How to Break Your Toxic Relationship Patterns and Have a Harmonious Holiday



Ireland, 14th Dec 2023, King NewsWireThe holidays are a time of great joy, but they can also be a source of tension, stress, and difficulties in your household. 

If you’re in a relationship that already has some deep-rooted issues, the holidays are the perfect time for them to erupt. 

This was the reality for Cass and Kathryn Morrow for years. A severe narcissist, Cass allowed his anger to ruin years of holidays:

“Kathryn and I had seven separations over the years, and every holiday was guaranteed to be ruined before it even began because of my emotional abuse. We missed so much time that we’ll never get back, and now I stop other couples from having these regrets in the future.”

On a mission to disrupt divorce, Cass is here to show couples around the world that no matter what you are facing, you don’t need to throw in the towel on your relationship.

“I’m a severe narcissist, but I’m self-aware and I can manage it now. As a result, my marriage has never been better. I want to use my experience to help you thrive rather than barely survive the holidays this year.”

Acknowledge your partner’s reality 

When someone has intense anger issues, or in Cass’s case, is a severe narcissist, they can live in a completely alternative reality. 

When things are going too well, they look for a crack to ruin it.

“It can be as easy as keeping score on presents, and deciding your partner doesn’t love you if they spent less money than you did. Once Kathryn bought matching pajamas for us and our kids, but they sent me the wrong ones. I flew off the handle and decided that she did it on purpose to make me feel isolated.”

People aren’t born feeling this way – they’re raised with it. According to Cass, a lack of love in childhood warps your belief in what is normal.

“We want love so badly, but we don’t believe it’s possible, that we deserve it, or that we’re allowed to have it. So, we try and destroy it all the time.”

The first step to a more harmonious holiday period then, is to acknowledge and understand this alternative reality exists – and try and snap your partner out of it as much as possible.

“By delivering reality checks to your partner, rather than allowing their beliefs to rule your whole experience, they will begin to understand that what they believe isn’t real. From here, they can start to take responsibility and make changes to their behavior.”

Decide on the experience you want to have

The next step is to decide that you want to experience something different. 

The secret, according to Cass, is to provide a safe space for the person with the condition, to help them learn that not every holiday needs to be ruined. 

“Everyone wants to feel whole and happy, but in many cases, don’t think that kind of love is possible or that they deserve it. By providing safety, the person with the disorder will be inspired to do things differently for once.”

Change only happens when you want it to. If you can meet your partner with understanding and compassion, they will begin to understand that they can choose happiness over conflict.

Lead with compassion 

This is a lot to ask – especially if you are used to your partner’s toxic behavior ruining the holidays. But the safer they feel, the better they will be able to work on understanding and changing their actions. 

“It can be a hard pill to swallow, but both people are complicit in creating a toxic relationship. Anger doesn’t come from nowhere – it usually starts slowly and gradually gets worse. By not calling out this behavior and staying in the relationship, you have made it acceptable.”

We all have deep empathy within us, but we usually channel it toward others, rather than our life partners:

“We have boundless amounts of compassion towards children; little boys and girls who are scared by their parents. Why do we never make the connection that hurt children become toxic adults, because it’s all they’ve ever known?”

This is how things started to change in the Morrow household. Kathryn created a safe space for Cass and started to meet him with compassion, rather than arguing with him. This was the driving force that allowed permanant change to happen within their marriage. 

Protect your space

Finally, to have a harmonious holiday season, you may need to create new boundaries with the people in your life. 

“I’ve been told repeatedly that because I’m a narcissist, I can never change. But everything is impossible until it’s achieved – and I know that with the right support, you can transform your marriage.”

As Cass says, boundaries are essential to protecting your happiness – don’t let people in who are going to be detrimental to your progress.

“Peace and safety in the home is critical – especially for women. When your wife feels safe, the empathy and compassion she shows you is indescribable. All the admiration, love, and lust that you’ve always craved but kept sabotaging can become your reality if you’re both willing to work on it.”

In comparison with how things used to be, holidays in the Morrow household are now unrecognizable. 

There are no more disagreements – any issues are solved through simple communication and open conversations. Instead of being a time of fear, resentment, and sadness, the holidays are full of enjoyment, happiness, and excitement – and Cass is dedicating his life to helping you achieve the same reality. 

“Kathryn repeatedly says ‘Marriage doesn’t get more perfect than this.’ These steps won’t immediately fix your issues, but if you both support each other and keep trying to do better, you will get to enjoy every holiday going forward as a family.”

To find out more about Cass and Kathryn’s journey through narcissistic and emotional abuse and the lessons they’ve learned along the , check out their podcast ‘Morrow Marriage’ available on all streaming platforms. way

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Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Vedh Consulting journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.


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