When you find love, it can be a glorious experience that brings feelings of ecstasy beyond your wildest imagination. Sadly, not all relationships remain that vibrant and healthy. While no relationship is perfect, some relationships deteriorate to the point of becoming toxic to the life and health of one or both of the people in that relationship.
If your partner is aggressive or hostile toward you on a regular basis, this can be a decimating experience. You may even feel trapped inside that relationship, unsure of how to get out or even whether you should.
If you're trapped in an unhealthy relationship, know that there are ways you can help yourself.
Consider these steps to save your life and protect yourself from such a relationship:
- Know that they likely won't change. One of the common phrases you hear from people in unhealthy relationships is that it's not as bad as it seems. Unfortunately, this is often a smokescreen to hide a sad reality from the outside world.
- If you're holding on to the hope that things will change, you must know that this may not be the case. While some people do find the fortitude to turn their lives around, a person who is abusing you will likely continue to do so. Take the necessary steps to protect your safety, and then focus on getting help to heal the abusive relationship.
- Avoid the blame game. An abusive significant other may make you feel like you deserve the treatment you get. They can even go so far as to say that it's your fault that they abuse you. The truth is that you're a valuable person that deserves to be treated with respect. No one deserves abuse, and this includes you.
- Use confidence as your greatest weapon. An abusive spouse may try to make you feel inferior and weak. Instead, choose to consider yourself as valuable. Your feelings and thoughts really do matter! You deserve love, respect, and the room to grow and explore the things you're passionate about.
- Your partnership should be one that considers the needs of both of you as decisions are being made. You deserve the dignity and empowerment to be who you are without fear. Remind yourself of that fact as often as you can, because your confidence will be your most potent ally in the relationship challenges you face.
- Remember that not all abuse is physical. Some relationships do, sadly, degrade to the point of physical abuse. However, that's not the only form of mistreatment. Some abuse can be psychological or emotional. While the signs of emotional or psychological abuse aren't as obvious, this abuse can also be very damaging.
- Seek wise counsel. If you're a religious person, seek the advice of your pastor or spiritual leader. If not, confide in a trusted friend that you believe will provide wise advice from an unbiased perspective. Get help from a professional counselor who can guide your individual journey to health and healing.
- A friend or trusted advisor can often see things that you and your partner are blinded to, because intimate relationships are filled with emotions that cloud your view.
- It's more helpful to seek the advice of someone who's unbiased, rather than someone who simply jumps to your side and defends you no matter what. Although such a friend can give you much-needed support, their advice is also biased.
You deserve to experience a life where your individuality is celebrated. You're valuable for who you are, and you can overcome an unhealthy relationship. Seek wise counsel and, above all, protect yourself and know that you can still live an abundant and fulfilling life.