12 Things I Learned About Relationships After Being In A Toxic One

12 Things I Learned About Relationships After Being In A Toxic One

Because sometimes "I love you" is not enough.
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As we get older, we tend to notice more of what is going on around us, maybe you notice your friend who is unhappy in their new relationship, or maybe they notice it about you.

One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. And it's not just teens/young adults. It can be seen among adult relationships in too.

A toxic relationship is when a relationship is characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that is emotionally, and not infrequently, physically, psychologically, or financially damaging to their partner. While much of the time it is seen in a romantic relationship, it can also be seen between friendships and even families.

1. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.

If you don't first have a strong relationship with yourself then how can you have a strong relationship with another person, romantic or otherwise? When your relationship is toxic the lines can start to blur. If that happens, then it's time to get out. BYE.

2. Only apologize when you are at fault.

Rule number 1: Don't, whatever you do, apologize for everything. Only apologize when you need to, try not to apologize when you can't help something like someone getting a bad grade or losing their keys.

3. Only you should have power over your happiness.

4. Don't let anyone make you feel small.

5. Your needs and wants matter too.

In short, YOU matter.

6. Your reasons are valid.

Even if you don't want to share them, or your partner/friend/family member feels they are not.

7. You have to stand your ground, no matter how hard it is to do so.

Bottom line: stand up for yourself and if something doesn't feel right say so. Not everyone has your best interests at heart. Certain people will try to take advantage of you. Have confidence in you.

8. You are NOT all the things they claim you are.

9. You did not waste your time.

Maybe it lasted years or maybe only a few months but from that relationship, you learned. You learned the things you want and the things you don't. What your willing to sacrifice/compromise on and what you can't. The relationship helped you grow and shaped who you became after it.

10. Obsession and love are two completely separate things.

Having an intense physical attraction or an obsession is not the same as love. It is about more than that. It's about respect, commitment, and communication.

11. Someone who really loves you will lift you up instead of knocking you down.

It's not normal to have chronic love anxiety. When you realize you are with the wrong person, you will start to want more for yourself, which can become a good thing.

12. You deserve someone special.

Because sometimes "I love you" is not enough.


Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Love Isn't 50/50

Love is beautiful and love is amazing but love isn't always fair and square.

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When you think of love what first pops into your mind? Is it hearts, the color pink and things that belong in the Valentines Day section at your local Walmart? Or is it a person, one that you have in your life currently or did in the past? The question of what is love seems so simple at first. The culture of love is all around us, with apps like Tinder and Bumble and tv shows that run the gamut of the Bachelor Franchise to Married at First Sight.

With all the content promoting the creation of love and finding it, you would think that everyone would be in a relationship. But they're not, and a lot of people don't want to be. It is obvious that the media and social culture we have created around relationships is entirely inaccurate. There is an attitude that is becoming more common in our generation and honestly, I'm scared. I'll call it cut-off culture.

Go on twitter any day of the week and without a doubt, there will be a viral tweet going around about an argument between a couple, that probably shouldn't have been posted in the first place. One part of the couple will be asking their audience for an opinion on what they should do or not do, eliciting thousands of opinions. These will be all over the place but by far the most common response I see now is " Throw the whole man/girl away! You don't need that in your life!"

While there are situations that you should definitely walk away from in a relationship, when they are abusive or serious, I believe that most problems are fixable. In my opinion, people our age have developed an attitude of where if something is not serving you at all times it isn't the thing to do. That is by no means to say that you shouldn't find some who makes you a priority, but you can't be the only priority.

Here are two truths and they might be hard to hear; it isn't all about you, and love isn't fair or easy. Love is struggle, love is pain, and love will piss you off more than anything else. The attitude of it's not working so leave it and find something new is incredibly damaging to our culture. If you ask people who have been married a long time how they did it you will most likely get a common response. That response will be "It was not easy, but we worked through it."

My parents have been together since they were fifteen years old and are now working on about 27 years together. One of the biggest pieces of relationship they have told me is that "Love is compromising and that compromise won't always be 50/50. In fact, most of the time, it won't be. A lot of the time it might be 70/30. But that's ok because the next time it will switch and you hold onto that. You choose to love the person more than the thing that is causing problems."

When I talked to my grandparents, their advice was equally great. They said, "When we grew up and something broke, we fixed it. We didn't buy a new one." Now I'm pretty sure they got that off a motivational poster, but it still holds true. Love takes work and it won't be easy. But the thing to remember is while you might not always like them, you will always love them.

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