Toxic Love

by Neseret on July 18, 2011

“As long as we believe that someone else has the power to make us happy then we are setting ourselves up to be victims”

One of the biggest problems with relationships in this society is that the context we approach them from is too small.

We were taught that getting the relationship is the goal.

It starts in early childhood with Fairy Tales where the Prince and the Princess live happily-ever-after. It continues in movies and books where “boy meets girl” “boy loses girl” “boy gets girl back” – the music swells and the happy couple ride off into the sunset. The songs that say “I can’t smile without you” “I can’t live without you” “You are my everything” describe the type of love we learned about growing up – toxic love – an addiction with the other person as our drug of choice, as our Higher Power.

Any time we set another human being up to be our Higher Power we are going to experience failure in whatever we are trying to accomplish. We will end up feeling victimized by the other person or by our self – and even when we feel victimized by the other person we blame our self for the choices we made. We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships because of the belief system we were taught in childhood and the messages we got from our society growing up.

There is no goal to reach that will bring us to happily-ever after.

We are not incomplete until we find our soul mate. We are not halves that cannot be whole without a relationship.

True Love is not a painful obsession. It is not taking a hostage or being a hostage. It is not all-consuming, isolating, or constricting. Believing we can’t be whole or happy without a relationship is unhealthy and leads us to accept deprivation and abuse, and to engage in manipulation, dishonesty, and power struggles. The type of love we learned about growing up is an addiction, a form of toxic love.

Here is a short list of the characteristics of Love vs. toxic love (compiled with the help of the work of Melody Beattie & Terence Gorski.)

1. Love – Development of self first priority.

Toxic love – Obsession with relationship.

2. Love – Room to grow, expand; desire for other to grow.

Toxic love – Security, comfort in sameness; intensity of need seen as proof of love (may really be fear, insecurity, loneliness)

3. Love – Separate interests; other friends; maintain other meaningful relationships.

Toxic love – Total involvement; limited social life; neglect old friends, interests.

4. Love – Encouragement of each other’s expanding; secure in own worth.

Toxic love – Preoccupation with other’s behavior; fear of other changing.

5. Love – Appropriate Trust (i.e. trusting partner to behave according to fundamental nature.)

Toxic love – Jealousy; possessiveness; fear of competition; protects “supply.”

6. Love – Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading. Problem solving together.

Toxic love – Power plays for control; blaming; passive or aggressive manipulation.

7. Love – Embracing of each other’s individuality.

Toxic love – Trying to change other to own image.

8. Love – Relationship deals with all aspects of reality.

Toxic love – Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant.

9. Love – Self-care by both partners; emotional state not dependent on other’s mood.

Toxic love – Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other.

10. Love – Loving detachment (healthy concern about partner, while letting go.)

Toxic love – Fusion (being obsessed with each other’s problems and feelings.

11. Love – Sex is free choice growing out of caring & friendship.

Toxic love – Pressure around sex due to insecurity, fear & need for immediate gratification.

12. Love – Ability to enjoy being alone.

Toxic love – Unable to endure separation; clinging.

13. Love – Cycle of comfort and contentment.

Toxic love – Cycle of pain and despair.

Love is not supposed to be painful. There is pain involved in any relationship but if it is painful most of the time then something is not working.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship – it is natural and healthy. There is nothing wrong with wanting a relationship that will last forever – expecting it to last forever is what is dysfunctional. Expectations set us up to be a victim – and cause to abandon ourselves in search of our goal.

If we can start seeing relationships not as the goal but as opportunities for growth then we can start having more functional relationships.

A relationship that ends is not a failure or a punishment – it is a lesson.

As long as our definition of a successful relationship is one that lasts forever – we are set up to fail. As long as we believe that we have to have the other in our life to be happy, we are really just an addict trying to protect our supply – using another person as our drug of choice. That is not True Love – nor is it Loving.

“Robert Burney is the author of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. Robert is a non-clinical, non-traditional therapist – a healer, teacher, and Spiritual guide – whose work has been compared to John Bradshaw’s “except much more spiritual” and described as “taking inner child healing to a new level.” He has developed a unique approach to emotional healing that is the next level of recovery from codependency so many people have been seeking. He has pioneered an inner child healing paradigm that offers a powerful, life-changing formula for integrating Love, Spiritual Truth, and intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into one’s emotional experience of life – a blueprint for individuals to transform their core relationship with self and life. ”

To learn more about Robert visit his website HERE.

PLEASE share your comments down below! I’d love to hear from you! And please also share this post on twitter or fb if you liked it! Thanks so much for spending time with me here today!

