5 Ways to Tell if Your Marriage is Toxic, and What to Do

5 Ways to Tell if Your Marriage is Toxic, and What to Do

It’s fairly easy to identify toxic relationships when they involve overt, obvious forms of abuse, like physical and verbal abuse or infidelity. But what do you do if you know that something is wrong in your marriage, but just can’t put your finger on what it is?

Toxic relationships are not necessarily lost causes; in many cases, with appropriate therapy, bad behavior patterns can be corrected in order for a healthy marriage to thrive. It takes time and effort, but it is absolutely possible.

Today we’ll share five ways to tell whether your marriage is toxic, and what you can do about it.

  1. You’re walking on eggshells.

Your spouse might have a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality. From one day to the next, you never know who you’re going to be dealing with. Maybe his preferences change without warning, and you never know when he’s going to give you grief about something he seemed happy about the day before. Or perhaps she’s affectionate one minute, then raging and screaming at you the next.

If you deal with contrasting inconsistencies in your spouse’s temperament, you’re eventually going to be in “fight-or-flight” mode all the time. Having a spouse who displays these tendencies breeds fear and contempt (making the marriage even more toxic) and puts you in a permanently defensive state.

  1. You’re always on the defensive.

After you’ve been on eggshells for an extended period of time, your tolerance for your spouse’s inconsistency becomes low. You begin to expect to defend yourself during every interaction–conflict, in particular–once your trust in your spouse has eroded.

Defensiveness is detrimental to your marriage because you begin to find yourself acting in toxic ways yourself, in order to deflect whatever behaviors you’re expecting your spouse to display. If your spouse approaches you with an issue and you explode, you’re only making the situation worse.

It’s important to pinpoint why you’re on the defensive, and to try to avoid slipping into unhealthy behaviors yourself.728x90_2

  1. You feel drained after interaction.

Exchanges that should be simple, everyday conversations feel unnecessarily heavy–almost heated. Maybe you find that your spouse turns every benign subject into a debate or a full-on argument. Perhaps you can’t really put your finger on what’s happening.

All you know is that every time you walk away from an interaction with your spouse, you feel drained of energy. You might even feel sick, or like you’ve just completed a harrowing obstacle course.

You’re dealing with toxicity in your relationship if you experience exhausting interactions like these on a regular basis.

  1. You feel out of control.

Does your spouse somehow manage to keep an upper hand over most, if not all, areas of your life? It’s fairly easy to identify whether your spouse is controlling your communications, relationships outside your marriage, money, or other resources. But maybe your spouse isn’t openly lording over those things (if at all).

Instead, your spouse might be passive-aggressively controlling your time, energy, or attention.  You may find that he or she is manipulating you under the radar.

You may find it difficult (or impossible) to set healthy boundaries with your spouse. If your spouse continually finds underhanded ways to sidestep those boundaries, he or she is behaving in a controlling manner.

  1. You’re experiencing depression.

Depression robs you of your energy, your passion for life, and your interest in the things you used to enjoy. It drives wedges into your relationships with friends and family, particularly if they don’t know you’re in the midst of a crisis.

If you’re depressed, you may find that you neglect your self-care, other relationships that need your attention, your job, and even your relationship with God.

Being immersed in a toxic relationship will eventually cause you to become depressed if you don’t seek the help you need to get healthy. And untreated depression can easily become dangerous.

If you’re depressed and you are contemplating suicide or any other form of self-harm or harm to others, seek professional help immediately.

What To Do If Your Marriage is Toxic

If you’ve concluded that your marriage is in a toxic state, there are a few things you can do to get your relationship on the road to recovery.

First, seek professional help. This is not a job for a lay counselor like a pastor or marriage mentor; you need a licensed therapist to help you create strong boundaries in your marriage so that you can become the healthiest version of yourself.

Ideally, the two of you should seek help together, but if your spouse won’t attend therapy with you, go alone. In time, he or she may decide to join you.

Second, take responsibility for your own role in your situation. It could be that being in a toxic marriage has led you to display unhealthy behaviors yourself. Hold yourself accountable for the things in your marriage that you can control. Owning your issues doesn’t guarantee that your spouse will own theirs, but you will be better as an individual for making those changes.

Third, remember to draw close to God as you walk through this difficult, very painful situation. Stay in the Word and spend time in daily prayer for comfort and strength. Growing your relationship with God will have positive effects on you and on your marriage, and it will make an impression on your spouse as well.

If You’re In Danger

If you are in danger because of physical or verbal abuse, you need to get yourself out of the situation. We can’t stress this enough.

Communicate to your spouse that you will come back home when they have made the necessary changes–with the help of a licensed therapist–to the dangerous behaviors they’ve displayed.

It’s scary to set a boundary like this with a toxic or abusive spouse, but it is necessary in order to get to a healthier place. You will need your own support system in order to take this difficult, but sometimes necessary, step.

Sometimes a toxic, abusive spouse requires this sort of drastic wake-up call in order to turn their destructive behavior around. It’s our prayer that your marriage may become healthy in spite of this storm, and the two of you will create genuine, lifelong love.

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  • Yvonne says:

    I want nothing more than to co-exist in a healthy relationship. Having never experienced one, unbeknownst to me, I mirrored what I lived through as a child. My husband, self-admittedly, agrees that he is hyperbolic. He blows everything, and I mean everything, into something major. In his own mind he sees something like, my setting boundaries as a reason to file for divorce. He’s filed for divorce twice now because, get this…he doesn’t know why. We had huge problems blending our families with his grown daughter who resents me. He frequently chooses his former family over me in blatant ways and feels that I should accept his autocratic decisions. He moved out after the first filing and has refused to move with me because? Great question. I feel like I’m on a roller-coaster ride.

    • Larissa says:

      I’m sorry you are dealing with such difficulties. Blended families are so hard, but I hope you find reason and purpose now that you are together. Praying for you!

    • Nicole says:

      I’m sorry to hear about your marriage. I’m sitting in the bathroom crying because of how bad things have gotten. After 14 years I truly feel I can no longer be with my husband, we are too far gone. There’s too much pain.

      • Lynn Collie says:

        I am in the guest room that is now my room crying. Ive been with my husband over 20 years. Im really sick. Have been for 4 years now. Lots of physical pain
        I dont take narcotic pain pills. I also have PTSD & it feels like he wants me to get worse. Doctors & therapists tell him that its crucial for me to not have stress. He blames me for everything. Has physically hurt me. I dont know whst to do.

        • Gemmy says:

          Start by taking time for yourself, on your terms, to do things that nourish your soul. As you remember true priorities and engage in loving self care, you will feel better and begin the process of making better choices.

        • Tina Manousos says:

          Wow.. you sound like me.. I pray for all who deal with type of people. ❤️

    • Crystal C Simpson says:

      Omg welcome to my life. This is Narcissistic behavior. And you and me need out. These behaviors like the article says are contagious. I’ve found myself repeating some of my husband’s behavior.

      • Anrod says:

        I can relate. In my situation i feel i give too much of me and i get little to no effort.
        Its draining to be in a situation like this.

        • Jack says:

          Unlike all of you , I am a man having problems with my wife, just after we got married 7 years ago now, nothing is the same it used to be , from a happy energetic positive woman, my wife became all negative & everytime different situation to accuse.
          We moved different house, I kept myself away for her from my relatives friends ( she never had). I stopped playing games on my phone .
          It’s all about her. We have two lovely kids a 5 years old girl & 2 years old boy. Even with the kids specially our daughter she fights every day every 2 hours , she keeps telling me there is anger rage in her , for 7 years I don’t know what makes her happy, but I know anything can make her angry. & The funny thing is, in the end of the day she says she LOVEs me, & I have to live with that.

