Toxic friendships could harm your marriage – expert

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, September 03, 2018

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HEALTHY friendships are valuable relationships with the potential to add value as they often come with a rich repository of meaningful advice that can help you to shape and build your relationship or marriage. They also have the added benefit of being a safe haven where you can vent without judgement, where support is a bonus, and encouragement is a constant. Unfortunately, not all friendships exhibit these healthy qualities; in fact, sometimes friends can be so toxic that they will only hurt your relationship or marriage.

Below, Relationship Counsellor Wayne Powell shares qualities of your toxic friendship that could cause harm to your marriage or relationship.

Your friend often guilt you into spending almost most of your time with them

Spending time away alone or by yourself is healthy. What is unhealthy is when your friend constantly encourages you to spend more time with them, causing you to neglect your partner and your family. This robs you of time for intimacy and this could also cause your partner to drift from you. Your friend will not be able to see this though because they are selfish and refuse to see how their actions could hurt your relationship.

They disrespect and disregard your partner

They show little or no respect for your partner and will often speak ill of him or her. Other times they will cross boundaries in your home, speak out of line to your partner, or completely disregard his/her presence in your home. Friends don't have to like your spouse, but they should try to be decent towards them at least and if they can't they should simply stay away.

The friend who always agrees with you

Some friends for one reason or another are “Yes men”, and what this means is that they always agree with you and your line of reasoning against your partner. If this friend is just not honest enough to call you out, even though he or she knows your actions could be damaging your relationship, they're toxic.

They tend to want to flirt with your partner

Some friends are so disrespectful that they will flirt with your partner even in your presence. Some are so provocative that they may even try to hustle your man from you. Don't think their cheeky comments are innocent and do not tolerate and turn a blind eye to them trying to play off touching your partner.

They tend to fabricate stories to implicate your partner

Your partner can never ever be right; it's as simple as that and they always hear something or know someone who knows your partner. They will always try to paint your partner as a villain all in the name of, “I am just looking out for you”. Another way of knowing these stories are made up is the fact that no one else knows about these incidences or wrongs that your friend is accusing your partner of committing.

They use their bad personal relationship issues to try and destabilise yours

Just because it didn't work out for them it won't work out for you either. They try to apply all their negative experiences to your relationship and try to tell you how to manage your relationship. When this happens constantly you are putting yourself at risk of also being constantly negative in order to validate your friend's feelings.

They are jealous of the good relationship you have

You and your partner are happy to have fun together and are growing and building as a couple. However, this friend never has a positive comment about your relationship. However, if there are challenges they are quick to encourage your anger and irrational way of handling matters.

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