All in The Family – Managing Toxic Relationships

How will you know that you are facing toxins in your relationship?

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It is impossible to live a life that is unaffected by other people since their attitudes and opinions, like pollen, blow into our lives on a daily basis. These in turn end up shaping our perspective on life and influencing our decisions. Studies show that, toxic relationships are tied to two issues:

Influence – What generally influences our life choices

Skill – How we view and confront the hurdles we face in life.

To tie these two issues together, there needs to be honest DISCLOSURE; DEPARTURE from VICES that would negatively affect the relationships; DEMONSTRATION of habits and practices that ADD VALUE.

Types of Toxic Relationships:

The Controlling Partner

The Lone Ranger does not show consideration to their partner’s feelings and tends to remain unaccountable. In such a relationship, such a partner wants to control everything because they see no value in the other party and as a result they dictate and refuse to be questioned.

The environment becomes a catalyst in growing resentment and distance between spouses. Distance will create disillusionment and unfulfilled expectations. This can make a partner feel unwanted, alone & unimportant. There are certain truths present in this type of relationship:

Truth 1: God created us for meaningful relationships with others.

Truth 2: Growing up in an overly controlling environment, may make us resolve to never be controlled again

Truth 3: When embraced, controlling environments negatively affect relationships by creating fear and anxiety in the relationships.

The Overly Dependent Spouse

Such people often maintain relationships that are one-sided and emotionally unhealthy. This relationship is also known as the “addiction relationship. One unending debate in relationships is whether our looks and our status make a bigger difference in how partners view each other than, personality or character. As a result, many times we are tempted to believe that, because my partner is good looking or has money; then they must be trustworthy, kinder, smarter and will make a dependable partner. The truths existing in this type of relationships are:

Truth 1: Being attracted to a person only for their looks and money is no different from marrying an illusion.

Truth 2: Today’s culture celebrates romantic love and equates physical desirability with sexuality and personal  self-worth.

The Bad Mannered Partner

How come persons with conflicting values have become exciting to be with? Every spouse has a hierarchy of values that control how they live and so do BMP’s (bad mannered persons). Such values determine how they look at life, relate, treat each other. When you relate with a values-based person, you are most likely going to make positive investments in each other.

Amos 3:3

A lack of values-based living could make us marry someone for personal benefit regardless of their character flaws. Agreement on values comes from a foundation of: DISCLOSURE, DISCONNECTION, DEMONSTRATION. Agreement helps build ownership.

Truth: Showing ownership in your own relationship demands that you hold yourself accountable to your values and actions. This calls on us to be upfront and forthright in communicating our ideas and feelings

The Aggressor

Job 2:4-10

Sometimes the battles in your marriage may have nothing to do with the actions or inactions of your spouse. The future of your relationship depends on how you handle the actions and inactions of your spouse. However, remembering that we are a team both in the good and bad times is key. Most of the battles you face come to test the effectiveness of your team.

Knowing what to say, when to say it and where to say it is part of a strategy a couple must embrace in their desire to overcome resultant conflict. I am in agreement with Lucado who says that, “Conflict is inevitable, but combat is optional”

Hostage Taker

Proverbs 22:24-25

This happens in a relationship where we twist the truth and use blackmail to force commitment. However, we need to allow negative feelings to be communicated safely without threatening the relationship itself. However, blaming your partner for your emotional state is a subtle form of selfishness and a desire for manipulation. Blaming is a classic example of poor management and ownership of one’s actions. The truths in these type of relationships are:

Truth 1: Each spouse has the power to take responsibility for their own behavior and emotional state.

Truth 2: Blame quietly sidetracks attention by pointing to a variety of contributing circumstances.

Truth 3: Blame leaves the manipulator effectively obscured particularly on the part they played in the creation of a problem.

Managing Toxic Relationships

Keep away from persons you don’t share similar values with.

Spend time with those who add value into your life

Encourage a learners attitude in your relationship

Seek to defend what is right with wisdom and respect

Managing toxic relationships is both hard and emotionally draining. Letting go of a toxic relationship does not mean letting go of love but letting go of those toxic friends, words, habits, practices, and environment

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5 Responses to “All in The Family – Managing Toxic Relationships”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Amazing sermon this is….I’ve listened to it and it has really made me think alot as it progressed. I have been in quite a few toxic relationships mostly in cheating partners who would have multiple partners. At some point I always thought that I would change them but no, it never happened. It used to be a lie after the other.

    I would cry myself out say am done but the moment they come back and tell me “another lie” I forgive, but it would still happen again and again.

    The relationships were draining emotionally and physically. Had I had such a sermon then I know things would be very different now. It made me develop trust issues to date. I can’t just seem to get overit. Even when I don’t want to those doubtful thoughts would still be there at some point. I have prayed over it but its harder than I thought.

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  2. EMISSARY G-SENT Says:

    I AM MARTIN FROM MAVUNO58CAMPUS JUNE’S SERMON WAS A GREAT DEAL TO ME I DON’T HAVE WORDS TO EXPLAIN HOW MUCH IMPACT THAT SERMON SERIES HAS LEFT IN MY LIFE. OUR CAMPUS PASTOR ALLAN BROUGHT IT TO US WITH POWER N WISDOM, GOD BLESS HIM A LOT. MY REQUEST IS I CAN NOT GET THE SERMON HERE.

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    • Hello Martin,
      We thank God that the sermon was a blessing to you and we pray that the Lord will continue to impact your life through His Word. Unfortunately for the month of June, we were unable to post the blog for the series, ‘Baggage’ and had the one that was being done at Hill City, ‘All in The Family.’We will however resume to post the series for the month that you will also be doing at Mavuno 58

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  3. Angeline Says:

    What if the toxic relationship is from your mother? How do you do that yet you cannot cut her off your life? She is a fixture in your life. You cannot wish her away…. (No matter how many times you try)……you cannot avoid her. The toxicity seeps thru even when she is miles….no…..oceans away from you. You dread her coming to visit you…….because she will nit pick everything you do, say, think, have your life….every single thing. It is pretty draining I cannot lie. I have had to live with that since 1997 when my dad died. And somehow I sense disappointment in her for me not having “status quo” in my line of duty.

    I am married and a mother of a beautiful little girl. I am ever so worried I might pass it on to her and it will impact her negatively. I don’t want that. So this is why I am asking…..what if the toxicity is coming from your very own parent? 

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