          • Dave says:

            Hello to all,
            I too am a man in a very toxic relationship. I will try to keep it short. I am in my second marriage now for 3 years of nothing but hurt and pain. When i got married i had no idea my wife had a drinking problem. The second month into are marriage she got so drunk she got mad at me cause i was talking to our adult kids. (She has 2 and i have 5.) But only one of mine was here that night. Any way she was so mad she started hitting me and then throw a few objects at me. And then picked up a knife and tried to stabb me. I got the knife away from her and left the house. I have never in my life been so scared and had no idea of what to do. The next day i told her what she had done and she told me to get over it and told me that if she wanted to stabb me she would have. From that day till today i been living in hell on earth. Or at least in my mind. I set boundaries. I told her if she ever gets drunk again i would leave. It got better for about 6 months but then she started saying hurtful and some of the nastiest thing i have ever heard come out of a woman. She got drunk and i left. I was gone for 5 days. I told her the only way i was coming back is if she went to rehab or councilling or some program. Well she started for two days a program. But said she didnt need it and she wasnt like all them people. Well praise God!! She has stopped drinking now for the last 7 months. But the hurtful nasty stuff and how she disrepects me, no emotions, no sorrys, for anything she says that is hurtfull. Nothing that shows love. She only thinks about herself.
            So here i am sick as a dog laying on the couch cause i have moved out of the bedroom, i am emotionally drain, phisically sick. My head feels like it wants to pop. I am so deppresed just because i have lost everthing the first marriage and now i am lossing everything again. I work a full time job but my x takes most of my paychecks. So i dont make enough money to get a place on my own. I have no where to go and cant just move out. Cause i dont want to live under a bridge. I am so lost! Any one out there who has been in my shoes is there any hope??? Thanks for reading.

          • Amanda Wallace says:

            I too am in a toxic marriage. My husband has split personalities. I never know what to expect from him. His olny way of expressing himself is by being angry. He has been unfaithful for years. He insults me. He manipulates me and disrespects me . He doesn’t apologizes and he shows no remose when i am suffering from his actions. Last year I went through clinical depression. And he didn’t support me at all. I had a baby and for the first few weeks of the birth of our daughter, he abandoned us. I didn’t have his support . We didn’t bond with the baby. To make matters worst he abondand me to be with a woman he’s having an affair with. He makes no effort to treat me better and lately I’ve been feeling drained. I feel so tired , sick and have no energy to do anything. I want to divorce my husband and I can’t do so now because I have no other sources of income. I feel like am drowning . Sigh!

          • Amanda says:

            Jack, I completely understand your situation. Only being married 3 months, I’ve known my spouse a lot longer. We were together 13 years before getting married. Hindsight I wish I never married him. Even deeper hindsight I wish I ended this nightmare years ago. Like you he was positive, kind, funny and overall a wonderful person. The first two years we were together were the best times of my life. That abruptly ended when one night he decided to drink again. Nothing has been the same since. He’s negative, bitter, self loathing, selfish and mean. He’s absolutely verbally abusive and emotionally abusive. Its draining mentally, spiritually and physically to be in a relationship where your always on edge. In front of people he acts like the perfect guy. Which is even more sickening, because it’s all a facade. I am trying to save money for a divorce and to move out on my own. Yes, it’s scary and a part of me is extremely resentful it has to come to this. I believe happiness is for everyone even people like us who have been through hell. Trying to help, love and understand an alcoholic.

          • Willy says:

            Hi Jack; I understand what you are going through. My wife is a black widow/praying mantis with a hidden agenda who plays mine game and mentally & financially destroys her mate. The home environment is unsafe with her family’s exotic animals and bit bulls: I tried to get out legally with full custody of my child but the legal system seem to be in favor of the women.

        • Helen says:

          I think all of us ladies Should realise that we all are Worth a lot more than all this Toxic behaviour or else we wouldn’t be on here full stop I know it’s easier said than done Believe me I know but I’m better than this we all are just put ur foot down and Get the hell out go meet some of ur old friendS find ur self again remember ur happy go Lucky self remember who u used to be
          think back to life before them you can be anything you want to be go anywere you won’t to if you put ur mind to it You can do anything ur an adult you can make ur own choices and whatever you choose to do in this world it’s up to you be free and happy Open your windows in the morning look up at the sky I’m just saying I am free

      • Candace Harris says:

        I can truly relate to all the above. I read up on narcissistic personality disorder and I was completely shocked.. This spirit describes him to the T. We lived together for 6 months and that’s when everything became out of control. It was verbal and physical. I thought church( God) could help us. Well God did for me but he seemed to get worse. So I lived in our home after he left for 5 1/2 years, he came over to visit or may spend a night or 2 but it never got better. Finally I lost the house 1 year ago and I went to live with him, guess what it was the worst thing I could have done. Omg, everything just completely 100% just died in me. It was absolutely nothing there. He treated me so very bad, he made me sleep on the floor, wouldn’t and didn’t like me to cook because it would run up the gas bill. I became sick, he wouldn’t take me to the hospital. Not even call to see if I was ok… Even when I seen him no conversation at all. But still he say he love God. I was lost for so long. I lost myself in Him and couldn’t find my way out. But to end this he put me out of his house and I had no place to go. I am homeless now. Me and my 2 girls that are not his. He called his brother and a cop from his job and the police to put me out. His 3 grown children witnessed this whole ordeal and I was I total shock. But thank God for showing up and keeping me safe. I still don’t know what that was all about. So I thought, it was a retaliation from a prior situation that happened 6 years ago. He held onto all that to do this to me now.

        • Natalie says:

          Candace, I pray you find some solace in this situation. I know what it’s like dealing with emotional abuse from somebody whose supposed to care. My family and i have been through all kinds of instability as a result. Just know that you don’t have to be a victim anymore. You life is yours and no one else’s. I pray that God heals your wounds and provide stability and support for you and your children. I pray that you are free from any emotional bonds that may keep you tied to this person. I hope you have peace and all your heart desires. I hope this for everyone who posted here.

      • Lynn Collie says:

        He flips everything to my fault & he has split personalities hot & cold

        • Lorie says:

          Im in a very similar situation but I learned this …Toxic people will have you bending over backwards and tied with a barbed wire ribbon to keep you there. What will keep you stuck is playing over and over in your head the vastness of their screwed up behaviour. It will keep you angry, sad and disempowered. If you have to make a decision that you’d rather not make, focus on the mess that’s it’s cleaning up, not the person who is making your life hell. Don’t focus on their negative behaviour – there’s just too much there to focus on and it will never make sense to you anyway. Give your energy to what makes you feel good. Dont let them make you feel miserable, you’re very valuable…ignore what doesn’t edify you…think about what brings peace…yes GOD plays an important part…His word gives wisdom! With all my love to you all… believe it, it is working for me 😘

        • Kim Taylor says:

          I have the same problem. There is no flipping, I just do something or say something wrong and I am scolded as a 6 year old would be.
          If I say I’m sorry, it is rarely, if ever, heard. Then I get crap for “never apologizing.
          If I feel sad for hurting his feelings, he does not believe me and thinks I put on an act! He says I’ve been a Bitch our whole 35 yrs married.
          This is a short version!

        • Todd says:

          This sounds just like my wife of 6 years. I can’t be offended by her because she will turn it around and make it my fault, even if it was hers in the beginning. I sometimes think that she is bi-polar and needs help.

