Being raised by a toxic mother leaves a deep scar. And because our mothers demonstrate love to us, much of how they treat us can impact how we handle our relationships down the line.

While some may assume it’s a cop-out to say that our childhood, and more specifically, our parents shape us for our relationships down the line, research has verified this. Our parents and how they relate to us can leave a lasting mark, and one that can either help or hinder us.

Unfortunately, in the case of the toxic mother, her behaviors can prove to be more of a hindrance than anything else. Here are 8 behaviors of toxic mothers that can lead to relationship problems for their children.

1. Her dismissive nature leads to emotional instability.

Toxic mothers are dismissive and invalidating. When their children show emotions, she tells them to stop, rather than teaching them how to handle their emotions. Down the road, her children end up unable to control their emotions, which can make relationships difficult.

2. Her lack of boundaries makes it hard to understand boundaries and how to create them.

Toxic mothers lack healthy boundaries with their children. In their eyes, their children don’t have boundaries when it comes to her. Down the road, because boundaries were never established, they are never learned by her children. In turn, they may fail to set healthy boundaries in their relationships.

3. Her constant criticism leads to higher expectations of partners.

Toxic mother constantly criticizes their children. They have such high expectations, and these expectations are impossible to meet. Because of this, her children hold high expectations that are unreachable for their partners down the line.

4. Her controlling behaviors lead to jealousy and obsession.

Toxic mothers are controlling. They want to micromanage every aspect of their children. Unfortunately, her children may pick up these same tendencies and mistake love for control, and end up becoming easily obsessed and even riddled with jealousy when it comes to their partners.

5. Her lack of affection makes it harder for intimacy later on.

Toxic mothers are often cold and callous. They don’t show real affection or even empathy. Because the children never learn how to be close to others on a real level, their intimacy in relationships suffers.

6. Her poor communication leads to poor communication.

Much of our communication skills are learned from our parents. When our parents don’t communicate with us, we end up unable to communicate with others. Communication is fundamental to relationships, so if you had a toxic mother, you may struggle to communicate healthily with partners down the road.

7. Her instability makes it hard to trust.

Toxic mothers are oftentimes unstable, leading their children to walk on eggshells. Because of this, stability and trust are never learned. In relationships, because their children never learned what stability and security were like, they will have a difficult time trusting their partners.

8. Her unhealthy relational skills lead to confusion.

Toxic mothers go between codependency when it fits them, to complete emotional callousness. Due to this, their children may feel confused as to what healthy love should look like. And they may struggle to display healthy love tendencies in their future relationships.

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