All the things that have manifested themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” phase have played out. What are those things?

  • Alcoholism
  • Silent Treatment
  • Making Excuses
  • Codependency
  • Entanglement
  • Avoidance
  • Etc.

Unlike in a healthy relationship where “silent treatment” towards each other covers up the fact that you are angry, a toxic relationship involves the toxic individual “stonewalling.”  Stonewalling is just how it sounds.

The toxic person’s heart has become a heart of stone.   And they have built up walls around them, ignoring you when you ask questions, and pretending like you do not exist.

How long does it last?

Simple – However long they want it to. Three days, two weeks, three months, or one year.

The purpose of stonewalling is to make you feel crazy, uncomfortable, alone, and most importantly, to have power and control over you.

In other words, they have the upper hand.

In a healthy relationship, everything comes to a head. At some point in the passive-aggressive cycle that has gone on, someone places an ultimatum on the other person.

They are done living like that.  “Cause ain’t nobody got time for that.”

This ultimatum leads the couple to doing one or more of the following:

  • Attending couple and individual therapy
  • Signing up for small groups
  • Enlisting the help of family and community
  • Purchasing books and other material
  • Changing jobs
  • Moving
  • Having an accountability coach
  • Praying

In a toxic relationship cycle, the issues in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” phase are just the beginning.

The problems only set the stage for what comes next.

And what comes next is guilt tripping, obligation, blaming, flipping the script, and playing games.

In the next post, we will begin the task of dissecting each of these problems.

Until next time,

Katina Horton

Focus Verse

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Ezekiel 36: 26-27

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