    • Sylvia says:

      I juts came across this site after I googled how to get out of toxic relationship. I have been married for 5 years this July. My husband has called me ugly, short, financially unstable, lost without him, and things like “they don’t make women like they used to” comparing me to his amazing grandma. I haven’t been happy from day one. He’s hid money from me in the beginning of our marriage. I went days without food thinking we’re broke working two jobs. I still don’t have access to our savings account. Every time we need money for bills he transferrs it to our checking. Every Tom eve does one thing nice, he throws it in my face, or every time he does something I physically can’t do. I want to divorce him now since I know 5hings will not get better. At least now I know in my heart that I’ve tried. I constantly have chronic neck pains , headaches and I also got diagnosed with alopecia, permanent hair loss out of stress. I’m scared to be financially alone but I can’t live like this either. I’m 33 years old, no kids. I know my situation isn’t bad since kids aren’t involved but sometimes I wonder if things could’ve been diff if we did have kids. I’m constantly crying and praying he would change. His passive aggressive approach towards me hurts me a lot. He even said we shouldn’t get a professional video guy for our wedding since Imna look bad in it w my big Greek nose. I can’t talk to my family about any of this, my dad has epilepsy and my mom stresses out too quickly. My brother will try anything to get me out but I’m scared they’d create big fights out of it and make me regret opening my mouth. I’ve thought about ending my life then I’ve had friends stop me. He refuses to go to therapy since that’s for “pussies”. I hate the weekends and holidays cuz I know Imna end up getting stuck fighting w him over dumb issues. I need the cOurage to file for divorce and move on on my own. I don’t even care for another relationship. I just want to be out of this and for nice live in peace.

      • Amanda Wallace says:

        You deserve better and trust me things won’t get better. He doesn’t know how to love. I am trying to save up to divorce my husband as he is the only 1 working but keep the faith and do what you must. Be strong and sort out what you must. I pray us and other women will brave up and take care of us first.

    • Namrata says:

      Ya, toxic relationship is like that. Kids suffer, mine is the perfect example, but why, in India, breaking a marriage is not an easy idea

  • amber says:

    I have been in a toxic marriage for 35 years. He is mentally ill, so that is his excuse to treat me badly and act in unacceptable ways. It is so difficult to deal with him. He is mean and constantly telling me I messed up and don’t make good decisions, on and on. He is right. I made one huge bad decision, and that was to marry him. The second huge bad decision is trying to stay married to him. I always feel tense around him and I can never share anything about myself or what is on my heart because he will use it against me. He makes everything miserable, even things that should be enjoyable. I have chosen not to ride in the car with him anymore because he verbally and mentally assaults me in the car. He also expects me to tell him how to drive, when to stop, where to turn when we are just driving around in the neighborhood we have lived in for 30 years. If I don’t tell him to turn then he starts yelling at me that it is my fault. On my 50th birthday he took me to dinner and put me down so much during dinner that I was crying in the restaurant. He is truly a miserable person. I am a fun-loving, compassionate loving woman and I am not able to be myself with him. He won’t go to counseling because he says I am the one with the problem, so I have gone to counseling alone for most of our marriage to try to deal with living with him. Leaving is not an option. I am wondering now why I am wasting my life with this miserable man. I no longer have the energy to struggle with this anymore.

    • Gris says:

      My heart hurts for you. I hope that in the time that has passed you have had peace at home.

      Whom you described sounds like my husband. I can say, my husband has changed a lot, but their have been a lot of battles.

      Now, i don’t let him get away with talking down to me. At the moment he is disrespectful, I tell him- “you do not have permission to talk to me that way” I have that I have to teach him my boundaries, but I have started talking to him as if I am talking to a 6 year old. It has helped improve our communication. I have thought of not putting up with it and leaving, but, I need companionship. I can be alone and be ok, but i love being held and need the intamacy. So, the idea of starting over with a stranger that might be hiding his ugly traits is too scary.

      All we can do is humor them, and try our hardest to dwell in peace. We must not see ourselves as victims, but maybe as God’s workers. Makes the situation more bareable and pray we see God’s goodness in them!

      • K Washington says:

        I needed to hear your story….thank you!

        • carol says:

          I have been in a toxic marriage for almost 20 years. Every thing is my fault. If I talk and my tone doesn’t sound right he blows up.

          he has double standards. i dont even know what it feels like to be treated like a lady. i keep trying. i do have thr funds and means to leave and a home to go to.

        • Ash says:

          Same, great post.

      • Lynn Collie says:

        Thank you! Thank you!
        Its very scary at the thought of starting over
        My love for him is running low
        Who messes with a very ill wife with PTSD? HE IS THE HERO IN HIS EMPLOYEES EYES! He used to be mine. If he sets out to hurt me he doesnt love me.

      • HTX says:

        Wise words and I’m dealing with the same situation myself and pray often I can continue to endure. It takes a lot out of me at 48. I’m exhausted and stay in s fog of depression even though I find the daily strength to do what is needed for myself and others. The only thing that saves me is he goes away every other weekend. That is my time for self-care and meditation with God. Many blessings.

    • Betina J Dadami says:

      So sorry I know part of how you feel…My Husband is difficult too. He wraps himself up in himself n his own problems. He disregards how his problems effect me.
      I too wish I could be alone again. It was so nice I miss it now.
      Divorce is not good lost pension..money etc..This dork only has SS coming in so we’re broke a lot..
      Ahh we could look forward to widowhood…
      And try to avoid them as much as possible.

      • Lynn Collie says:

        Your funny! I needed to laugh. We arw all sisters & we need to stand up & no longer give them power over our emotions.

    • Irma says:

      This sounds like my husband but we’ve been together 12, he keeps telling me he will change but your story gives me strength! I don’t want to be this unhappy 35 years in, I can walk away ( for me and for you)

    • Lynn says:

      I’m so sorry for you anc I have almost the same problems-
      He’s been off and oh with me and we seoerated for 6 years and even then he was off and on and I would believe him and he then would change and say he didn’t want it anc then 2 yrs ago .. he lied in counseling to get me to move back in with him and it’s been downward spiral ever since!
      After two months he said he doesn’t love me or care that much about me but doesn’t want to end it.
      He got out of paying me alimony this time when I moved back in 2 years ago!
      To top it off I found some proof of the same girl I thought years ago he was with and why he changed and started blaming me only as why our marriage wasn’t working!
      But he acts like what I found isn’t real and that I’m crazy !
      He gets really mad if I bring it up and threatens me all the time that he can’t pay me.
      I’m trapped with I believe is someone who is seeing a bitch on the side and he’s gotten so mean to me and turns everything around!
      It’s emotional abuse!
      He won’t change and I’ve been upset everyday I the last two years.
      We were originally married for 29 years and I believe he got partially with her after he left our house!
      But he denies any proof I’ve found and he’s also taken lots of money out begins my back and starts fights when I try to talk to him about money.
      He is off and on by the hour and I have MS can’t wotk full time and we have a new grandson that we are both close to anc I know if I end it he will blame me to my daughter like he did before.
      He will not admit anything re his back and forth on me and all he does is blame me why it’s not working.. as he says!
      I’m totally stressed out again and he’s only nice sometimes but if I say the wrong thing then he’s done and it’s all my fault!
      It’s hell on Earth and yes it robs you from having a close relationship with God.
      I think this abuse started full blown after he moved out and got with her I’m sure!
      He has to know how he’s acting to me!!!
      But he doesn’t seem to care.

    • Hunhun says:

      I cry as I read what you are going thru, I’m going thru the same thing at times. I want to hug you and pray that everything will be ok. I’m also having a difficulty with my husband who is mentally ill. I felt like I’m a caregiver rather than a wife. I felt like my efforts are not appreciated

  • Toni Parks says:

    This was a good article until you brought religion into it with the assumption that everyone has the same religious beliefs. That’s where you lost me.

