How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase Part 4

Unfortunately, “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” phase is like a kid in a candy store for the toxic person in the toxic relationship cycle. For the toxic person, it is fun because they live and thrive off drama.

If there is no drama, they will create it. Undealt with Brokenness in a toxic person’s life causes chaos and confusion everywhere they go.

Whereas most people try to keep peace in their lives, for the toxic person, it is the opposite.

As soon as you mention their unhealthy patterns of behavior, they will pull out their dysfunctional coping mechanisms.

The first such behavior is gaslighting.

The word looks and sounds strange. And so does the effects of what the word entails.

Imagine having a strong gas smell in your house.

You mention to your partner, ” I smell gas.”

And then their response is “I don’t smell anything.”

The smell gets stronger and stronger.

And you scream out, ” I SMELL GAS!”

And then your spouse says, “Oh, that’s the cookies that are baking in the oven.”

After so many rounds of this, you are feeling nauseated from the fumes, and you start saying to yourself, “Those are the cookies in the oven.”

Then you hear an explosion.

Gaslighting is how it sounds. When you are talking to someone about how their behavior is impacting you, they turn it around on you, making you look and feel crazy, physically and spiritually nauseated and confused.

Your spouse, or whoever it is that is doing the gaslighting says things like:

“You’re over-reacting.”

“You’re so sensitive.”

“You’re so dramatic.”

“You are so insecure and jealous.”

After hearing this so much, you believe it, and they manufacture in you the emotional drama that they were hoping for.

Once the gaslighting starts, it alters who you are as a person. You began to walk around in a state of cognitive dissonance, knowing the truth, but in a spiritual state of denial.


Acknowledging what is going on means doing something about it. You are not ready for that. Your brokenness of unworthiness is depending on you getting your self-worth from them at all cost.

However, they cannot give what they don’t have. They are individuals filled with insecurities and unworthiness themselves. And their whole life, they have thrived off exploiting other people in the very area that they struggle with as well.

What appears to you as confidence exuding from them, is a very insecure, unworthy individual who has no sense of self. This “confident look” is what they have when they have been filled with “supply” rather than the Holy Spirit.

What happens to you when you are in this state for so long?

You get seriously sick.

You can’t inhale fumes and not be affected. Gaslighting emits fumes and so much more than you expected. In my next post, we will discuss what happens when your partner starts playing games with you.

Until next time,

Katina Horton

How do the problems manifest themselves in “The Problems and Unhealthy Patterns of Behavior” Phase Part 3

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