Most of us have been in bad relationships. Sometimes we choose to reflect on past relationships as being bad, solely because it didn’t work out.
Maybe you have never experienced a bad relationship. Regardless, I’m sure you’ve seen the effects of one via the aggravated rants of a friend.
These bad relationships can have a number of characteristics that range from awful to severely unacceptable.
A less-than-interested partner, who distances him or herself rather than letting go; a relationship that lacks trust but is full of unfaithfulness, manipulation, abuse or a partner who is just plain wrong for you. These things sometimes happen despite earnest attempts to avoid them.
The signs and symptoms of a bad relationship affect each of us differently. We show damage in different ways and at times, not even at all.
No matter how you react to these relationships, there is one reaction that should raise every red flag, a reaction that should open your eyes to just how bad things have become and coerce you to walk away.
If you can no longer bring yourself to tell your best friend what’s going down, your relationship has crossed the line from bad to worse.
You should always feel comfortable confiding in your very best friends. They know you almost cheated on your high school boyfriend — but never said a word nor judged you. You’ve admitted your most excruciatingly embarrassing moments and they remember every detail.
You’ve complained to your best friends, you’ve cried to your best friends and you’ve sworn your best friends to secrecy on many occasions. So, why aren’t you revealing the most recent, ugly problem that you have with your boyfriend?
She already knows about all the times he forgot to call you back and she didn’t approve of his actions then. Months later, you told her about how he didn’t plan anything for the two of you to do on Valentine’s Day, and she told you how you deserve better. Now, what’s the difference?
The difference is that now, you know it’s worse. You cannot admit it to your best friend because that would require fully acknowledging everything, too.
It means someone else would know that he’s secretly been cheating for the past month. It means that someone else would know that you’re considering letting him off the hook because you don’t feel ready for this relationship to end.
Your best friend isn’t someone who punishes you. If you tell her about him, she won’t reprimand you and banish you from her life; she may advise you that this is not okay and suggest you tell him to get lost.
The real reason you don’t want to tell her though, is because it will reinforce how weak you’ve been feeling and know that she’s right.
We’ve all been there. I’m guilty of leaving out harsh details so that my best friends won’t think less of someone whom I was still fond of dating.
But here’s the thing, if you think your best friend will be a tough judge and tell you something you may not want to hear, then that’s the most crucial time to open up and admit it all.
If you still decide to continue in your relationship, that’s your choice. No one can stop you. But, at the very minimum, it’s responsible to seek a second opinion of someone who can see the situation from a perspective other than yours.
Whatever the secret may be, don’t keep it to yourself. The Beatles got it right years ago noting that we all “get by with a little help from [our] friends.”
Everyone needs a companion throughout the twists and turns of life and unfortunately, we often only realize this after we are in the most dire need.
So, next time you’re planning to keep your lips sealed while dishing out life updates over lunch — just let it out. A good friend will be upfront with you about her opinion, but support you no matter what. No relationship problem will ever change that.
Top Photo Courtesy: We Heart It