Why are we so often drawn to toxic relationships? Why do we settle in and stay a while? Maybe it’s the challenge, the chase or the drama of it all. We like to mistake dysfunction for passion. Maybe it’s because we don’t know HOW to have a normal, healthy, loving relationship. We were never taught the right way to love and be loved. Maybe it’s because we don’t know how damn special we are so we allow ourselves to be mistreated. We haven’t yet figured out that we deserve better!
I’ve been in more toxic relationships than I care to admit. Lying, cheating, physical abuse, emotional and mental abuse, manipulation and narcissism. You name it, I’ve been there. Honestly I think that most of us have had our fair share of experiences with these types of unhealthy behaviors. It’s part of life, right? Live and learn. Make mistakes and grow from them. It just seems like a lot of us continue making the same mistakes over and over again. Sometimes we expect different outcomes and other times we just completely accept things as they are and continue being miserable.
On the bright side of all the madness though, we have an opportunity to learn A LOT about ourselves and about trust, respect, loyalty, commitment and all the other things that make relationships work or fail. I’m actually thankful for my
failed relationships because I now have a clearer picture of what I want for my future. It took me a really long time to even form a vision of what I wanted my life to be like, but now that I’ve experienced some bad things, I am certain about what I DON’T want my life to be like. With all the pain and heartache came strength. With all the confusion came clarity. I just had to go through it.
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from my relationships was also one of the hardest things to do. It’s taking the high road. Break ups suck. Ending a friendship sucks. Fighting with family sucks. No matter what the situation may be, sometimes it just sucks. Don’t become bitter. Some people will take jabs at you, try to hurt you and say things about you. But you know what? That actually says more about them than it does about you! People do and say spiteful, hateful things when they’re angry or hurt. At the time, it may feel like the end of the world as you know it, but in reality, none of it matters in the long run. The people who really matter and who belong in your life know better and will continue loving you. There’s no need to seek revenge or defend yourself. Don’t stoop to that level. Rise above all of it. Before you know it, you’ll be amazed with yourself and how strong you have become. You’ll be thankful for that difficult time in your life because it proved to you that you cannot be broken.
And you don’t owe anyone an explanation when you take steps away from toxicity and move towards positivity. What matters is that you keep moving. Keep searching for your peace and happiness. It’s going to hurt for a while, but not forever. It’s ok to admit that it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s ok to realize that you want and deserve better for yourself. Hold your head high and know that what’s meant to be, will be. And one thing we’re NOT meant to be is unhappy.
Every time I have acted out of frustration, or reacted out of anger or spite, I have regretted it. Nothing good comes from wanting to hurt someone else. As badly as they hurt you, the pain will subside and one day you will be left feeling good about yourself because you did not get dragged down to their low and sad level. Moving on with maturity, hope in your heart, and kindness in your actions is the ultimate victory.