Trigger warning: Talking about abuse.
This topic is something very close to my heart. Going through emotional abuse in a relationship is something I have experienced. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through and the worst thing is actually realising that your relationship had been abusive. So today I wanted to share the signs that I was missing in a toxic relationship, in the hope that it will inspire strength in someone else.
Realising you are in a toxic relationship can be overwhelming and scary. You may feel trapped.
The harsh truth is this, if your even considering for one minute, you might be in a toxic relationship. The chances are your instinct is right. But you don’t feel sure. You do however feel trapped. I did, when I read a similar kind of post. It was like reading myself except someone else was telling it.
When you are in a relationship, you really don’t expect that the person who says they love you to treat you badly. Sadly, there are relationships where the person does not need to be physically assaulting you to be an abuser. For me, I didn’t know any better. Starting a relationship like this where I was young. I wanted to know better and be right about everything. Ofcourse.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Before we talk about some of the signs of a toxic, emotionally abusive relationship…
At first, the relationship starts out as perfect. They wrap you around their fingers. Create a false sense of happiness in a perfect relationship until they let their halo slip slowly. So a relationship that should be full of happiness, Memories and love is a relationship of depression. Arguments and fear.
Maybe you have had friends or family try to tell you that you are not being treated right. Are you listening to them? I doubt it. I wasn’t. It took me years to actually realise for myself. This wasn’t easy. It was an incredibly difficult time.
Myself, as a shy and I confident young adult, was listening to the lies and allowing myself to be given hope that the future would always be better. But nothing would ever change. Instead, it just got worse …
Need to move on from this post? Try why I blog, here.
Are you in a toxic relationship of emotional abuse?
They paint a perfect picture.
When you first get into the relationship they have already painted a perfect picture of their personality. They make out to be all these things you already know they aren’t but there still doing it. Creating an image that things will change and your gonna do this and that together. they’re planning holidays and future times. They make you feel loved and the happy times are so good that they weigh out the bad times.
They start arguments constantly.
How long was it before you had your first argument with your partner? Did you fall out and then wake up to an apology. Was it about something silly? But then a few weeks later again? It’s normal right? Couples argue. However, it keeps happening. And you find yourself constantly in heated moments of arguing. Again they find a way of making it all your fault. So you feel guilty. You hear it from their point of view. They tell you they argue because of how they feel. They shout and scream because they love you and you are hurting them. You don’t know what it is you have done but every time you argue they win.
They have already built up such a connection with you that you want it to last and your trust them, because why wouldn’t you?
You can’t trust what they say to you.
You trust them and then they finally slip up. They’ve been lying to you constantly. After a while you don’t know what to believe.
We all have suspicions at the best of times. But then again they are good at covering there tracks. Or at least they think they are. They have a backup excuse for everything they do.
Humiliates you, either alone or in front of other people.
One minute they tell you that you are everything to them, that your special, that you’re the only real one. The next they go out of their way to make you feel as small as a mouse.
They twist everything around to be everyone else’s fault(including yours), but never their own.
They turned vicious. Shouted. Screamed. Said all kinds of horrible things. Then they blame everything possible for what they did. Or maybe they did something and now that’s your fault too.
You hadn’t done anything. However, that does not matter. You have now been guilted into taking the blame, apologising for their behaviour. You don’t even notice them twist things round sometimes. It happens so much.
Belittles you and trivialises your hopes, dream and accomplishments
When your happy. Building your life. Going for that dream job or just being you. Your successful and they hate it. They try to bring you back down. Trying to break your confidence even more so then it already is.
Tries to control you and your behaviour
Being in a relationship does not mean they control you. But in a relationship filled with emotional abuse comes the aspect of being controlled. It’s not as simple as just being told what you can and can’t do either. They make you feel like you can’t breathe. You no longer feel like you are able to go out and have fun.
Isolates you from friends and family
They tell you they need you, that your selfish and you don’t spend enough time with them. Really you spend too much time with them, but they will do everything that they can to make you distance from your loved ones. It’s hard. You don’t want to be in yet another argument but you want to see your loved ones. Your friends are starting to fade away because your now known as the girl who doesn’t go out. Always having to make an excuse to leave.
They guilt you into staying with them. Or making it so hard to see these people because they are telling you that they should be good enough.
Keeping hold of friends during an abusive relationship is difficult. You are forced into making the wrong decision every time. They slate every single one of your friends. Making you feel like you have no choice but to make excuses on why you cant socialise. You really want to be out and having fun, but it is no longer worth the pain of being shouted at.
Blames you for their problems
Taking the blame for something is never easy, but sometimes we just need to own up. “Hey, Sorry that’s my fault”. Except they can never seem to take the blame, even for the little things. It is never their fault, so they blame you. For everything.