    • Jose says:

      Hi Toni, fully with you. I have read some articles about this issue and most of them talk about the same items, but religion? Religious referents are not professionals who can address these problems. And I am convinced they can most likely do the opposite, there are tons of examples in history. And religions don’t change much over time… Believers should use religion cautiously. Science has proven better results… 🙂

    • Ellen Manis says:

      Toni, for some people God is a very important part of their life. If that offends you, then you should walk away. I don’t believe in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny but if someone else does or wants to mention their name, fine with me -each to his own.

    • D. L. says:

      What, are you seriously shaming her for her beliefs? Grow up and relate to what you can…
      For my story, without God I would have left in dealing with emotional manipulation and constant negativity. She’s driven by a learned self protection from childhood sexual abuse. It doesn’t make it feel any better that’s for sure, but I pray for her freedom from past strongholds.
      D. L.

  • Erin says:

    I made the mistake of letting my husband know what sets off my anxiety, and now he uses every thing I’ve ever said…. let screaming, telling slamming things, throwing things, ignoring me for days…. He quit his job with no back up… I’ve been working 2 jobs whioke he makes excuses ( they were talking down to him) when he got fired. Another 3 weeks with no job. My mom got cancer so I had to leave the state to take care of her, which surprisingly he was supportive of. He finally got a job but now just talks about how tired he is, and how he’s doing this with no help!!!! I have no place where I can feel a deep breath…. I’m in constant anxiety. My mom is sick…. I’m away from my home, he’s FINALLY back to work, but for how long? I have NO IDEA what to do…. He has been a good husband up until a few months ago when a switch flipped.

  • Patricia cardenas says:

    I read this and ask myself, why we allow this people in our lives? My case may not be as difficult as some cases I read here but my husband definitely drains my energy and makes my life unhappy. Why I am still with him? I could leave him, I am economically independent, even if I weren’t, my happiness and mental health is more important than a few dollars a mouth or a roof on muy head, that can by solved in other creative ways.
    On the other hand, I know I love him, but that is still not enough in order to choose a miserable life net to him.
    I would leave him if it weren’t for this, As much as I love myself I love my children, even he is unbearable sometimes, he is agood dad. The worst time I had in my life was when my parents divorced, I took me about 10 years to recover, with deep depression to the point of suicide thoughts, Recovery was hard, Maybe harder than what I am going thru right now, do, I don’t want to risk my children. Any toughs?

    • HTX says:

      My thoughts are that I understand your situation completely. I am staying for the same reason. I’m a strong woman and the games, silent-treatment and money-pinching while he spends freely on himself don’t effect me as badly because I know who I am and I am grounded and focused on my faith and my children. I find great solace in my children, animals and helping others. He is not the center of my Universe and I have become stronger through his emotional abuse. It does effect me negatively but it no longer devastates me like it did in the beginning. He already broke my heart and I picked up the chards and rebuilt and reinvented my worth and purpose into something that can not be penetrated by his hate and selfishness. In fact, I feel sorry for him. I hope you can find that peace and know that you are a daughter of God and designed and created for great things. Much love.

  • judy says:

    Whatever happened to heal relationships and seeing things through to the end, isn’t that what we vow to do when we take “vows’?

    • Brittany says:

      I agree with this! I’ve been married for 4 measly little long years with a spouse addicted to porn won’t go to counseling and is manipulative and emotionally abusive but I know it’s til death do us part. I am constantly put down, or rather ignored consistently because his addiction and childhood life has fried his mind literally, I don’t know what happiness even feels like anymore. He says he don’t know how to love me because he doesn’t even love himself. It’s not MY fault, but I am still the underdog. I don’t know what it will take for him to get his life straight. I’m not happy at all, but leaving him doesn’t seem like an option, biblically. What I would give to have a happy marriage and to have a fulfilling love life. Some days it seems as if I’d be better off if God would call me
      Home and let him live in without me. He wouldn’t miss me anyhow. And I certainly would be in a better place. Although, I want to give it all I got. The life of a miserable marriage. It takes two in a marriage to reach its full potential.

      • HTX says:

        You were not created to serve a man in the sense that you lose God’s purpose for you. Remember that. Commitment is 1 thing and there is no sin in continuing to develop yourself and all the gifts you were given to fulfill a greater purpose. Marriage is only 1 relationship in our life. Friends, family and community need to continue to matter and if he wants to sit and watch porn and blame his demons on you, you do not have to allow it to take seed into your heart. When you were created, it wasn’t to serve your husband to the pint of your own destruction- that is idolatry. Continue serving God and showing His face to others through you by loving yourself as He commands and continuing developing your gifts, joy, friendships, et cetera. If your husband leaves you for this, you are free. Prayers for you.

        • Natalie says:

          HTX, I love your wisdom on this. I am finally reaching this point myself in my marriage. I went from walking on eggshells to appease my husband (which never worked), to declaring to him that I won’t anymore. I let him know that I won’t tolerate him calling me stupid or accusing me of things I didn’t do. I withdraw myself away from him until he can get himself together and treat me right. We have kids and I won’t have him getting away with bullying me in front of my daughters. I am teaching them to know their worth and stand up for themselves. We have been married 20 years. All of the behaviors you ladies are describing, I am familiar with. I have been depressed and truly wondered why I was even on earth. When I was young I cried so much. I couldn’t understand how a person can say they love you then treat you like a nobody. In front of everybody. I could have left. I often regretted not leaving. But I suffered from my parent’s divorce and didn’t want to put my kids through the same. I told myself I was doing the right thing by staying. But the pain stacked up. God has been my only peace in all this. I thank Him for saving my soul from despair and keeping me on this earth. My husband has steadily improved over the years, however he still tries to bully me at times. He can’t hurt me like he used to. He is no longer the center of my universe, though i do love him.

        • Kelley says:

          I totally agree. Marraige is a temporary earthly plan of God. If it deteriorates you from Him, it is not a good thing. Save yourself and move forward in God. You will not be holding hands for judgement day. You will answer to God alone. God cares more about your relationship with HIMSELF. Than you trying to please and accomodate a mere individual who doesn’t even want God …especially one giving you unnecessary hell.

    • Lynn Collie says:

      I believe in the vows we took. The in sickness & health came earlier then I ever would have thought. I.am in intense therapy. My personally is changing. I am responsible for my reactions & emotions. I am trying but its hard to breathe from it all

  • Liz says:

    Yea but what happens when the same person you try to keep your vows has broken them and also abuses you. Where do you draw the line?

    • Lynn Collie says:

      I yhink if anuse & cheating that gets worse & their ego is too big for therapy you are then taking care of you. He isnt. Oh ladies Im sorry your suffering. What do we do?

    • HTX says:

      If He has broken them by cheating, you are free from the marriage bond according to The written word.

  • Kate says:

    I think my husband is toxic, but idk what to do. He pitches fits and becomes unbearable until he gets his way like a child. Sometimes he flat out refuses helping with the children. An example: the baby threw up in the bed and covered me and herself in vomit at 1 am, I ask him for help and he says no. Really? Yet if something goes wrong or happens to him I must jump to immediately and help or he will start yelling and berating me. Our newborn was in the hospital for 4 days with a fever and he didn’t make the time to come see her except to drop off clothes for us.
    He tries to order me around and uses me not working at the moment because we have a newborn and a toddler whom he doesn’t want in daycare. Yet I could have a job making just as much as him already, ones I have litterally turned down because he didn’t want me to take them. But I would still do all of most of the heavy lifting with the kids. He was terrible with our first, wouldn’t do a thing with him unless I asked. Made me work when I was pregnant and horribly sick with our second. Said I was inconveniencing him when I needed to go to the hospital for dehydration while pregnant.
    He blames everything on me, even small stuff. Toddler won’t eat anything but cookies? My fault and I’m a bad mom. I say anything negative to him and he goes ballistic. So I don’t say anything so I don’t have to deal with him screaming at me.
    I don’t know what to do, but I’m sick of being treated like crap. Even my family sees it, but I don’t want to be overreacting and end our relationship because of stress that will eventually get better?

