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Partnerships are based on mutual attraction – inexplicable, magical, all at once. What everyone desires most deeply is an “attraction of inspiration” fed by benevolence, affection, eye-level and security.

But there is also that other kind of attraction that is unhealthy and destructive: the “attraction of deprivation and paucity”. It is characterized by manipulation, unmet needs, emotional insecurity. This kind of attraction is poisonous and destructive. A partnership based on this attraction is a toxic one.

In toxic relationships, there is an imbalance: Your partner wants something from you, needs you to make up for their own shortcomings. He / she uses you at your expense and manipulates you. Hard to believe, but such an attraction founded on deprivation, want and unfulfilled needs is extremely difficult to break. Sometimes it becomes the work of a lifetime. Such partnerships are often intertwined and entangled; it is usually impossible to simply leave. Because there are inexplicable inner fetters/chains that make it easier for you to stay than to walk away. This is a form of dependency –and it can be unwound.

Perhaps you recognize this toxic attraction in your partnership, maybe you are just in the process of breakup. Then ask yourself three questions:

  1. Do you want to separate for good and out of conviction?

If you’ve made that decision, you´re half way there already. Because it’s about your well-being, self-esteem and healthy self-love: you do not have to endure a toxic relationship, you also have a right to a dignifying partnership.

  1. Which patterns of your behavior are susceptible to manipulation and deprivation?

This question is the key to your situation and will help you with your choice of partner in the future. It is a vast and far-reaching question, it takes honest self-reflection and cannot always be mastered alone. Seek help if you get stuck here.

  1. How can you finally detach yourself emotionally?

The mere external act of walking out the door will not do the entire trick. The inner bonds of a toxic relationship persist for much longer and must gently be loosened and unwound. That takes a lot of strength, energy and courage. For your own sanity and well-being.

If you’re still in the midst of a toxic relationship and feel lost sometimes, then stick to one firm belief: the choice is yours. So choose.

Picture credits: Pixabay/6920918