I came across this post recently by an author named Ngina Otiende who is a marriage coach. I want to include it in this blog for women who are struggling to define whether or not they are having normal marriage problems or toxic marriage problems. Ngina also writes from a christian perspective, and I believe it’s still valid for many because spirituality has and is used widely to by many even if they are not practicing Christians. It pervades the very foundation of our society in ways that when we get married our husbands have an unspoken expectation prior to marriage that once we’re married we will become all he needs.
I personally experienced this and was shocked when after marriage a guy who participated in the house cleaning, cooking etc. literally said to me it was all my job now. For a deeper explanation of this we cover it during Core Unit 3 of the Complex Trauma Certification. What is happening for men internally is also derailing their life.
Here’s the article and please feel welcome to do the exercise it contains to help clarify what is happening for you.
- When you think about any growth and change, is there a sense of responsibility by the problematic spouse?
- Do they own up without blame, deflection, or minimizing?
- Are boundaries honored?
- Is there genuine repentance?
- Are we seeing real change, real growth or is it a crazy ride, up one day and down the next?
- Is your spouse committed to change, and even more important, is there consistent fruit?
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Self-abandonment cycle refers to a pattern of behavior where individuals neglect their own needs, emotions, and values in order to please others or to conform to societal expectations. This cycle can lead to feelings of low self-worth, depression, and anxiety.
I never believed that I have depression in the normal sense of what’s regarded as depression. I’m not somebody who’s walked around going, oh I’m depressed and I really feel it in my body. For me in the beginning the depression just used to knock me out. I’d be getting ready to go and exercise and I’d wake up with one gym shoe and suck on and go, what happened? There’s videos of all the things that I’ve done along the way to get to where I am today.