Relationships are never easy. It's already hard enough to take care and nurture a good, healthy long-term one, but how about when you're in one that ruins and wrecks you, both mentally and physically?
Yes, when spelled out it looks bad. But what's even worse is when you can't even identify the relationship as toxic.
You're blinded. You begin to believe that what you are experiencing is actual love. You believe that maybe everyone who is in a "happy" relationship is actually going through what you are too, and you just stay hush and start to make excuses for everything your significant other is doing. You make the minimal good outweigh the vast amount of bad.
I can say from experience that being in a controlling relationship is one of the most draining things I can think of. But what I can tell you is that if you do find yourself in a toxic relationship, you must realize there is someone better out there for you.
Please don't make yourself believe this is the best you can do, or if somehow you deserve the bad things that are happening to you. It's important to surround yourself with good, quality friends who can help you out of an unhealthy relationship when you can't see clearly or fend for yourself.
From my fair share of years with the wrong guy, here are some of the strenuous things I endured with time and time again:
1. You're convinced that everything that goes wrong is your fault.
You pick and obsess over all the little things you did that could have triggered or made your partner angry. And you find yourself metaphorically tiptoeing around them to spare their emotions.
2. You start to feel guilty when you have a night out without your partner.
You lose all sense of alone time because it doesn't exist when you're in a controlling relationship.
3. The clothing you wear becomes inappropriate or too revealing.
Because you might give someone on the street the "wrong impression," you have to watch what you wear. Your outfit might show off and flaunt too much of what your SO considers to be their "property."
4. If you don't answer your phone the first or second time, your SO freaks out.
This is true 100 percent of the time. Even if you literally just spent all day and night with them, they will still get angry if you don't answer immediately.
5. It becomes unacceptable to tell other people your relationship problems.
My theory is that your SO doesn't want other people to know about your inside problems because they actually know how irrational they would sound if there was an outside perspective. So in many cases, you will find yourself sad, upset and isolated.
This makes it so the only person who can know your feelings is the one who is causing the pain and frustration.
6. You repeatedly show up to work exhausted and drained because you were up until 4 am fighting with your partner.
Saying the same thing. Over and over again. The toxic cycle presses on.
7. You distant yourself from friends because your SO thinks your friends are a bad influence.
Whatever the reason, your friends always end up being the bad guys who are "trying to keep you two apart."
8. You always happen to get into a fight when you're about to go out without them.
Don't tell me it's coincidental that every time you have a night out planned without your SO, everything is always good up until the point when you're getting ready and about to leave.
Your SO will pick at anything and bring up the past just to cause a ruckus. Then you're left with one of two choices: You either stay home and try to patch things up, missing your plans. Or you decide to go out anyway, "careless" and inconsiderate of your partners feelings.
9. It's always preferred that you guys hang out alone, without any friends or interruption.
I get wanting to be selfish about your partner, but I can't accept spending an unhealthy amount of time together. Having anyone else in the picture begins to make your SO feel insecure and isolated, and that only causes more problems.
10. Nine out of 10 times, you don't "care" or "love" enough about your SO.
Even if you love them out of your mind, they will always make you believe you don't care enough about them.
11. You always get a whiplash of emotions.
One minute they're happy, and then they get mad. Then maybe they start to realize they're being unreasonable, and then they get happy for a while. That is, until something else comes up that they freak out about. They are a ticking time bomb.
12. You end up feeling guilty if you get mad at them for any reason.
It's all just a circle of arguments that all end up being your fault. Anytime you get upset about anything, they can always turn it around on you. And the conversation you wanted will never turn out the way you expected.
13. You find yourself making excuses for them.
Your SO acts a certain way because of work, school, family, friends, stress... There's always something that can excuse their behavior. No matter what.
I have never personally experienced domestic physical violence, but if this is something occurring in your relationship, it is completely inexcusable and you can make a change.
There is always help available, please reach out. Call the National Domestic Hotline at 1−800−799−7233, if you don't feel safe in your relationship.