type of relationship in which the other person is the one who takes risks and makes things more difficult. But nevertheless, entering these dynamics will cause one of the parties to get used to command and the other to obey without questioning .

2. The relationship based on blackmail

Sometimes, the affections and love that were once the basis and justification of the relationship are replaced by a form of blackmail that extends the life of the relationship in a damaging and artificial way.


The case of emotional blackmail is clear: a person feels sorry for his partner and grants him privileged and favorable treatment , which in turn serves so that the other person learns to "be a victim" to collect their benefits. In this relationship the main victim is the one who gives in constantly, since in practice he is being controlled and manipulated by his partner.

This can make you see that it leaves the other a total capacity to make decisions about your own life, but indirectly does things so that the other feels bad when, for example, go out with friends or friends of the opposite sex and without their "supervision". In other words, the tool that the manipulating party uses to get benefit is its ability to induce the feeling of guilt in the other .

3. The other idealized

This type of toxic relationship appears when it begins to become evident that one or both members of the couple have not fallen in love with the person with whom they share affection, but with an idealized version of it. Although this fact may have already been intuited during the first months of the relationship, it is possible that little importance will be paid to it and that, in any case, this cognitive dissonance has been solved by overestimating the ability of the other to change in the future and conform to our expectations.

When it becomes evident that the other person will not change as we want, the grudge appears . However, the worst scenario that can occur from this type of toxic relationship is when the pressure that one of the two exerts on the other to try to change is transformed into a form of abuse.

4. The idealized relationship

Just as you can idealize a person, the same can also happen with relationships. If the degree of idealization is sufficiently intense, this will transform it into a type of toxic relationship .

The fundamental problem in this type of relationship is that the partners start with very different expectations about what their relationship will be like. It's basically about a communication problem during the first stages of the relationship .

For example, if there is a lot of distance between the two houses, one of them can assume that after a few months of saving the other person will go to live with her, or it can be assumed that at one point both will move in. to a city in which neither of them has lived, while the other prefers not to make this sacrifice because he is happy to see his partner only during weekends.

This is one of the types of toxic relationships whose effects are felt in the long term, when several sacrifices have been made by the couple that at one point can be seen as vain or useless, which it can produce a lot of anger and frustration .

5. The instrumental relationship based on the lie

This is a type of toxic relationship in which the couple is seen as a means to fill a void or existential crisis, to obtain the approval of others or to have access to certain resources, and in which the other person is deceived about the nature of the affective ties that have been created between both parties.

It can also be the case that the person is not fully aware of the real motivations that lead him to continue with the relationship .

6. Relations based on fear

Of course, relationships in which there is clear abuse based on aggressions (physical or verbal) and the fear that the couple will retaliate if they find out about certain things is not only a toxic relationship, but a serious threat whose resolution should be be managed through the judicial system.


6 Unhealthy Mother-Daughter Relationships (May 2021).


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