Toxic Relationships

7 Oct


I have written a book relationships based upon the fantastic observation and teachings of Tsem Rinpoche in the book Conversations In Love. I may not be an expert but I do have some sort of experience being in a toxic relationship. It’s kinda funny talking about this as a man but what the heck, its the 21st Century after all. Why do we have to stick to gender stereotypes, right?

I am somewhat fascinated with this topic because I know of so many men and women, friends, family and acquaintances obviously, who are embroiled in what I would call a toxic relationship. Before we delve deeper into real life examples, let’s explore how a relationship can be toxic. I have observed a relationship becomes toxic when one party imposes his/her insecurities, general views or religious beliefs to the detriment of the other partner. Another definition is when a partner milks the other partner of affection, money, material benefits or even family connections without any thought of reciprocating one way or another. I know this sounds very textbook-like but give it some thought and you will realize how many people, friends and family alike are in such relationships.

When I was younger and more foolish, I had been in a relationship once where we had constant arguments. The arguments almost always begins when a remark is passed about a certain facial feature of my partner. This may sound silly but insecurity is an understatement here. At first, I tried to avoid talking about it. But one way or another, my partner would bring it up despite agreeing not to talk about it. I have tried various ways to deal with the issue but my partner obvious did not want to face it. In sheer frustration, I finally told my partner to consider surgery. Bad move. Well, I was young and foolish. Our arguments became more explosive after that even when I avoided the topic. In the end, we broke up and all the effort I put into pulling the relationship together just fell apart. I knew it was toxic because it was more of a relief not having to deal with my ex-partner than upset that the relationship was over.

I heard from a friend of a friend of hers who was totally into sex. A bona fide nymphomaniac but thinks its normal to go all out to pursue a partner and have hours upon hours of sex almost every day with a partner. The incredible libido and sex drive is one thing but everything else including good friends, a promising career and many other aspects that got in the way were sacrificed as well. When I was talking about it with my friend, we realized that our friend of topic here is deeply insecure about physical appearance, weight and so on and that insecurity seems to get bigger and worse. It gets worse because this person is unable to secure a long term relationship of any kind. Relationships had been short-lived and due to insecurity, this person is very demanding on the partner.

What this person doesn’t realize is that this person had been using sex as a means to overcome low self-esteem. Someone actually wants to get intimate with this person and this person wrongly perceives it to fulfil self-esteem and hence, wants it even more. However, when the sex gets bad, partners are talked about, degraded and everything goes downhill from there. This person is not handsome and it can only get worse as the person ages, partners will be harder and harder to come by. What’s worse, in sheer desperation, everything that gets in the way of maintaining a partner is cut off. After cutting everybody off, this person breaks up anyway with the partner. For the pleasure of the flesh, this person willingly sacrifices everything but gains nothing in return.

Dear people, I am not here to criticize anybody but I am offering real life examples. I don’t offer any answers to such relationships. Sometimes, the answer or solution lies in knowing exactly what kind of relationship that one is in. If these examples happen to be the same with what you are in or you know of a person who’s like that, please don’t get angry with me. These accounts are meant to help people come to terms with their relationship so they can make a change. A perfect guideline was mentioned by Rinpoche in his cardinal rules in the Conversations In Love. I have more examples but will share more on another occasion…

However, beyond swear words and angry expletives, I welcome any comments on this matter.


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