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.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. 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 there are some stuck in the gray area of 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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To The Boy I’ve Been Dating Since I Was 15, I Always Knew You Were My Forever

Thank you for showing me love when I thought I didn't deserve any.

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Hey you,

People assumed our "fling" would only last a few short months. It's what everyone assumes when your first love happens during your sophomore year of high school. Yet here we stand, three and a half years later, more together than we've ever been. Although we've had our ups and downs, we still managed to keep our relationship going and to remember why we're together in the first place.

Many say loving isn't easy, but you make it a walk in the park.

You respect me in more ways than one, and you make me feel beautiful, inside and out. For a long time, I never noticed the beauty and strength I have within myself. I didn't see what others would point out to me, and at times I still find it hard to acknowledge my worth. However, you came into my life at a time when I felt I had no one, and you helped me to see all I have to offer. You helped me to open my mind to the thought of loving myself for who I am, and although the road is long and I'm not completely there, you've made me see how worthy of love I truly am.

Having you as my best friend, along with being my boyfriend, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

I think the reason we rarely fight or stay angry with each other is that we truly are best friends. We could spend all of our time in deep conversation about any topic in the world and still feel engaged and ready to hear more from one another. Every single day I learn something new about you and vice versa. We can be ourselves in each other's presence and have fun doing absolutely nothing exciting. I am easily annoyed by a lot of things, but you are not one of them. Being with you for hours, even if we just watch TV the entire time, never gets repetitive or boring.

You treated me with the respect I deserved before I even realized I was worthy of it.

In many ways, I don't respect myself. Whether it be body image or letting "friends" walk all over me, I let many thoughts and people control my life. You, however, were the saving grace I needed. You've shown me how I deserve to be treated and how I should think of myself. Often I wonder how I got so lucky to end up with someone who loves me unconditionally and who values everything I have to offer. I say all the time that I don't deserve your heart, your kindness, your love, but you always remind me that I do. And I'm starting to realize that you're right; I deserve every bit of love, kindness, and respect that you have to offer. I can only hope that I award you with the same love and selflessness you give me every single day.

Three and a half years with someone may seem extremely long, but I feel as though we've been together a lifetime. It's hard to remember a time when you weren't right there beside me, and I would never want to imagine a future without you in it. There are so many more laughs, adventures, and memories to be made with you, and I only hope that I can be at least half of the person you are.

Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always.

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