What I Learned from Being in a Toxic Relationship
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What I Learned from Being in a Toxic Relationship

This is an open letter to anyone in a toxic relationship. You deserve an epic love story.

What I Learned from Being in a Toxic Relationship

I recently broke up with my toxic ex.

It sounds cliché but it really is like coming up for a fresh breath of air after drowning for what seems like forever. I got back with him after he broke up with me because he promised me the entire world and I believed him. I believed that this time it was truly going to last, that he had changed, that he wasn't ever gonna hurt me again. And, that wasn't the case. So I'm writing this to remind me of my self worth and I know that we will move onto bigger and better things and we will both find that epic love story we so deserve.

Love Should be Easy

You shouldn't change yourself for love. Part of the reason why we stay in toxic relationships is because we accept the love we think we deserve. You think you can't do better than someone's half-hearted love. We often believe in who someone is when they're at their best but dismiss their behavior when they're at their worst. I stayed and went back to him because I believed he had changed and I could change him. But you can't change people and you shouldn't feel like you have to. He said and did everything right to compensate for all the wrong he did and that's why I stayed.

My toxic relationship showed me that my best wasn't good enough and wasn't ever going to be. That love often meant enduring pain. That love meant doing what they asked of you even if you're not ready or it's hurting you. I hung onto this toxic relationship as I had mistaken it for love. A sick thrill came with not giving up on him and there was something so intense about both loving and hating him so deeply that I stayed; which led to me getting back together with him. But what I learned is that the longer you stay in a toxic relationship, the harder it is to get out of it.

The longer I stayed with him, the more abuse I was willing to put up with because at that point it wasn't abnormal to me at all and I had become so blind-sighted by the good memories we had together. I lost so much weight during this time and I became such a resentful person. Looking back at it now, there were so many clear warning signs that presented themselves that I ignored because I was blinded by what I thought was love.

That doesn't mean that breaking up won't hurt. The memories will haunt you. But I learned a reframing technique in my psychology class that I've found very useful lately. First, you have to notice your negative thoughts/feeling and decide that they're not true. Then you replace it with a helpful thought. For example, every time a thought that comes up in me that tells me I was stupid for breaking up with him, I first have to recognize that thought and tell myself that it's not true. Then, I tell myself "YOU deserve an epic love story". Eventually, you'll say it so much that you'll believe it.

Here's a list of songs to listen to make you feel like a bad b*tch that got me through this

You deserve an epic love story. We both do. Since my break up, I've started being more compassionate to myself and being more grateful. I've also started forming deeper connections with my friends, reconnecting with some that I've lost touch with and furthering my passion for psychology. I've surrounded myself with friends and family that have reminded me that 'good love' is out there. We all deserve healthy love. It's important to fill your life with soul-enriching activities and alternative sources of happiness after a break-up in order to surround yourself with positivity. You will meet someone that makes you so happy and feel so easy to love. You deserve more than this and take it from the girl who learned from a toxic relationship, the grass is much much more greener on the other side.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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