The Toxic Man

silverswordNovember 20, 2008

Abuse 101

(NOTE: The following are excerpts and notes from Tigress Luv's new book, Toxic Love)

Do you ever feel like you are losing control; imagining things; having severe mental distortions of reality; or are completely, totally out of your mind? Do you often swing from elated feelings of happiness to severe feelings of deep depression? Are you sometimes struggling to smile? Do you think about your partner and your relationship all the time? Do you rehash moments with him and try to figure out what really happened, and if your perceptions of the situation were real or just in your mind? If you answered yes to these questions then you are with a toxic man.

Toxic Men slowly suck our happiness and our loving, nurturing spirit out of us. We become confused, insecure, depressed zombies...yet our Toxic Men walk around as if nothing has happened, and not seeming to notice our depression and unhappiness at all.

A Toxic Man is a combination of a narcissistic man, a commitmentphobic man, a codependent man, a histrionic man, a man with split personality disorder, a control freak, martyr, and an abuser, yet doesn't really precisely belong to any one of these groups exactly. He is the TOXIC MAN!

The Many Faces of Toxic Men (Abusers)

The "Demand" Man

Feels entitled, ask for more than he gives back. Feels like you "owe" him. Exaggerates and overvalues his own contributions. Keeps a "mental list" of everything he's ever done and wants constant payback for them. Thinks he is owed tremendous gratitude for meeting the ordinary responsibilities of every day life (and takes your contribution for granted). When he is generous and giving to you - it's only to prove to himself , and others, that he is a good person. If you need something he accuses you of being self-centered and he tells everybody how selfish and ungrateful you are, and acts hurt because of all he's done for you. He gets furious if anything is demanded of him and switches it back to being about him.

Mr. Right (Arrogant)

Is an expert at everything. Talks in a condescending voice and acts like you are are an imbecile incapable of taking care of yourself. Emits an air of superiority! Any conflict is a clash between right and wrong - intelligence and stupidity - him being right, of course, and you being wrong. He twists anything you say to make it sound wrong. Everybody is stupid to this person, as he is so certain of his own supreme intelligence. If you argue with him he will take it as a sign of your own ignorance and foolishness. His partner will end up questioning their own intelligence. He not only knows all the answers to everything, he tells you that how you run your own life is wrong. He knows ALL your faults. Mr. Right delights in correcting you in front of others (to point out his own intelligence). He punishes you for having your own mind. He imposes his beliefs and opinions, caring little about considering yours. EWW!

The Water Torturer! (Killing Me Softly With His Words!)

This man knows how to get under your skin. By remaining calm and level-headed to make you look crazy. When arguing he will often have a superior or contemptuous grin on his face. Uses a low, calm, stead voice to impose his psychological superiority over you, and often mimics you, laughs at you, or insults you. Quiet calm, controlling acts against you. Talks to you as if you were a mental patient and he the doctor in control. Talks down to you as if you were nuts. Accuses you of being abusive and out of control once he drives you to the brink. Claims you are irrational and acting crazy while he is in complete control and not starting an argument. This man's tactics are difficult to recognize and identify. When a woman can't make a concrete evaluation and has nothing to label their partner with they can become extremely distraught and deeply scared. If someone hits you, you know it and can relate it to your friends, but when someone tries to drive you nuts, and appears to be rationale and innocent when doing it, you can't describe it to your friends and end up feeling like maybe you are 'nuts'. You most likely aren't even aware of it, it being so subtle and appearing so sane. You can't even describe something that's going on when you don't even know it is. If you confront the Water Torturer he acts like he doesn't know what you are talking about. To friends and even your children, it looks like he is so laid-back and calm (low key) and that you blow up over nothing. He is oppressive and stifling. Cynical and cocky. Makes you feel like you are crazy and out of control. You get 'set off' by anything and everything. Makes you look like you are the one with the problem and everybody else believes this, too.