    • Alisha says:

      Your husband sounds about on par with mine. After over 3 years together we were going through yet another split when I discovered I was pregnant with our first child together (we have a few from former relationships). He instantly turned into the poster child for abortion but I refused so we are back together and they way you described your husband sounds like exactly the father I expect him to be and the man he already has proven to be. Thanks for sharing you experience it makes me feel less alone.

    • Chris says:

      What you should do is leave him. No questions asked. Sorry to say it but you need to leave. He has zero respect for you and his own child. There is no compromise here. Good luck

      • Curtis says:

        I’m even more saddened to hear that so many people are living lives with someone that brings them so much pain. I also have stayed in a marriage that has turned into a life of dreadfully painful interactions with my once admired wife of almost 40 years.
        Finding that time waits for no one, it’s difficult to see how things are worse than ever but still feeling like theirs hope. Then I realize that I am out of answers as to what could possibly make it better.
        It’s time to close this chapter and start another.
        Too old for this much toxin, it will kill us both!

    • HTX says:

      Stay in prayer about this and ask God to speak to your heart and give you courage and strength. Also, stay in close contact with the people who love you. You may need them in a big way. Also, do not make quick decisions- think everything through and make a plan B in case things get worse that way you are not leaving in a tear. I don’t tell a friend to leave unless they are being physically beat. Child-bearing years are the hardest times on a marriage. Be patient and keep your family and close friends knowledgeable about any abuse. Ask for advice from women you trust that have successful marriages and will not betray your confidence. Many blessings for your future Joy.

  • Anonymous says:

    My wife had an hysterectomy and her behavior has totally taken a toll on our relationship. She is pretty much all the traits described about being in a toxic relationship. I really feel sorry that she is like that but then again, her behavior is really taking a toll on my breaking me down every day. I’m really exhausted and not sure what to do. I did visit a therapist myself, but of no use as it hasn’t helped. I don’t want sympathy but rather things I can do to fix this.

    • Anonymous says:

      How is her behavior? Has she tried to change? Have you tried counseling?

    • HTX says:

      Has she seen a Medical Dr about maybe leveling out her hormones? Mood swings are common during the change of life but it’s okay to set boundaries with someone no matter how sick they are. You can convey it with love but nevertheless, it should be communicated if you feel safe to do so. Enckurshr her to seek medical advice. They might be able to fix it with medications or other options.

  • Chika says:

    I don’t know where to start with mine. First I thought I was the only that had a problem but no. Check this out. First it was I make bad judgements, I don’t know how to handle things, I don’t do things properly, I don’t pay attention. Now the new one is I am inconsistent in my cooking it’s either I have too little oats than the last time or the stew is too thick. And his coping mechanisms when he’s upset is to send me to sleep in the guest room or our sons room. Please I have been asking God for wisdom to help me understand what’s going on.
    Looking at my pasts relationships I never had so much issues like this. I am not perfect but come on can I be so bad?

    • HTX says:

      Ohhhh my! My husband is the same about the oatmeal, food, he just enjoys tearing me down. He’s pathetic. I pray for him cos he’s the problem not ME. Haha!

  • Symbiss says:

    the feeling I have now is, I prefer working and staying at the office than staying at home.
    Office is the place where I feel safe and nd being valued and have the freedom to make a decision of whom I want to talk to and whom I want to lunch with. At home, has turned into a place where I don’t know when I will be asked to do chores, be criticized at and to be called names and be reminded of my past ‘sins’.
    My husband always say is my fault, is my problem and is always me who started the verbal fight…
    He also says things like I’m a kind person and never like to be in a verbal fight. Whatever it is, is because of me and things like
    I own this house, you don’t have the right to talk, I make the decision and I list out the house rules and you follow.

    Being a Christian is hard enough and even harder when your husband is also a Christian.
    Everyone watching you, testimony; drawing people to God and strive to live a purposeful life is all too difficult for me now.

    God didn’t tie a knot between us, we asked God for the blessing when we made the decision and the vows.
    What if God did warn us before we got married that we aren’t meant to be together?
    In God’s eyes, being a joyous Christian is more important than being stuck in a toxic marriage!?

    • Colleen says:

      Everyone on this-please read “Boundaries in Marriage” and “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” unfortunately your husband is an abuser, not a Christian living a Christ like life. He controls, shames, blames and demands. It took me so long to get to a divorce mediator and I feel like a new person, and I know Jesus is walking next to me. He doesn’t want his children in abusive marriages. “You’re not allowed to talk” is severe verbal abuse…
      Praying for you

    • Anonymous says:

      Think the church has made an idol out of marriage. I am separated from a 35 year marriage to a Covert Narcissist who is. Christian! These two ideas are not consistent and make for craziness, cognitive dissonance, confusion and eventually the damage to the soul of the spouse. These CNs appear so humble, righteousness and harmless to the world, but in private at home the mask comes off. I lived in a dungeon of gloom so many years. TV watching became addictive to escape. Now personality and true self are finally starting to reappear. Praise be to God He does not want fraud in marriage, but the church says stay no matter the cost!

  • Samurai says:

    My wife is toxic 🙁
    I come from a very spiritually inclined family (also religious, but genuinely spiritual). A couple of years before marriage, my dad was diagnosed with Dementia. Being a primary care-giver, my dad’s health and my wife’s toxicity affected me but I found strength in spirituality. Dad passed away 7 years into my marriage and I thought I would have to deal with only one problem – my wife. But turned out that the almighty had more challenges for me. My elder son was diagnosed with Autism the same year my dad passed away. That’s when I realized that toxic people are not only mean to their spouse. They are also mean to other people (in this case my ailing dad and mom) and even their own children (in this case my autistic son). I have the strength to handle my wife shouting at me, but my spirituality does not give me the strength to handle her abusing my son.
    To help my son, I single-handedly consulted a psychologist and took him to interventions. Fortunately, he is improving and even doing well in school. But my wife’s temper is threatening to undo all this.
    To be frank, I have lost my composure and shouted at her when she abuses my son. This is after I have exhausted options like diffusing the situation or walking away with him. The problem is the frequency of her meltdowns and my sons reactions is increasing.
    She just does not accept that she shouts, or that our son is getting affected. There is no hope of her ever changing.

    • Nicole says:

      This is terrible:(( I’m very sorry for you and your son. I hate that we are going through such horrible situations. Stand your ground for your son, you are his number one defender… and be strong. Know that there are other people out in the world who ave read your situation and are going through pain too- you are not alone.

    • Alisha says:

      That is unacceptable how she treats you and your families. You probably have the upper hand of not being financially dependent on her with no other place to go like so many of us in toxic marriages. I think it would be best for you and your son if you kicked the dead weight to the curb. I bet you will find someone much kinder in the future. If you don’t need her financially and she is that horrible than she has no leverage over you get rid of that nightmare.

  • Muku says:

    I believe I am in a toxic marriage. I never know what will set my husband off. Something which you can joke about today will be the reason for him to go off another time. He makes all the decisions in the house with no discussion. If I try to find out some details about a decision he has made or I try to advise in a situation where something has happened or just to calm him down when he’s angry, leads him to shout at me insult me and sometimes beat me. At the moment am at my mum’s because we got into an argument because I tried to calm him down over an issue with our landlord. He shouted, insulted me and beat me up and then chased me out of the house. I have been with him 18 years and I am finding it hard to accept this situation. I want to go back to my home as that is my comfort zone. I don’t know what to do.

