3 toxic behaviours you think are normal, but aren'tMonday, October 26, 2020
NO matter what people may have told you, some of the things you are accepting in your relationship now, or have accepted in the past, aren't par for the course. “We've been led to believe for so long that some behaviours are 'what Jamaicans do', 'what all men do', and 'what you have to accept if you want a relationship', that when we're actually faced with 'normal', we recoil,” says counsellor David Anderson.
“So people spend their whole lives normalising toxic traits, and then they pass on those beliefs and norms to their children, and often it's when we're exposed to other people outside our circle that we see the light.”
What toxic behaviours and beliefs in your life and relationship have you been accepting as normal, but totally aren't?
You prioritise love above all else
Don't make the mistake many others do, thinking that love is all you need, love conquers all, and that love will sustain a relationship. This belief will have you putting up with all manner of ills in the name of love — all kinds of disrespect. In fact, love is often the first emotion to fade, and the fundamentals of a good relationship are actually qualities like respect, trust, and affection, which should be prioritised over love.
You model your relationship off your parents'
The last people who should be offering you relationship advice are your parents, unless of course they happen to be among the rare couples who have been together forever, and importantly, love, cherish and respect each other. But if you have a single parent, a parent who's been married and divorced multiple times, parents who are married but who have put each other through hell, or parents who have made obviously poor life choices, why would you model your relationship off any values they promote? This will only teach you to accept mediocrity. Many couples make this mistake, even when it's glaringly obvious that their moms and dads aren't the best examples to be following.
You worship your partner
We all read the Mills and Boons and the Harlequin romances, we all watched Lifetime and the Hallmark channel, and we all played dollyhouse and longed for that perfect partner who would make us swoon. And as soon as we net someone who meets all or some of the criteria, we begin idolising and cherishing them — that irrational kind of affection, bordering on obsession. Treating a partner as an object to treasure only means that we will never be able to imagine them doing wrong, and if they do, it's usually devastating, or we're willing to forgive the unforgiveable to maintain the façade of happily ever after.
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