One of the easiest things to do in today’s world is spotting a toxic man – a narcissistic male in a relationship. The society will support and help you move on with life. Throughout evolution, patriarchy has constantly shown the flaws and selfishness of the male gender {guys no offence to us!}

However, one unsung question that has gone unanswered with time is that “are men ever allowed to describe a woman as toxic? or should we simply let it pass as “a woman’s drama”?” When it comes to striking a balance between toxicity and drama of a woman, society seems to miss the threshold. Oftentimes the former is being applauded and saluted by society as it is easily mistaken for a lady’s show of strength and bravery. Since we live in a world where an act is seen as bad, criminal or toxic based on the individual that did it and not necessarily on the act itself.

This question rang in my head as I sat on a sofa across my therapist, explaining how societal construct has made being a “man” different from being a “human being” for me, especially in a relationship.
My love life is a mess, a total disaster. I had decided to take a break from relationships. My last relationship was an abusive one. However, people always wanted evidence, demanding to see the bruises and scars as if physical abuse is the only form of abuse there is. If only they knew how deep certain words and silence cut a person’s soul.

Initially, I thought I wasn’t loving her enough as she’d had a bad past with other men. There is no perfect partner and an awesome relationship takes hard work and commitment! I knew this. I have also had some terrible experiences, but I try my best not to let that interfere with my relationship with her.
With time I noticed her rash talks, it had begun to affect my self-esteem and relationship with other persons. She had a way of constantly reminding me of my flaws – I was always lacking in something. I wasn’t romantic enough. I wasn’t financially the best and my mates were better whenever I couldn’t meet up with a financial obligation. I was sometimes too grumpy, chubby for my age. I acted too crass the last time we went out for dinner and acted unpolished. I could have picked a better gift last Christmas. “Gosh, you’re too insensitive to my needs.” With her, there was always something to lament about. I just wasn’t enough and it was always my fault!

As time rolled by, I began to truly see how irrational her attitudes were. If things weren’t going her way, the subtle blackmail would come in form of silent treatment, especially when she’d done something bad and I’d cautioned her against it. If she wasn’t winning then everyone else must lose. It was easy for her to call out my excesses. I had learnt to never have a problem with that. Instead, I readily apologized, accepted my flaws and made conscious attempts to be better. Her flaws were never meant to be discussed, I had to live with it – a sign of love!

Power and absolute control was everything to her, even before love. “A lady never says “sorry” she would say. There were other ways to replace the act – sudden kisses to shut my lips from talking, cooking meals, the silent treatment, sudden tears followed by how hurtful her past life had been, making a joke out of the matter, ignoring me entirely till I “get over it”, spontaneous sex as “peace offering”. Society had taught her all these. She came late to date nights, forgot important events and conveniently cancelled plans at the last minute without giving a valid reason. As a lady, she “had to be fierce, so as not to be taken for granted”
I stopped talking and chuckled, “The signs were always there. I created another idea of her and loved it instead,” I told my therapist. The fact that she had many admirers didn’t bother me, she was a wonder to behold after all. What hurt me was how she handled her admirers. I lowered my head in pity and narrated how she had referred to me as “just a face in the crowd” to her cousin at her uncle’s birthday – the denial was spine-crushing! Her excuse was that we had just started dating and she still needed time to adjust.

She took too much of me and never made efforts to be better. There was always a justification. At some point, being with her felt like walking on a minefield – delicate, frightening and utmost care on every step made.
I know you think I shouldn’t have left. You think of me as weak. We could have worked things. I sometimes think of her too, of how we used to be, and then I remember the manipulation and disrespect on every level. My friends still think I should have stayed and handled it. But, if I was the lady and she was the man, would they still have asked me to stay?


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7 Responses

  1. This writer is a terrific writer. A brilliant story writer. I’ve been following his articles and I must say, he really has a unique style of writing.

  2. Hmmn. I have always believed been a good person has nothing to do with gender, tribe or religion. There are just good and bad people, that’s all.

  3. I Just Read This Now And I think this should be Filmed or Televised.. Maybe a short drama or something. You can obviously tell that this writer is an Intellectual and an embodiment of intelligence. Toxicity in relationships is not really a gender thing alone, any person can be a victim and an Abuser. We all should have the courage to know when to call it Quit

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