  • Felipe says:

    I thought I found love at first sight, because of it, I left my country, my family, my home and even my religion. Moved to a whole new country to be with the woman I love. After we got married the first year was very hard, but I told myself that, it will be hard because it’s 2 different people trying to become one. So I accepted my challenge and stayed. We are almost at 3 years and I feel the depression coming in, and with no family, no friends and no where to go I don’t know what to do. I can’t make new friends because she doesn’t allow it. I can’t keep in contact with old friends because she screens my calls and messages and then questions me about what I say to people, then makes me feel like crap about it. I can’t talk to a therapist because they don’t speak English, the ones that do are above my pay range. I feel like I’m falling into a deep hole and can’t get out.
    I’m only at the beginning of my marriage and could still get out because we don’t have any children, but I’m not a quitter. I never thought I’d become weak through a toxic, verbal abusive woman, But I have and I just don’t know what to do. I work hard, support my wife and I, I’ve never laid a hand on my wife or ever mischief.
    I think I’m funny, fit and fun. I thought I was a catch. But according to my wife, I’m nothing. Since I have no one to talk to, I turned to google and found this page. It helps to hear I’m not alone in dealing with a toxic partner, and even though I’m not talking directly to another human being, it’s really nice to be able to write to you all about it. Its nice not to feel so alone.

    • Andreea says:

      You love the person but are allowed to hate the behaviour. Leave and give her a chance to show you she will truly show up for you, and truly will change. Then you can reconsider. But no one deserves that kind of pain and control in their life, and you are as worthy of love and respect as other people. Leave with love for her and for you. Calmly explain why. This will help her become a better person as well, if that is in her journey. And if not, and she does not change, then why would you want to stay? Love yourself more.

  • Rachel C says:

    I have realized I also am in a toxic marriage. The crazy part is that as friends, even business partners, we are IDEAL! But throw in the dynamics of a marriage (blended family, religious beliefs, finances, and just day to day responsibilities) it is chaos! I am still in love with my husband. I know he is still in love with me. But what do we do knowing that our marriage is causing more harm than good, in so many ways, especially towards the kids and our own personal identities? I am at a loss. We have discussed the idea of being separated and living under the same roof as best friends, but I can’t leave the romantic part behind me. I do not know what to do. I am lost. So so lost. We are in front of each others faces everyday, but yet I feel like he is gone. The biggest part of my heart is gone. LOL! This morning on my way out the door, he said “I love you so much Rachel!” It broke me down! I want to be his wife and for him to be my husband, but again, we’ve come to the realization that it just is not working in our favor. So, I guess changing our titles (Business Partners?) and sleeping in separate beds should be the band aid we need to fix this?! If only it were so easy 🙁

    • Chris says:

      I feel the same as you. The love is there but we are toxic. There are good times and bad but bad is being more of a day to day reality for us.

  • Donna says:

    I know the church isn’t ready to hear this, but I decide that I had to become the peacemaker in my life for my sake and the sake of my children. Living with a miserable fraud, who was more antiChrist to me than anyone, I decided to file for divorce at age 46 after 26 years of marriage. I got out alive. I am appalled that we insist Christian’s stay in horrifically toxic marriages. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in marriage and tried to make it work for many years with little encouragement. The charming, love-bombing guy I dated and was engaged to pretty much disappeared and I was working myself to death within his chaos. Failed marriage does not equal failed salvation. Please get out if you can if you are dealing with a person pretending to be a Christian, who displays none of the fruits of the spirit.

  • Nosipho says:

    I have a problem too. I am about to get married in 3 months from now with my long distance relationship. I don’t know how to start but I am drained. We have been dating for 3 years and he is working with his ex which had lead me to certain degree of insecurity. I have prayed for him more than I can remember. I have also been praying for myself. We argue alot. At first I thought we are just opposites. He is practical and I am a dreamer. He is quiet and I talk. He has this venom when he talks after a long period of communication. At the same time he would complain and say I don’t listen to him. He won’t repeat himself. He says I’m troublesome. The sad part is nobody else has seen me that way but him. He likes being alone in his bed. He is currently living with his mom, brother and his brother’s daughter. He hardly stays with them in the lounge and prefers to stay in his room. I have tried to reach out to him in so many ways. I even feel like I am wasting my time. I live with my 8 year old daughter and now she feels like I neglect her as I am always on my phone. Sometimes after the drain we sleep in an unclean room. I become so disappointed and the next day improve. I have to pray and feel better. I then start counseling people undergoing pain because now I understand it. Last night I asked him if he is depressed and he said maybe. I asked if he was happy and he said that it doesn’t matter now he is used to it. I asked if we can talk about it he was silent. I asked if he can at least talk to someone he said he will think about it. I just had to say goodbye and hung up the phone before I saw myself getting angry at him. I tried calling again hours later and he said we will talk in the morning. This behavior is more likely like a story of our relationship. I am tired now and not sure if I can forget it all or try once again. I don’t know..

  • JK says:

    Great Article, it helped me introspect, I have realized in my marriage I am always on the defensive side. My husband keeps me blaming for everything all the time, for even things out of my control, so he blames me for food, for keeping house the way it is, even for what I am , while I am always just defending myself for one thing or another. Its past 10 years now and I feel that if my husband fails to see a single good attribute in me and my actions then possibly the fault is not in me and I need to stop trying coz its killing me. And its not like he forgives my faults , he punishes me by giving me choicest of expletives, shouts at me and even manhandles me by slapping and pushing me around. Coz of all this I have lost all my confidence in me, in fact I have even lost my belief in me. My life seems so painful to me I feel even lifetime imprisonment would be better compared to this. My vacations, outings, parties all are spoiled forever and we don’t have any friends. My husband keeps shifting location as well coz of which I tend to lose out whatever few friends I have made , I am not able to pursue a job as well coz of the same reason. Recently I started my own small home-based business but that too is continuously under his line of attack now. Sometimes I feel like I should strangle him but that would be a quick release for him and not a fitting punishment for the torture that he has made my life out to be. And he would not give me divorce, he wants to fight for the custody of kids, and I just cannot leave the kids with him.

  • Diana says:

    Having issues in your marriage/relationship? I have been rejected by my husband of 4years,it hurts so much been neglect all the time, I confronted my husband and he say it’s not working and needs a divorce.. I felt depressed and needed solution cause I love him so much. I went online for solution or counselings, when I stumbled on a testimonial page. People with similar problem as mine. I was lucky a lady left an email for me to contact, I took a bold step cause I was so depressed and feel like dying.. I contacted this great man, prophet Osaze, who prayed for me and assured me of my husband return to my arms with 48hrs of his prayer, behold after that prayer night, my husband came home pleading for my forgiveness, it’s our 2year today together after the prayer and my husband has never changed towards loving me.. contact prophet Osaze today via : (spirituallove at hotmail . com) DECODE EMAIL

  • Michelle720 says:

    I’m reading all of these post of being in a toxic marriage for 20+ years for some of you. I have been married for 7 months and I know I’m in a toxic marriage. I think it would be wise for me to get out now while I can. I dont see a future here and theres no trust. Even though for the moment I’m staying I think it’s in my best interest to leave since I found out that the only person who is looking out for me is me.

