A toxic relationship is one that is out of balance, in many ways, a reflection of its impact on the inner world of each partner. It is kept off balance, paradoxically, by the attempts each partner makes – in triggering moments – to increase their own sense of safety in relation to the other.
In Part 1, we explored five toxic interaction patterns in which partners inadvertently collude with one another, getting stuck in scripted roles that mutually trigger one another’s protective-responses.
In this post, we look at the neuroscience beneath these toxic protective-response strategies, as emotional command circuits in ready position to activate, and how these scripted patterns destabilize partner’s inner sense of emotional safety in the relationship, setting them up to fail in their attempt to realize personal and relational fulfillment.
Current advances in neuroscience allow us to identify patterns of activation and function of the brain and body’s central nervous system in ways that were only theoretical for psychological thinkers of the 20th century.