Hi guys, this is not me giving relationship advice. All I can tell you is what worked for me based on my situation. Sometimes in relationships, we can become so engrossed in them that we often overlook and play down things that hurt us and negatively affect the relationship and more importantly ourselves.
Once you’ve genuinely given and done all you can sometimes there comes a time in the relationship where you just have to let go for your own sanity and well-being. Change can be scary but sometimes based on the situation it is necessary.
Let’s talk about ‘love’. The kind of love that actually grows with the couple over time and not diminishes. The kind of love that keeps people together especially during the tough times; through uncertainty and despite imperfections. The kind of love that transcends distance and time.
The kind of love that keeps you so focused on your loved one and the happiness you want for each other that you don’t allow distractions like other people to steal your joy. The kind of love that can forgive, regroup and truly move forward together by mutual choice as ‘one’ learning from mistakes to build a better, brighter and stronger future together.
This type of love is a powerful thing and it should never be taken for granted. I recognise that we can’t help who we fall in love with but sometimes we meet people who do not reciprocate that kind of love and they tend to take advantage of our love for them. They may abuse it and their actions can sometimes drain us in every sense of the word and can sometimes leave us feeling angry, resentful, depressed and unhappy with them, the world and ourselves.
So, what do we do? Choose not to love another human being for as long as we live? Be overly cautious and keep everyone at arm’s length never allowing them to get too close to us? I respect these self-preservation tactics but I also know that “when it’s your time, it’s your time” there’s no escaping love.
I have learnt that love can and will find you no matter how good you think you’re hiding. No matter the obstacles and walls you put up to protect your heart from the influence of another. Love is unpredictable and it will find you when you least expect it hence you’re never ready when it comes. It can knock you off your feet. It can be intoxicating and overwhelming – feeling good and scary all at the same time. It is known to consume your thoughts and effect your behaviour in ways you could not imagine.
When and if you find that special someone who melts your heart and you melt theirs – treasure each other, the moments and the memories you share. Love although unpredictable is also beautiful and special because it is not something you experience everyday so cherish it.
It’s a constant struggle at times to keep my bearings He tries to control me because he gave me this ring and these diamond earrings I can hardly remember what I was like before we met
Some say full of life before I became his wife I look in the mirror and all I see is my silhouette How much did I allow myself to forget?
Always flexing and changing, never doing my own thing In an effort to please him, I hide how much I’m hurting Maybe it’s me, always trying to be ‘me’ I never thought our ‘unity’ meant losing my identity His fight for control is unhealthy I’m told
He is my husband should I not do what I’m told He says,” I am the potter and you are the clay I am going to mold you and you’ll thank me one day.”
I hide to talk to my friends and family For if he knew, he would be most unhappy I feel so alone in this prison I call home So I pray and I pray that God will show me the way The blind leading the blind no more, no way.
God wants me to be happy and he wants me to know his love “This abuse will not continue!” declared my Lord above My home-made prison is now a home filled with love My controlling husband is now a peaceful dove
Thank you Heavenly Father For answering my prayer from up above.
By: Cherylene Nicholas
This is not my reality. However, there are women out there in situations similar and some even worse. I was inspired to write this for them. Abusive relationships of any type are unacceptable. Pray and talk to God about your challenges and ask for guidance.
Do you know the feeling of frustration you can get from loving someone so much that no matter how bad they treat you – you love them anyway? They disappoint you time and time again. You love them still. They hurt you in ways that no one who truly loves another human being should – and we make excuses for them and love them anyway. You love them so much that it drains you emotionally and physically.
The people around you don’t understand what you see in this person sometimes but you know what and how you feel. Their judgements don’t sway you because you are in love. However, as the emotional load you carry starts accumulating it begins to weigh you down. You are ignoring your own needs because all you do is try to make this person happy at the sacrifice of your own happiness.
I have been there and when you’re in it – it does not feel like you’re doing anything wrong. In fact, it feels like you’re doing everything right. Just what a person in a relationship is supposed to do compromise and be flexible. After all, no relationship is perfect. However, all your efforts always seem not enough. You guys can’t seem to stay happy long enough before there is something new or old to argue about. It feels as though he or she does it on purpose sometimes just to pick a fight.
You are always arguing and everything seems to always be your fault as they seldom take responsibility for any failures within the relationship. While in my relationship, I honestly never thought anything was wrong with it. I loved him and I honestly believed that he loved me at least that’s what he would say but his actions sometimes did not match his words.
Denial kept me in a false reality for so long that when I eventually woke up I was so angry with myself. I thought if I loved him enough he would do right by me and that things would get better but it didn’t. He convinced me and I convinced myself that we could work through our issues and emerge the successful couple everyone or rather most people thought we were. I comprised and comprised more than I should have.
I soon realized that loving him was not enough. It was eating me alive. The hurt and pain just kept compounding. Was it really my job to make him happy and keep him happy? Enough was enough and eventually the time came when I had to decide for myself – to love myself as much as if not more than I had loved him. It was time to do what was best for me.
I later learnt that it was not my job to make him happy and that he had his own issues he needed to deal with if he was ever to be truly happy. I had my own issues to address if I was ever to have a healthy relationship going forward.
You see me loving him despite his mistakes and poor decisions didn’t make him a better person; it didn’t make him stop doing or saying things that hurt me. If nothing else, it gave him the permission to continue with his poor choices as he knew I would forgive him and try to work it out. He took me and my love for granted. Love was not enough to save my relationship. It took a rational view of what was really going on for me to see that I was losing myself in that relationship. It had become toxic.
I am all for working on relationships but it is not a one person job because it takes two. To love and be loved is a beautiful thing but we must never lose sight of the importance of loving ourselves. Any relationship that is taking more than its giving is one you should review. When you are loved you should see it and feel it. Your partner’s actions and words should match up.
