Knowing that you’re happy in a relationship is an easy thing to accomplish. From the beginning phases of seeing each other very often and when you aren’t together, talking 24/7 you get a sense of security and safety. Suddenly your significant other that can put the biggest smile on your face, also has the power to make you feel bitter and empty. While it may be easy to recognize the happiness in a relationship, recognizing unhealthy habits, is much more difficult.
Many unhealthy relationships go unnoticed for a very long period of time. An unhealthy relationship can be socially, emotionally, and even physically damaging. It starts to create a very stressful environment that can have several negative side effects. You start to notice a lack in your self-esteem and waste of your precious time. Which, yes, you’re time is precious, and it’s very important to realize this. If you’re letting the signs of something unhealthy occurring in your relationship, slip under the radar, it’s time to face them now, and leave.
Just because a person may not physically place their hands on you doesn’t mean they are not abusive. Abuse is control, shameless disrespect, and hurtful words. Don’t settle for emotional abuse and think that it’s okay because it’s not physical. Emotional abuse is often the start to a long path of abuse that can take a turn for the worse. Take my story for example.
I met a guy that I saw the light in. I talked to him for a little while, and then we made it official, we were in a relationship. We spent the first few months going out with friends, going out on dates, and meeting each other’s families. Everything seemed to be going like a normal relationship would, and I felt very happy. Now looking back, I can see exactly where I lost control of the relationship I was in, and exactly where the abuse started. However, at the time, during the relationship I was too blinded, by what many of us call love. About four months in, my boyfriend and I started spending all day, every day together. We had sleepovers almost every single night, and ate lunch and dinner together every day. My boyfriend told me every day that he loved me and seemed like he genuinely cared for me. Soon enough, my friends suddenly were put on the back burner and even my family. My boyfriend made me feel guilty if I couldn’t spend time with him. He told me it was normal when you’re in love, so I went with it. Eventually, I got sick of it. I needed space, I needed time with my family, and I needed my girls’ nights. I started to pick my fights, which usually resulted in my boyfriend making up to me by surprising me with money, dates, and very expensive gifts. Hence, once again, using guilt to make me forgive him. This cycle went on for months and months. Fights turned from talking things out to being called utterly disrespectful names and yelled at. Eventually aggression came into the picture and that’s when I knew I had to do something. I took a break from my boyfriend, but just like many other people, I went back. Of course he had changed, he would never do it again, and he was sorry. Man, was I wrong. The problems multiplied. I found myself waking up sad everyday and scared to go about my days. I turned first to my friends, and then to my family when I realized I needed help. I finally got the courage to cut things off for good. I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy. Even though I wasn’t happy and knew it was something I had to do, this is someone I spent every single day with for months and months. It was going to take some major adjusting to get over this, but I did it. It was time for me to put myself first. That meant deleting the pictures, deleting the numbers, deleting the social media, and deleting any forms of contact. It was the only way to get away from the guilt he was trying to make me feel. Out of site, out of mind. It was a journey, it was heart breaking, and it was very difficult. However, one thing’s for sure, it has defined who I am as a person, it has made me stronger, and it has taught me exactly what I want in life, and I will forever be thankful for that.
The best advice I can give anyone is to always, always follow your instinct. If your gut is telling you that something isn’t right in your relationship, it probably isn’t. If you start to feel unhappy, leave. There’s someone else out there that is dying to make you the happiest person in the world, and they will. If you start to feel like you’re secluding yourself to your significant other, they’ve already won control over you, don’t let them win taking over your life. You are responsible for the life you live. You are responsible for your own happiness. No one else is. You are responsible of choosing the path you go down, and I encourage everyone out there to take the right one. Turn to a friend, a family member, a teacher, or even a co-worker. You think don’t have anyone? Get help. All over the world there are services with caring people on the other side of the door waiting to help you. You are not alone. You will never be alone. You are an individual that deserves waking up every day feeling happy and safe. You deserve someone who will only inspire you and care for you and love you.
The moment you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone is the moment you absolutely walk away. Know your worth, and never, ever settle for less than you deserve, and you, my dear, deserve the world.