Although many individuals do eventually discover long-lasting, happy relationships, most of us will encounter at least one relationship that does not end well. In my case, I experienced a toxic partnership that caused significant damage to my life before I was able to extricate myself from it. However, I did eventually manage to escape the relationship.
1. I Lost Myself. You might have heard people say this and not quite understood it
I used to think that people were exaggerating about the negative effects of a toxic relationship until I experienced one myself. The constant worry about my partner's whereabouts and company took a toll on my confidence. I went from being the center of attention when entering a room to struggling to even lift my head. I also distanced myself from my loved ones, not even calling them for weeks. However, through self-help, introspection, and spending time with family over Sunday dinners, I was able to rediscover myself.
2. I Was In Massive Debt. Being the hard-working woman I was and still am, I had a pretty decent savings account
In addition, I had a strong desire to lavish my partner with costly gifts and a luxurious apartment. As a result, I signed a year-long lease and paid for the entire term upfront. Unfortunately, the relationship ended after only three months, and I had to evict my ex-partner by the fifth month. The resulting credit card debt was overwhelming, causing my credit score to plummet and leaving me with no funds. Although I have now restored my credit score and cleared my debt, the experience taught me a difficult lesson.
3. I Gained Weight
As much as I hate to admit it, I tend to eat my emotions. Regardless of whether I'm feeling sad, bored, happy, or tired, I turn to food for comfort. While I typically make a habit of going to the gym, my relationship became all-consuming, and I stopped going. Instead, my partner and I would go out to eat and spend our time indoors watching movies without being active. Despite feeling unhappy with my appearance and physical well-being, I failed to take action.
4. I Changed My Beliefs
Although I had always been adamant about not wanting children, my significant other revealed their desire for kids only two months into the relationship. I repeatedly expressed that I didn't see the value in having children, but my partner disagreed, and this disagreement led to a heated argument. In the heat of the moment, my partner threatened to end the relationship if I didn't change my mind. Ultimately, I caved and told him I wanted kids too, but I now recognize the importance of standing by my beliefs and values, regardless of who I'm with.
5. I Developed Anger Issues
Before my relationship with my ex, I never considered myself an angry person. However, being around him brought out the worst in me. Our arguments often led to tears and left us going to bed angry more often than not. I could feel an intense, uncontrollable rage building within me whenever we were together, a clear indication that we were a bad match for each other.
6. I Let Myself Down. I've always been my own number-one fan and personal cheering section, but my ex changed all that
I stopped prioritizing myself and began prioritizing my partner instead. Even my way of thinking shifted, as I found myself constantly wondering whether he would approve of my choices or like what I was wearing. Looking back, it's frightening to realize that I allowed someone to have that level of control over me.
7. My Career Didn't Matter Anymore
I was always passionate about pursuing my dream of becoming a writer and even worked hard to put myself through college. However, my ex-partner never believed in my aspirations. He would frequently dismiss writing as an unrealistic career path and make negative comments whenever I shared job opportunities or ideas with him. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of allowing his negative attitude to impact my choices.
8. I Only Wanted To Make Him Happy
In the beginning, my relationship was all about the mutual effort to make each other happy. However, as time passed, it became solely about pleasing my partner. He was a musician and I had a regular 9-5 job, so when he would guilt me into attending his late-night gigs, I would reluctantly oblige, even though I knew I would regret it the next day. Sacrificing sleep and my own well-being seemed like a fair trade to keep him content and under my watchful eye. Looking back, I realize that it was never worth it.
9. I Developed Anxiety
Anxiety was never an issue for me until I experienced my first panic attack with my ex-partner. After a long and stressful day at work, all I wanted to do was relax at home. However, my partner wanted to go out, and I agreed to make him happy. As I struggled to fit into my jeans, I suddenly experienced a change in my breathing, and before I knew it, I was having a full-blown panic attack in my bathroom. The exhaustion from constant fighting and lack of sleep had become so overwhelming that even putting on my jeans became a trigger for me.
10. I was scared to fall in love again… and still am
It has been nearly four years since I ended my toxic relationship, but I have not let myself fall in love with anyone else since then. Love now seems like a black hole that could consume me again, so I am cautious. Despite trying dating apps and being set up by friends, I have only gone on a few dates. I am open to the idea of finding love in the future, but for now, I am prioritizing my own happiness.