Let me start out by saying this post has sat in my drafts for over a year. It’s been written, edited, deleted and re-written more times than I can count. This is an important post for me. It is a topic that deserves more attention and discussion than any outfit-of-the-day or makeup haul post. When I started my blog, I envisioned a safe haven for my readers to un-wind from life’s daily stresses. As my platform and audience has grown, I also want it to be a place to discuss issues that matter. Issues others may feel uncomfortable sharing. I want this to be a place where I can share my experiences with you and in return you leave feeling less alone and more inspired.
Today I want to talk about toxic relationships.
We’ve all had a family member, friend, or friend-of-a-friend who has dragged negativity, deceit, jealousy and other monsters into our lives. We hear it all the time. Friends and family complaining about a toxic neighbour, friend or acquaintance. But what happens when you find yourself in a toxic relationship with your partner? Why are these so rare? I mean, everyone is in a perfectly happy relationship, right? Wrong.
No one wants to talk about how horrible their partner is treating them. No one wants to share how their partner made them feel small by diminishing their feelings. No one wants to talk about it. Well friends, I’m here to say I was in a toxic relationship. And I want to talk about. I want to start a conversation.
While I’ll spare you the utterly ridiculous details of my past relationship – I do want you to know that far too often good people are treated like crap. Every day. Every single day. They ignore it. They pretend it isn’t happening. They put up with it. And that needs to stop. While no one has the power to control the actions of their partner, they do have the power to walk away.
Wondering if you’re in a toxic relationship? While I’m no relationship expert, I am a self love advocate. If you’re feeling any of the following, there is a good chance you are in a toxic relationship.
#1 They De-Value Your Feelings
If you’re feeling sad, angry, scared, alone – chances are it’s for a reason. Us women are blessed with the magical power of intuition. If you are strong enough to communicate your feelings and in return are met with “you’re exaggerating”, “it’s all in your head”, “stop being a baby”…or even worse, nothing at all…red flag!
#2 Their Cell Phone/Computer/Video Games Take Precedence
Now, we all know boys love their toys. But if you come home from work and you’re telling them about your day – watch where their eyes fall. If their cell phone receives more attention then you do, they’re probably not that interested. Ladies, your man is supposed to be your support system! I don’t care if World War III has been announced, you deserve eye contact and undivided attention.
#3 Lack of Communication
Not everyone is great at communicating. I get that. But if your partner cannot for the life of them communicate their feelings with you on a consistent basis, red flag. Communication is so essential to build a lasting relationship. Both parties have the right to know where the other stands.
#4 They Are Unfaithful
While this may seem like a given, unfortunately not everyone has the same definition of cheating. Whether it is Snapchatting inappropriate messages with exes, or full blown intimate relationships with another person – if it makes you feel small and gives you that pit-in-your-stomach feeling, it’s cheating. You should never get that overwhelming feeling to look through your significant other’s computer or cell phone. Ladies, one thing I’ve learned is listen to your gut. If something if off, and you can’t get your mind off of it – it’s for a reason. Please, please listen to your gut.
#5 Your Relationship is Giving You Unnecessary Anxiety
If you’re experiencing anxiety every time you’re around your partner, it’s for a reason. Can’t sleep at night? Wondering where/what your significant other is doing? This is not healthy. Your partner should make it a point to make you feel at ease. They should be your soft place to fall.
#6 They Make You Feel Crazy
Turns out “crazy making” is a real thing. Google it. It also goes by the term gaslighting. If your partner constantly makes you question your decisions, morals and/or overall insanity this could be a case of crazy making. Recently a friend of mine in an unhealthy relationship admitted their significant other convinced her she was hard of hearing. She knew she wasn’t, but he kept bringing it up and making her feel horrible about it to the point where it made her feel crazy. She ended up getting a hearing test and guess what?! Her hearing is completely normal. Crazy making.
#7 They’re Always Right
We’ve all met that person who is always right. It’s their way or the highway! What appears as “confidence” is actually a mask for some pretty deep insecurities. If your significant other constantly feels the need to prove you wrong – that is a toxic situation.
#8 They Are Controlling
Unfortunately, a “controlling” partner can sometimes feel good. They care about you so much they don’t want to lose you! They don’t want you to be in certain social situations where you could potentially meet someone or they don’t want you to wear certain clothing. Isn’t it sweet? He wants me all to himself! False. This is a dangerous form of gaining control over another person and it isn’t loving in the slightest. When a partner feels a need to control the other, it most often signifies they are feeling insecure. If this happens to you…run! No one controls your decisions but you.
#9 Your Happiness Is Suffering
Ever have an amazing day – only to come home to your significant other and instantly feel the happy drain out of your body? Misery loves company and sometimes unhappy people will actually become angry when your happiness shines. If you feel your mood changes significantly when around them…it’s time to leave.
#10 They Bring You Down
Does your significant other diminish your success? Are they constantly highlighting your weaknesses? People who bring others down are typically unhappy themselves and feel the need to undermine others’ success. Little jabs here and there can quickly take a tole on your self esteem. Even worse? When your significant constantly puts your weaknesses on display in front of others as a “joke”. That is called humiliation and I will no longer stand for it.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you or someone you know in a toxic relationship? If the answer is yes, please take action. If you think a family member or friend is in a toxic relationship: speak up! I promise your words have more influence than you know. You can open the conversation by saying you are worried for their well-being and want to be there for them. Let them know they are loved and they can get help. If you think you may be in a toxic relationship – tell someone. Anyone. A family member, close friend, therapist, or me! I am always available to chat via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I always respond to readers questions and concerns. I am no therapist, however I know how it feels to be in a toxic relationship. You are not alone. You are beautiful and perfect, and deserve so much better. Promise.
I’d love to start a conversation down in the comments. Let’s get real and show each other support ladies!