I’M IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP
Not every love story contains love.
Some contain jealousy, and some contain lies, and some contain manipulation, and some contain this toxic kind of poison that places a steel collar around your spirit.
You might think to yourself, “If only he would ___________________.”
If only he would stop drinking. If only he would stop lying. If only he would stop controlling. If only he would stop manipulating and blaming. If only he would stop eroding your trust and engaging in behavior you’d blush to say out loud. (That said, you’d be surprised how many women I work with whose spouses have been caught doing some very interesting things.)
We place our happiness on hold while we wait for the situation to improve. We want to help them, want to be loyal, want to “stick it out” “through thick and thin.” We want to be the kind of women who stood by their man, don’t we?
Except we forget about the cost.
The way it feels when you become withdrawn. The way it feels when you make excuses to your friends. The way it feels when you stop recognizing yourself, anymore. The way it feels when your world becomes so painfully small. And the way it feels when you leave yourself behind.
In order to love them, you’ve got to abandon you.
And there’s something sneaking up inside your head, telling you that maybe you’d like to reconsider that bargain after all. Because your spouse will pick what’s most important to them, every single time. And guess what? That’s where so much of the hurt comes from, doesn’t it. Not being picked. Not being important enough, pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough, good enough for him to just pick you.
But you don’t need him to pick you anymore. Today? You’re picking yourself. That’s what you’re doing as you read each word, silently deciding if what I’m saying could hold an ounce of truth for you.
You’re picking. You’re putting yourself first. You’re trusting your gut more than you’re trusting theirs. You’re learning.
And that’s all we can do for ourselves.
Be open to learning.
To learning who we are, what makes us tick, how we’ve found ourselves here, and how we can get out from underneath the pain and begin to make changes in our lives.
If you’re a woman and you suspect you’re lodged inside a toxic relationship, I have four ways for you to learn more about what’s really going on—and how you can help yourself.