6 Signs You Need To Leave Your Partner
I think the thing that people take for granted about 'toxic relationships', is that 9 times out of 10 you don't realise that you are in one. Now I'm not talking about a friend that takes ages to text you back or the guy that you fancy that blows hot and cold with you. That isn't toxic, that is just people being shitty. A toxic relationship (to me, anyway) is one that instead of serving you and allowing you to grow, stunts you and takes over your life. They can be characterised in so many different ways and unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult to recognise the signs of a bad relationship when regardless of the negative impact it is having on your life, you are in your little bubble of routine and comfort.
Leaving the toxic relationship that I was in was the hardest thing I had ever done. And more often than not it's not as simple as just cutting the person off and moving on. Because they have engraved themselves into your life. They make you feel like they are your life. It feels like you will be incapable of being happy without this person, but you probably don't realise that the root of most of your unhappiness is, in fact, that person.
The worst thing about these types of relationships (whether you paint it as toxic, emotionally abusive or just downright bad) is that you become so convinced that you will believe this person loves you and has your best interests at heart. That is what makes the cycle so hard to break. I've come to realise through my own reflection and conversations with friends, family and other parties that there were a few key warning signs that were going on. Things that happen so gradually but become so engraved in your daily life that you never take the time to stop and realise what is actually going on.
1. You find yourself lying to friends and family to cover up their behaviour.
If you find yourself downplaying your partners' behaviour to the people that care about you, then you need to ask yourself why. If you don't want to tell them just how bad the argument got, or you know if you told them the things your partner was saying to you or doing for fear of making them dislike them then something is wrong. Obviously, no one needs to know the ins and out of every detail of your relationship, but if you find yourself trying to make it seem 'not that bad' when having a rant to your friends or family then it probably was that bad. And there is a reason you aren't telling people that care about you about what is going on.
2. They go from being the nicest person in the world to the worst person.
Everyone argues and says things they don't mean, that's natural. But what's not normal is when the person that supposedly loves you the most, is the one that makes you feel the worst about yourself. If everytime you argue with your partner you consistently get called names, whether it's stupid, idiot, slut, bitch or anything, you need to realise that it's not healthy. It will affect you and your confidence even though you don't realise the impact it's having on you at the time. If you're being shouted at over the smallest arguments, and the pettiest of arguments are turning in to world war 3 then it's probably time to go.
3. You realise that you have very little from your 'old life' left.
Isolating yourself is incredibly common whilst in an emotionally abusive relationship. And it doesn't happen overnight. It happens so slowly that you don't realise it. Hell, you might even think it's for the best as the other person makes you believe that no one else could possibly care about you the way that they do. So you cancel plans to be with them. Then eventually you realise that there is no one left to make plans with. Believe me, someone, that truly loves you and has your best intentions at heart would want you to be surrounded by family and friends that love you. Not sitting in, waiting for them every single night.
4. Everything always seems to be on their terms.
Even when they are the one in the wrong, it seems to be their decision when the argument stops. Or you're made to feel bad for being angry or upset at their wrongdoings. If you can't get angry or upset (for a genuine reason) without them, in turn, getting angry at you just for reacting to their behaviour then that person is not the right person for you. Similarly, if you are constantly being blamed for their shortcomings and they never seem to be taking full responsibility for their actions then you need to leave.
5. You find yourself asking them for permission.
There is a tweet that goes about that jokes about girls that have to ask for permission from their boyfriend to go out and it's seen as a bit of a joke. It's not a joke. If you can't make plans with family or friends without seeking reassurance that it's ok, then you are being controlled. If you can't stay out for a few hours longer than planned without getting 30 missed calls and a barrage of texts, then you are being controlled. If you purposely don't make plans just because it's not worth the hassle of the questioning and the guilt, then you are being controlled.
6. If an argument ever gets in the slightest bit physical.
You would think this goes without saying, and it should. Whether it's a shove, or a stamp, or a slap, once that line has been crossed it can never be uncrossed. If you stay with someone that ever lays a finger on you, you set a precedent that says 'this is okay'. No matter what the excuse is, no matter how much they apologise or try to justify it. You just need to leave. It's very easy to justify someone's behaviour when you love or think that you love them. Hell, you might even believe that you deserved it. But to those of you that are with someone that has ever hurt them, then I ask you this. What if it was your little sister? Or your little cousin? And you could see what was going on behind closed doors? If that makes your blood boil, then you need to leave.
If anything in this post resonates with you in the slightest, then I really urge you to take a step back and look at your relationship for what it is. And it will be the hardest thing you have ever had to do. But in 3 months, 6 months, a year, it will all be worth it. The longer you stay in these situations, they only ever get worse. Take my word for it. And if you do want to talk to somebody then please know my Twitter DMs are always open, or you can e-mail me too at firstname.lastname@example.org.