Blessings and Peace,


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Nelson July 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm

We tend to put all of our faith and energies in Lifestreams hen at times the perceptions of Life clash with what we need for our highest good. This bringing us to a very low victimization level. We buy into the conditional love of, “I’ll only be happy if you love me and stay in my life and world to fulfill me thus making me whole. ” This is most toxic as we become attached to feelings that are of discomfort. Also, another person can act as a “drug” allowing our own insecurities and weaknesses to run rampant.

Failure is inevitable when we take a fake avenue to surrender to another human being for help in our life or to become “attached.” Not saying this can’t teach us to fish on our own per se but we must awaken to learn the lesson from the relationship to break free and in the correct way and to have learned for our highest good. It is only then, we can realize what the relationship meant vs. being toxic but rather a learning avenue at that point. We must then take it upon ourselves to pull back the reins and set our own selves free.

Know that we are but already complete WITHOUT another bweing making us whole. When we allow ourselves to unify with the Higher Power, only then does it click. Ego based power trips in conditional, smothering, love is mainly a co-dependence issue. Alot of the points mentioned above deal with “people pleasing” and “clinging.”

Avoidance of the unpleasant can mean, “fear of surrender to the unknown.” thus breaking away from controlling indivduals whose “supposed” mission is to make us feel loved, but when anything but this is far from the truth. Again, here we have the “controller” issue and one or both parties try to be the “fixer.” I myself have experienced in my own life the clinging partner, one who could not and would not be without me anywhere I would go at anytime. This alone I always felt could suggest a “fear of abandonment” issue. The type that says, “what will I do without you if you are gone I will be lost.” I am fortunate to say I am now at the point in my life where being alone is a grandiose feeling and a healing feeling and most of all, takes precedence over being in a relationship with anyone but myself. I do not need another Lifestream to “make me whole.” How can I, when I AM already there! It’s a point where I feel at utmost peace with myself. Both partners, myself and the individual I had been with are both set free for the highest good. Highest good is a key point to all of this in surrending a toxic relationship. We all have free will and if exercised correctly, can have big payouts in healing within.

Sting, the lead singer of the rock group Police had a song in the 1980’s” “If You Love Someone, Set Them Free.” The best unconditional love can be allowing a mutual surrender of both partners in any toxic relationship to let unconditional rather than conditional love to take hold and set each other free for each other’s highest good. Expectations of others are but falsse “magical thinking” always leading to failures when if we look deep enough from a true perspective we may then be allowed to view these so called challenges in the toxicity as “teaching lessons” and “opportunities” for growth but allowing us to rise in conciousness.

In conclusion, a drug of choice or an addiction is but a form of conditional love and therefore not eternal and therefore always a false temporary state of mind.

With Only Love and Truthful Perception Always,



Linda Wentzell July 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Short and to the point…..ain’t it the truth!
Any other kind of so called love relationship is clingy and suffocating. I mean seriously, one of the first places we hear about this imprisoning love is on the radio…blaring some semblance of a heartfelt…your mine. Well that’s crap. Enough said…for the time being.


Neseret July 19, 2011 at 1:12 am

Hi Linda,

Thank you for sharing. I agree with your comment about music these days. I find it quiet boring and meaningless. Music can be used to covey so much beaty, love, and many things meaningful, but in today’s society it is a lost art. I love music but I get so bored hearing the same old, meaningless messages mostly about sex. Where are the true, talented artists?

Blessings and Peace,



marquis June 21, 2013 at 11:42 pm

Interesting about toxic love. We grew up seeing our mother just staying in an abusive, unhappy marriage while she makes tons of excuses not to leave. Her idea or lack thereof of love is just so toxic not even funny. My parents wallowing in their eyes, feeding each other with lies, etc not even funny.

My mom has been yelling for divorce for a long long time and she keeps saying how she is so “content.” She keeps saying if she leaves, she won’t have anything and would have to pay her own way for everything. She has NEVER paid for her own way, always mooching off of other people and expecting them to take care of her. What a poor role model to show your kids, especially your daughters.

Love means to be used, abused, and tossed away like a rag doll while staying the relationship for a long time all because you are “entitled to the spouses’ assets.” All according to my mom, while suffering all the consequences; having no life/independent skills to do anything herself. My parents don’t love each other and they married long ago out of desperation. He (father) tells my mom off and my sister said who would stand there for almost 45 years of marriage still listening and taking that crap? Both of my parents don’t believe in love at all, pretty sad considering you made children.


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