  • ANN says:

    I hope all The posters here have found peace and found a way out. I’ve found just trying to believe in God is helping me. I’m typing this from a hotel room after my husband of 22 years had a screaming meltdown at me (yet again) on Mother’s Day weekend and somehow I found the strength to take my child and leave. I have no money to go permanently – at least not yet. The worst part is the roller coaster and the verbal and emotional Abuse. He’s had like 4 nervous breakdowns or mid-life crisises the past 4 years and he’s caused upheaval, instability and financial ruin and he is “tortured” by how his life turned out. It’s him whining 24/7 I made the dumb decision to depend on him and always be the cheerleader. He’s left every problem in our lives dumped them on me. He just goes to work ignores me and blows up. He’s emotionally abandoned me and I feel so alone. Of course there are times when he’s decent and loving but it’s few and far between. We fell so far financially that we are sharing a house with his parents. There are days I feel like I’m living a nightmare. What happened to my rock? What bothers me is how he has this like anger. Where’s it coming from? What did I do? He’s not insane and has never been physical but my is that what I’m hanging my hat on? I finally left and told his mom who was super nice to me and told my sister. I pray for him and I know it will be hard but I literally can’t live like this. The best is he will have long winded arguments about how wrong I am and blame me for everything and I find myself drawn in. Then I do to him what he does to me and argue but I’m not doing it anymore. It’s awful. I’m a happy person and laid back and a loving person. I deserve better. I just feel so scared. I wish I had money and maybe God will help me find a way. I pray for every woman here. 🙏🏻

  • BV says:

    I also have problems with my husband. He has always denied love and says that marriage is a relation not based on love but on needs. He blames me for everything that happens from baby crying to traffic on road. I initially used to think I’ll be able to change him with my love and devotion but that never happened. In fact its getting worse day by day. His tantrums are increasing, his complains are increasing and my tolerance is decreasing. There are times when I don’t talk to him for months after a fight, thinking that he will come and talk to me or hug me but it never happens. Then I get fed up of staying quite for months and start talking but the the cycle repeats. Lets see how much more I am able to tolerate.

  • Sad Husband says:

    Is it strange that there are not male comments on this post? Don’t men have problems with toxic marriages – other than cause them? I feel that my marriage is toxic, I’m always on the defensive, walking on eggshells, recipient of verbal abuse all the things mentioned in these comments, except I’m the husband.

    My wife isn’t happy with her life or life choices and blames me for them all.

    Reading everything here makes me wonder maybe it is all my fault and I’m less of a man for letting these things get to me, or googling if I’m in a toxic marriage 🙁

    • Willy says:

      Hello Sad Husband; NO! unless you are not telling us the truth about your toxic marriage, it is not your fault. When we go into what we hope to be a long term healthy relationship we do not know the unspoken agenda of our mate; nor do we know theirs or our own mine set. Overtime, we all change. I don’t want to go into human behavior, so I will cut it short here. Unfortunately the US judiciary system is not design to help both sex in a marriage crisis equally . There is more help for the female victims than there is for the male victims. There are more revers domestic valence cases then you can imagine. But the legal system seem to be in favor of the women. And men try to stick out until it is too late. There is help, without you selling your soul. .

  • Hidden says:

    Sad Husband, reading all these comments, most do seem to be about husbands, but maybe most men don’t want to share about their toxic wives. You are brave. I think the thing they have in common are exactly what you pointed out. “not happy with their life or life choices and blaming on someone else for their own unhappiness.”

    First of all, to everyone in this situation, it’s not your fault!. The fault is the person who is unhappy and taking it out on their spouse. Do not join in and blame yourself. I’m obviously in the same boat as you and googling what to do if I’m in a toxic marriage.

    Reading everyone’s comments, I see a lot of similarities. The oatmeal comments made me nod, like yes, so true, if food tastes slightly different, I get blamed, even if it’s his own taste buds that might have changed [Studies show humans do not get the same feeling of “delicious” the second or third time they have a particular dish]. I get blamed for everything, but in reality they are the manifestation of unhappiness on the part of the toxic person.

    To illustrate this point. Here is what happened to me that caused me to come here.
    Yesterday, I took out a piece of meat to defrost early so that I could cook it for my husband. He was waiting to see if he got called into work or not, so I decided to accelerate the defrosting so he could eat before leaving. He didn’t get called in and decided he could eat leftovers, so he berated me for defrosting the meat and “wasting it.” Usually, he does not like to eat leftovers if he has to work, so I was being prepared to cook him a real good meal. I stuck the meat back in the coldest part of the refrigerator to slow its defrosting, and he screamed that I was ruining it, but when I offered to cook it, he screamed again that it wasn’t needed.

    He then claims that I forgot that I told him I was not going to cook this particular piece of meat. But I said if I forgot, how can he blame me? I honestly don’t think I said this at all, but lately, he blames me for stuff he doesn’t remember [like things he misplaced, or remembered wrong]. After I said I’m sorry I forgot, he then screamed at me for being a “martyr,” and playing the victim. He said he won’t speak to me because I always make it seem like he’s the bad guy (I wish I had a video). I said, how can you be upset if I forgot something? I actually don’t think I said this or that he accepted it, because he always wants to eat something good before work. But of course, it’s my fault if I either forgot, or he claims I said something I didn’t say and HE’S ALWAYS RIGHT and HE NEVER FORGETS [yeah, right, many items were misplaced by him in locations only he would have put there after I always have to rush around, looking for it to prove that I didn’t have anything to do with losing it.]

    Today, I cooked the piece of meat and he was then worried there wouldn’t be enough leftover for him to take to work tomorrow. I said, well, that was why I was going to cook it yesterday, so I can cook another meal today for tomorrow. He said not to do that because he didn’t want to waste food so he ordered me to not eat too much and he saved his portion. Then ordered me to clean the cooktop since I greased it up by cooking. I said, I would do it, but then we watched a movie. The movie wasn’t finished when he went to the kitchen and started screaming that I didn’t clean the cooktop. I said, I already said I would, but the day isn’t finished, upon which he blew his top and screamed that I was arguing with him. So he shut off the movie that we were enjoying and I rushed over to clean the cooktop. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t going to do it. He then makes threats about how he can’t stand to be with me because I’m always arguing and trying to slime out of things. I took a walk and prayed to God and spoke to God the entire way. I decided I was being persecuted by Satan because I’ve been doing spiritual things [my husband is not saved], so I put it all in God’s hands. I returned home and sat in my chair reading, and he stomps into the room and says he’s sleeping in the guest room, so I ignore it. I’m a daughter of God. Jesus died for my sins. My walk with God is ultimately more important than kissing up to an unhappy man. But at the same time, I feel sorry for him because he has no walk with God and he is probably miserable, but won’t admit it.

    The worst part of this is as he gets older and more forgetful, I’m getting blamed for imaginary things and have no way of proving that I didn’t do or can fix the situation. If I’m blamed for something I never said, or blamed for losing something I never touched, or blamed for forgetting something from his imagination, there is nothing I can do but take the blame [in which case, I get blamed for being a victim and saying sorry].

    In other words, with a toxic lost soul who is unhappy and demented, I can never win. Yet, I quote to myself that I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me, and if God be for me, who can be against me? I think quoting Bible verses and praying will get me through, and in the meantime, I just ignore because there is nothing you can say or do to defend yourself against a toxic spouse. The Lord is our rock, strength, buckler, horn of salvation, fortress, shield.

    2 Cor 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

  • Rita says:

    Having issues in your marriage/relationship? I have been rejected by my husband of 4years,it hurts so much been nelegect all the time, I confronted my husband and he say it’s not working and needs a divorce.. I felt depressed and needed solution cause I love him so much. I went online for solution or counseling, when I stumbled on a testimonial page. People with similar problem as mine. I was lucky a lady left an email for me to contact, I took a bold step cause I was so depressed and feel like dying.. I contacted this great man, prophet Osaze, who prayed for me and assured me of my husband return to my arms with 48hrs of his prayer, behold after that prayer night, my husband came home pleading for my forgiveness, it’s our 2year today together after the prayer and my husband has never changed towards loving me.. contact prophet Osaze today via : (spirituallove @ hotmail . com)

  • Edward says:

    I’ve been married for 9 years and have been with my wife for 12 years. We are definitely at the end of our marriage. It’s been absolute hell for about 10-11 years. My wife has currently gotten sober from alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes and whatever else she was taking when she was drinking. I have 5 step children. All of whom have been put through the CPS system and I have helped her get her children back. She had a place to sleep as well as her 5 children. This woman is American Indian gets almost no money from her tribe. Never had a job except stealing her moms money. She had cheated on me. Made me feel like the lowest form of shit on the planet. Nothing I do is ever good enough for her. Life sucks right now to say the least.

