For years, I have been in a toxic relationship. This relationship was not always toxic. In fact, the first two years were pure bliss. It was not until we each went to college that our relationship took a turn for the worse. My boyfriend become very unhappy with his college situation and he took that out on everyone around him, including me. He would get very angry, curse me out, belittle me, call me names, and yell at the top of his lungs. These outbursts of anger would happen almost every day. Sometimes they would come out of nowhere, or I would say something small and he would go over the edge.
For the last three years of our relationship, he blamed me for his emotional abuse. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “If you hadn’t said that, then I wouldn’t have yelled.” For three years, I always thought I was the problem in the relationship, because that is what he told me. My family and friends all told me to leave this man, but I could not ignore the good in him.
Then last week, my boyfriend broke up with me. I was devastated! I felt empty. I didn’t want to live without him. However as the time passed, I had the chance to reflect and I finally realized that I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I realized that this man tore my self-esteem apart and that I deserved better. For the past week, I have been focusing on the things that make me happy. Each and every day, I am becoming more comfortable without him in my life.
I feel myself becoming emotionally strong.
Emotional abuse is never okay. Since our society focuses so much on physical abuse, oftentimes we don’t even know that emotional abuse exists or what it looks like. Here is a link to help people become aware of what emotional abuse looks like. And here is another.
If you, or someone you know, is in an emotionally abusive relationship, please seek help, because the relationship might be taking a toll on your mental health.
Check out our previous blog post about Love is Respect, which is a safe place for people who are in abusive partnerships to get support. Also read our article about 8 Signs of Respectful Love.
To find out about the effects of a toxic relationship, visit Psychology Today.
Have you ever been in an unhappy relationship, or even one that was toxic? How did you come to realize that reality, and what did you do about it? Please share your experiences with us.