Anyone who poisons your soul! Seriously a toxic family life is anything from illicit drug use, alcoholism, or mental illness in any of its family members it is a toxic relationship. If your mother belittles, makes fun of you and has mental issues, then that’s toxicity. If your father is sexually abusing you and your siblings, that’s a toxic relationship. If someone living under the same roof as you is beating, bullying, and/or constantly threatening you, it’s toxicity. If your mother or father threatens to kill him/herself every other day and on the alternating days threatens to leave and abandon the family, it toxicity, if everything mentioned above is happening at the same time….get the hell outa there and run as fast as you can!!!
If your parents or your in-laws do not acknowledge nor respect your boundaries as a person and your relationship, then they are toxic. When they make your relationship their business and nitpick how you treat each other, how you run your household, how you discipline your child. They come to your house anytime they want and they treat your house like it was their own. When they don’t treat their nieces/nephews/grandkids the same, that’s toxic. The best scenario is when your partner has your back and can see what’s going on. You don’t have to like your in-laws, but you can be civil and still be respectful. You can even ask them to respect your marriage to their child or sibling. As long as you and your partner are on the same page, toxic in-laws can be managed. However, when your partner chooses to defend your in-laws than you and your marriage, then, the battle would mostly be uphill.
There are good parents and there are toxic parents. A rational person can spot a toxic parent immediately. These are the signs…
- They try to suppress individuality or independence of their child. Even when the child shows slightest form of independence they supress it. Like if a child wants to wear a particular sweater they immediately impose their choice unreasonably. The child grows up thinking it’s wrong to have choices or everyone’s opinion matters more than own opinion
- Constant belittling..even before others like family, friends or even strangers. This is a tactic to gain control
- They constantly remind you of sacrifices like you owe them a debt. Of course most parents sacrifice a lot and deserve care from their children. But this doesn’t mean they can dictate lives of their adult children. Everything has boundaries
- Interfering in marital life of their children. This is largely prevalent in India. Some toxic parents cause rift among couples to gain control over their children and grandchildren
- Taking it out on young children. Some are senseless parents yell or scream at young children to vent off their problems. Cowardly adults do that. Children of these kind of parents end up repressing their feelings due to emotional abuse. They have problems in their friendships and love life later on.