In fact they literally blame everyone else but themselves for everything that is wrong in their life. They do nothing for their own self improvement. They just crush your happiness because they are not happy with themselves.
Is unfaithful to you and becomes emotionally distant or withholds sex to control you.
You may not have read my post, the truth about being in a love triangle.
It was my reality. Being in a relationship with someone who dated someone else at the same time. In one way I will never regret the past because without it I would not be in love with my beautiful Emma. We were both controlled by the same person. Lied too. Kept secret. Being told every excuse under the sun to stop the truth from coming out.
They cheat and then blame you.
Being in a love triangle is a hard, and humiliating position. I wrote a post explaining my experience, here.
They pressure you into being tied to them.
They go all out. Treat you. Make amends for their behaviour. Buy you something expensive and suddenly your in debt to them.
They tie you into being in a financial situation, it starts with something small then it goes up. They do it both way rounds. And suddenly you find yourself in a position where you feel trapped. You can’t walk away because you can’t afford to pay the fiance which they made you get.
They use you for money.
Carrying on from that, They have won again. Another guilt trip. You really tried to put your foot down this time but it didn’t work. Guilted into a situation. Guilted into taking out finance because they had already fucked their credit and it would be the only way. Leaving you with tons of debts and money owed left to right and centre. It doesn’t matter to them they are getting everything they want. Even if you have nothing.
So many relationships have been left leaving them with debts and financial issues. You feel used. You know you are being used. But you are stuck. I promise money is not a reason to stay in this relationship. Money is superficial.
Your not as important.
A relationship should be equal. Both people should be able to feel loved. And important.
When they are doing things it’s the most important thing in the world. They make you feel shit, because the things you are into are apparently pointless and have no meaning.
Lacks respect and point out your mistakes or shortcomings
You can’t make a mistake because it will be pointed out and used against you. Even if it’s something like falling asleep at 3am because you get kept awake every night as they constantly harass your phone, even though they are work.
Mental health and self-care are so important for your wellbeing, read my post on why self-care is so important, here.
If you relate to any of these in your relationship…
You may not want to hear it. Because they have so many excuses about why they are the way they are. They have gone through a bad time themselves. Endured abuse and bullying themselves. However, nothing actually justifies there actions. It is not ok to be treated this way, ever.
You are an amazing and wonderful human being and you deserve so much more than what you are receiving.
Love is not this. Breaking away from them would be the best action in your life.
It won’t be easy. They will try and tell you anything to get you back. But you are strong. You can do this.
Block them. And cut all contact. And if you think they may reach out to your loved ones to get to you. Ask them to block them also. Keep records of any interactions made in case. You never know what will happen.
They accuse you of being unfaithful constantly
Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Are they constantly checking up on you? Asking you to send pictures just to prove where you are?
Accusing you of cheating because you didn’t answer your phone when they rung? Or you have not been able to answer a text message in their timely manner. It should never be like this.
They are normally accusing you because there doing the same thing. They think it will help them justify what they are doing to you.
You try to walk away but they won’t leave you alone until they have you back under there control.
You’ve finally broken. You don’t love them anymore. You’ve realised that it was never real love but they still have control over you because it’s all you’ve got. You don’t know any different. To walk away, had become a fear. You’ve got yourself in to deep and there are excuses you make yourself. I know.
You start to tell yourself you can get through this and it will be ok. Something always stops you walking. They start treating you better. Giving you what you need until they have the upper hand.
I promise you now. The 5 moments of happiness does not change what has been done. Neither does it change, how you have been treated.
Does any of this feel familiar to you?
I should have left this relationship months in. But I let it get worse. I wanted to be in a relationship and it was fear of being alone along with other deceptions that kept me going back. The situation just grew worse and my life became habit. I was miserable and I would never be able to explain why I thought I was doing the right thing in staying in a place so vile. Or how I was convinced to do so many things I did not want too.
If you are in a toxic relationship. I know it’s hard. You are scared to admit the truth. really, You don’t even want it to be the truth. You keep making excuses for their behaviour because you are scared. It’s now your normal. How will you cope afterwards? I promise you you can be happy.
My story may be different to yours but it’s all the same. Abuse is abuse. Life is so short. You deserve to live it happy. You deserve to find someone who will treat you right and be equal with. Just like I did.
I fell in love with my abusers girlfriend. We kept each other strong and finally walked away from a place neither of us wanted to be. I was lucky to have someone support me and make me strong..l
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If You are in a position you would like support with. I am not a councillor but I am always here to be a friend to someone who needs it. It’s never ok to feel alone.
What to remember if you are in a toxic relationship…
Only you can make the decision to walk away, and I know from experience. Walking away is hard. But you are stronger than you think, and you deserve happiness.
It may seem scary but do what’s best for you! You have people who love you and will support you during this difficult time.