The Prison Guard

Runs every aspect of your life, from criticising everything you do, to telling you where you can and can't go. Dictating who you friends will be, how to cook and clean, listens to your phone calls, reads your emails, ask people (even enlist the children) to spy on you when he is gone, sets curfews, fathers you, and removes your freedom. Overly jealous, accuses you of cheating, questions even who you casually look at. Dislikes women, irrationally possessive and policing. It's about possession, not fidelity, and thus so more than likely the Prison Guard is the one having an affair himself. CAPTIVITY! Watches you like a hawk. Denies you strength and independence. It is difficult to get away from The Prison Guard as he monitors your activities to the max - even quitting his job, etc. He isolates you from friends and family. Removes your finances. Ruins your car. Holds you virtually as a prisoner.

Mr. Sensitive

Is overly in touch with his emotions and feels sorry for himself, blaming you for hurting him. He thinks he is a gift because, unlike most men, he is in touch with his feelings. The Player Comes on strong, good in bed, interest starts waning, he stares - ogles - at other women, you hear rumors. You tend to get angry at the 'other woman' rather than The Player himself. He makes you feel like you are the 'special one', and that other women are jealous of you, or angry at him because he turned down their advances, or because he dropped her. He makes all his past or 'other women' sound abusive, deranged, needy, or etc. You can never really be sure of his faithfulness. He tries to make you jealous, then accuses you of being untrusting and insecure. You start to feel that every woman is a threat to you, your best friend, your sister, even your mother! You tend to keep these other women away from you so as not to expose them to him. You are put on a shelf, ignored, forgotten, and put away until he is ready for you again.

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An excellent post Silversword -- And very true.
How about a few word pictures from the other side:

Mr. Cheerleader

He applauds your successes with genuine happiness, and knows that a win for you is a win for the two of you. You're on the same team, so your victories are his victories as well (though he'd never claim the credit - you did it), and cause for genuine celebration. He's proud of what you accomplish, and has faith in your abilities, and has no illusions that your strength is his weakness. You find yourself doing more, taking more risks, and feeling more confident because you know he supports you.

The Accepter

He knows you're not perfect, but loves you the way you are, quirks and all. When confronted with one of your mistakes, he forgives you easily because he recognizes he's not perfect either (and he can tell you where). So you can actually feel safe and comfortable admitting your imperfections and confessing your mistakes because you know his love for you is not conditional. If for once in your life, you spent $300 on a pair of red shoes (and that $300 won't mean the mortgage is late), he'll smile and say "Those must be some shoes! Let's see them." And you'll love him all the more for his acceptance and vow to only buy $300 shoes when they're that special.

Mr. Curious

He wants to know about your day, your friends, your job, your past -- not because he doesn't trust you, but because he wants to really know you. He wants to know what events shaped you into the wonderful person you are, to understand your perspectives, your values, your world view. He understands that what happened before you met is no threat to your relationship and what you do on your time away from him is rightfully your own choice. He wants you to have fun when you're not together, and wants to hear all about it when you get home.

Mr. Other Side

He doesn't always agree with you, but he does always agree that you have a right to your own viewpoint, and he'll take the time and make the effort to find out what it is. When you disagree, he won't immediately stomp off or resort to name-calling or other insults. He'll try to find out why you feel the way you do. If you feel strongly about something and he doesn't, that in itself is sometimes enough to decide the issue, assuming you afford him the same courtesy sometimes. He may end up thinking you're crazy on a certain point, but he'll never start there! ;-)

Mr. Math

Not. He does not keep score. If it's 'your turn' to cook dinner and you've had really a hard day, he'll either jump in and do it or suggest eating out. When the baby cries in the middle of the night or the toddler gets out of bed for the umpteenth time, he'll take a turn. When you jump in and do something for him, he'll see it and thank you for your thoughtfulness. He doesn't waste his mental or emotional energies keeping track of who does more for the relationship. He genuinely wants to do his fair share, and perhaps a bit more, just to make you happy.