I am in a much happier and healthier place in my life and I’m proud of myself for making the tough decision to move forward. It was not easy but I am glad I did. I know it can be difficult to walk away from someone you love but there are times for your own well-being it is necessary. Do what is best for YOU! You owe that to yourself.
“Happy Valentine’s Day!” That’s all you will hear and see today. Some of us look forward to it while others can’t wait for it to fade away to bring forth a new day. It awakens in most of us good and bad memories.
Flowers, chocolates, jewelry, perfume and stuffed animals just to name a few, are just some of the many items generally shared on a day like today. Some may be so lucky to enjoy breakfast in bed, a late lunch or maybe even a fancy dinner. Just the thought of it all makes you smile and quiver. “Maybe he’ll surprise me. I can’t wait to see what he does this year, so let the games begin.”
On the other side of that coin, is the woman who is keeping her expectations low. Sitting, hoping and praying, “Please Lord, let him get it right this time!” Yes, we’ve heard the saying, “it’s the thought that counts“ but do we really mean that ladies? Do you sometimes sit there hoping and wishing that just maybe this one time that beautiful bouquet coming through the office door was for YOU. Be honest with yourself.
Valentine’s Day should not just be about two people who share a sexual relationship exchanging gifts and saying “I love you”. We all have non-sexual relationships that are valued too. It won’t take much to say a kind word or do something nice for your special friend – just to let him or her know how much you value and appreciate them.
In a healthy relationship filled with love and understanding where constant communication is the norm – Valentine’s Day is just another day where you express your love for each other. These individuals have forged a healthy balance between the giving and taking in their relationship. A healthy relationship is not all about the man or all about the woman. They try to give each other equal attention by focusing on each other. Ladies as much as the primary focus seems centered on us please do your part to make the day a great one for your significant other as well.
Unfortunately, some women have grown so accustom to only receiving kind words or gifts on a special occasion that when the day comes and they don’t get them, they are devastated. I can’t blame them, after all, they have most likely shown their love, appreciation and affection and naturally expect to have it reciprocated.
I think sometimes as women, we have a tendency to focus our energy and resources on displaying our love and affection for others so much that we often neglect ourselves. Whether you are single or in a relationship, let today be a day where we take extra special care to treat ourselves to something special. Go to the spa, order dinner from your favourite restaurant, get a bottle of wine for later and sit down and toast to being the beautiful person that you are.
People often say, “I have so much love to give“ but they often neglect to share that love with themselves first. Only after establishing love for yourself can you truly love someone else. Balance is key, without it things fall apart.
What is a ‘toxic’ relationship? For me, a toxic relationship can be described as any relationship that is constantly filled with negativity that makes you question or play down your self worth. Any relationship where you feel like you have no voice or say in your own life. One where your thoughts and needs are not up for consideration. This type of relationship is often a breathing ground for constant anger, sadness, depression and resentment. If there is any joy or happiness it is often short lived and for some reason can never really last for any meaningful length of time. It is not gender specific as there are some good men out there in toxic relationships too. This is an article for anyone out there in a toxic relationship.
I have been there and I’ve seen more toxic relationships than I care to count. Looking back on my own experience I can honestly say, that I never thought my relationship was bad or ‘toxic’, just that we had some issues to work on. I did not realize the damage I was causing myself psychologically and emotionally.
Here are some of the observations I made looking back not only on my own experience but some other relationships I saw around me.
1. Always made to feel as though you are never good enough.
2. Sometimes discouraged from spending time with friends and family.
3. Always made to feel paranoid about any negative observations – even when your suspicions turn out to be true.
4. Always made to feel as though any problems the relationship has is your fault.
5. Your partner may be very secretive and not forthcoming about his or her affairs but would inquire about every detail in your life.
6. Your partner frequently apologizes for hurting your feelings but would do the same stuff over and over. This applies to physical, emotional and psychological abuse.
7. Try to numb yourself emotionally. Trying to not let the things he or she does affect how you feel but we both know that does not really work because now you’re just beating up yourself internally rather than externally making a scene.
8. Withdraw from your friends and family because they sometimes share things about your relationship that you just don’t want to hear.
9. Make tons of excuses for their behaviour.
10. Blame yourself. “Maybe if I didn’t do this or say that…” ; “Maybe if I would dress more like this …” ; “Maybe I am too sensitive or making too much of a deal about it.”
11. Always looking for ways to make them happy even though they aren’t reciprocating.
12. You are always the person making the comprises.
13. Often try to use your insecurities to control you or even create insecurities. Example: “A woman like you, should feel lucky to be with someone like me.” or “A man like you, should feel blessed to be with a woman like me.” People who truly care about you would always try to lift you up not break youdown.
14. Extra moody and snapping at other people for little things rather than dealing with the real issue that is bothering you.
15. You feel drained emotionally and physically sometimes. This is because the work of constantly trying to fix yourself or the relationship is always on your mind.
I have only listed 15 signs of a toxic relationship but please note that there are other signs that the relationship you may be in, is unhealthy for you. I honestly believe that deep down we know that the situation we find ourselves in may be hurting rather than helping us.
If you are reading this and find that you can relate to any or all of these feelings or experiences, then my friend it is time to say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”. This situation that you have called “home” all these years or months is not what a healthy and loving relationship should be like. I know and understand how scary the thought of having to find someone else seems, but that’s the problem – don’t focus on finding a replacement, focus on finding YOURSELF. Only then would you be truly ready for a real relationship.
I pray that you find the courage and strength to TAKE ACTION and TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. YOU are AWESOME and YOU DESERVE BETTER!! The only happiness you should be concerned with at this point is YOUR OWN.