  • Todd says:

    This article is spot on in my relationship with my wife of 6 years and are a blended family with her two kids (18 & 16) still in the house. I feel like it is 3 against 1 when she lets go on me. She has a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality, which I think that she may be bi-polar, but has gotten outraged at me for even thinking it. From one day to the next, I never know who I am going to be dealing with. My wife’s preferences change without warning, and I never know when she’s going to give me grief about something she seemed happy about the day before. She can be affectionate one minute, then raging and screaming at me the next. This has put me in the “fight-or-flight” mode all the time. I fear of speaking to her because I feel that there will be reprisal from her, whether she is at blame or not. She is a loose cannon and keeps threatening me of divorce or ruining my career of 27 years. I would love to get out of this relationship, but she has threatened to take everything that I have worked so hard for if we divorce and she is very convincing to those who don’t live with her on a daily basis.

    She is nothing like the lady I fell in love with 6 years ago.

  • Peggy says:

    Please is it ok when marriage and love becomes an option.

  • Gwendolyn says:

    Well guys, I read some of your post. Today I for the first time in years I think I found my sanity. I have come to realize that my mother is at the root of my great depression. My husband is a manipulative, lying, toxic piece of crap too. Things came to a head for me a couple of days ago, when my mother played one of her many manipulative games with me. She always like to make me and those around her feel sorry for her by playing mind games. She is never satisfied with nothing we do for her. She has gone thru multiple homecare provider. All thru the Christmas holidays I was conflicted inwardly as to why she continues to make me feel bad or guilty about something. A little history, I have always been the black sheep of the family. I was abused mentally and physically by her. I am the one who has always, regardless of past, tried to be there for her. When my siblings come in from out of town, there is no place for me. I am talked to as if I don’t have a brain in my head. She took a conversation me and one of my friends were having and passed on to my brother, trying to make look like a horrible person. But yet again, I see thru that too because she was only trying to manipulate him into feeling sorry for her. Then a few days later my husband pushed the knife in further pulling one of many his games. He is a self absorbed, paranoid schizo, he really is one, who is at the height of manipulation. I had started to question my sanity. I was confused as hell to why people kept walking over me until I got on my lap top and typed in “How to avoid being manipulated”. Starting tomorrow with the help of God I am going to work on me. I have allowed people to do these things to me all my life. I have taken care of others all my life until the age of 55. I am 60, the oldest of 10. I thought I was being nice to everyone when all I was doing was being a doormat Giving away everything in me that was good to people that thought even less about me. I am a very spiritual person who have just become disabled this year and a huge part of it is due to stress. Kissing so many butts hasn’t made me a favorite of anyone yet. I am 60 and in a few days if I live to see it I will be 61 and I refuse to continue to be held captive any more by others. The more I gave the more they took. I am glad to have had this outlet to voice my new found freedom. I want all of you to know that we need to change ourselves because truly we can not control the behavior of those around us. I pray that this year is a better one for all of us!!!

  • Hi, very nice post. I was looking for something similar to this. Thanks for this useful information.

  • Great and helpful content for struggling couples. You are right we need to cope up on how to save a marriage. Hope that it would not end in a divorce.

  • Jessica says:

    After reading all the comments, why do I feel that one of the spouse is closer to God – either through prayer or through walking in faith and is being attacked by the diabolical just to make them give up. In-fact, if I am not wrong, every person must have though about “when will this end ? ” or about dying at least once because they could see no way forward?

  • Jessica says:

    My story may sound very strange. I am a working woman in a reputable company and having completed 2 MBA – managing office and her household, and leading a team of 20 people in various projects. My husband also works at a position just like mine. However, he and his aged Mom live in my house and I spend on the upkeep for both of them. He does not support me financially – not even for the sake of his mother, abuses me, finds faults with me, my work, whatever I do, decisions l take, because he will not take a decision. He abuses the children, compares them, says they are fit for only delivery jobs. I get less than 4 hours a sleep everyday just coping with the amount of work at office and home and to manage a family of 6 people. I cook 3 meals a day, clean, sanitize, do the laundry, groceries, kids projects, homework, office work, bank work, house work like repairs, stitching mending, electrical etc. He has germophobia and makes he clean and scrub all the items that are brought from the mall (if they can be washed or sanitized) and yet he says I am lazy. He spends all his time on his mobile and does not even bother to find out – who is doing what in the house. He is a poor example for a father and the kids too know that. I cant understand for the life of me – I am not even dependent on him and why cant I find the strength to ask him to get out of my house. The family has used me for years now..I feel hurt and insulted with this dysfunctional family so much so that I am depression now and feeling so suicidal.

  • Ron says:

    I’ve been married to my wife for nearly 31 years. We have a lot in common when it comes to basic values, managing our finances, caring for our home and trying to be good neighbors, good family members and contributing members to our various communities. My wife can be very outgoing. Many people think she’s wonderful. She makes a point of reaching out to friends when she hasn’t heard from them in a while, and she’s a good listener and conversationalist with those she interacts with. I’m also seen as a good person by people who know me and work with me. Despite the fact that I have a disease that required me to go on disability, I do my best to keep up our house, yard and garden. I also am the one who straightens up and cleans the house because my wife doesn’t like to do it. (Her way of giving me a break from these duties is to offer to hire a cleaning service, which is fine, but they don’t do as good a job — which she acknowledges.) As a result, I’ve taken to joking that I’m the custodian. I also volunteer for various organizations in the community. In short, I do my best to be a good spouse, father and member of the community. Given what people see of the two of us outside our home, they think we’re a wonderful couple. What they don’t see is that, as soon as we’re alone, my wife becomes a bitch. She’s refused to have sex for the last 20+ years. (“Our” sex life is me fantasizing about us making love — I’m monogamous even in my fantasies.) She contradicts most of what I say — or she says I’m not quite right and then “corrects” me by saying the same thing but phrasing it differently. Recently, after I spent 10 days tending to her every need as she recovered from hip-replacement surgery — and she praised me to her friends and family — she instantly exploded at me and berated me for something that she had neglected to do. (She claimed it was my fault for not pointing out what she’d forgotten.) This wasn’t a one-time thing. She does it all the time. When she’s home, she always “needs” time alone. She either reads books, magazine articles or things on her phone or iPad. She shows little interest in spending time with me in any kind of activity. She rarely can sit still next to me to watch a movie. We’ve been to more than a half dozen marriage therapists and a sex therapist over the course of our marriage. After hearing both our sides, every counselor has basically turned to my wife and said, “What’s your problem? Your husband is trying all kinds of things to connect with you, he’s been totally faithful to you, and yet you keep saying he needs to do more, while you do little to nothing.” In counseling-speak: “He’s willing to make himself vulnerable and you’re not. Why?” Her reaction is always to get extremely defensive and claim that everyone is attacking her. … As partners doing things together, we’re a good team. But when it comes to being a good wife and a loving, caring spouse toward me, she’s awful. I don’t know why I’m posting this, except that I just need to vent. I really don’t want to go through a divorce and dividing up everything we’ve built together, but she’s not making me happy. She says she loves me and wants to stay married, but her actions seem to say otherwise.

  • Shubham Roy says:

    I have a toxic wife. Been around for the last 18 years

  • Lisa Marie says:

    Hi, I see a link for a free e-book called romantic movies that trump therapy. The link is dead, but can you share the ebook? Looks fun!

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