Mr. Charming

OK, maybe not in an obvious way. There may be a spare tire or a shiny spot on top, or he may stumble for words -- but you can learn to spot him by the way he treats others. He genuinely likes his mother and sisters and says so. With very few exceptions, he speaks well of his co-workers and former girlfriends, and his friends speak well of him. He's kind and polite to store clerks, waiters, other drivers and subway passengers.

These guys exist too, and it's worth our time to find them!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:22AM
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Hi Sweeby,
Great view from the other side!!!

I was mostly posting this in regards to Skygarden's post "Please, need a reality check bad". I think these "types" fit her ex-fiancee pretty well, once she recognizes his patterns she'll know how to avoid this kind of guy in the future and start looking for the men you describe!!

Also, after reading through them carefully I am proud to say my DH has all of those traits!!! The only one he's lacking is kindness to other drivers. The man is a road rager!!!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 3:02PM
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Yeah - I figured it was for Skygarden. And a valuable post for many others because there are a lot of JERKS out there.

But I'm happy to say that my own Mr. Wonderful (aka Hubby) was the man I wrote about above -- though he too isn't always nice to other drivers and is very attractive physically as well, so no spare tire.

I guess I just wanted to post how the right guy will make you feel, and that any man who doesn't make you feel wonderful and values is not the right one. There are a lot of good guys out there if you know what to look for!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 4:05PM
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sweeby? where is that guy?!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Sorry Rob333 -- He's all mine! ;-)
And I do know how lucky I am --

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 5:48PM
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What a great post this is!!!!! In my opinion I have one much like Sweeby describes, thus we are heading for our 41 Anniversary next month.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 7:12PM
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How wonderful to hear eandhl!!!! Congratulations :)

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 11:12PM
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yeah the Toxic Man. "good memories".

I dated one about 5 years ago and I after I left I was terrified of dating anyone I was scared I'll meet another one like that. It was absolutelly awful.

I stayed for 18 months, why? i have no clue. besides being everything what toxic man is he was also very cheap, jealous of me, envious of other people (he once got furious when he accidentally found out how much my brother makes).

My brother works completely different line of work that BF did, and my brother's line of work is usually very well paid. BF was not talking the whole evening to me being angry how much my brother makes. wtf? lol

he also watched what i ate and controlled what I could eat. i am not heavy, am rather small, but he was parapoid I might get fat (why? no clue). when i left him I went out wiht two friends to celebrate and I ate like a pig to prove my point. hahaha

awful memory.

it took me long to recover.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 6:35PM
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My hubby is toxic and sweet at the same this possible? He monopolizes conversations at times with people, comes off as insecure because he feels the need to tell all his knowledge about subjects, can be overly- defensive to the point where I wanna tell him to take a xanax to calm down (I wouldn't actually say that)..but he is surprisingly supportive to me and puts me up on a pedestal. He never puts me down in front of others and has helped me study numerous times while I've been in college. He fought a drug problem for a long time and still smokes pot but nothing else. He's not in great shape, but that was never of great importance of me, because he accepts my downfalls and still loves I do the same for him. He's not easy to be around at times..pessimistic, defensive, road rage, negative, etc...but I think I stay with him because of how supportive he has been to me and my education. He is heartwarming and thoughtful when you least expect it. He takes me out and treats me like a princess at the end of every semester. He surprised me with Phantom of the Opera tickets and a $200 dinner when I got my associate's degree. I didn't have a real family growing up and he was adopted, so neither one of us has ever really felt accepted or loved how we should have. This is the biggest thing we have in common..."us against the world" kind of thing. Somedays he is so hard to live with but other times he will bring tears to my eyes because of his sweetness. It is a rollercoaster..that's for sure.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 10:36AM
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pot heads are theee worst people to live with,one minute they are up ,next they are down,from my experience they are nasty ,paranoid,violent,horrible people ,ive lived with a heroin addict,an alcoholic and a pot head and truthfully the pot head was by far the worst.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 5:07PM
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