When a relationship hurts to be in, the only thing that will change will be you – a sadder, unhappier version of the person you started out as.
These people will make you doubt yourself by slowly convincing you that they know best and that they’re doing it all for you. ‘You’d just be so much prettier if you lost a few pounds, you know? I’m just being honest.’ Ugh. Unless you have to be craned through your window, or you’re seriously unhealthy, it’s nobody else’s business how luscious your curves are.
If you feel heavy, start by losing the 160 pounds of idiot beside you and you won’t believe how much lighter you’ll feel. These ones aren’t looking out for you; they’re trying to manage you. The people who deserve you will love you because of who you are, not despite it.
8) The One You Want to Change
People aren’t channels, hairstyles or undies. You can’t change them. Someone who snarls at the waiter will always be the kind of person who snarls at the waiter – whether they’re snarling or not. People can change, but only when they’re ready and usually only when they’ve felt enough pain. It’s normal to fight for the things that are important, but it’s important to know when to stop.
When a relationship hurts to be in, the only thing that will change will be you – a sadder, unhappier version of the person you started out as. Before it gets to this, set a time limit in which you want to see change. Take photos of yourself every day – you’ll see it in your eyes if something isn’t right, or check in at the end of each week and write down how you feel. Have something concrete to look back on. It’s easier to let go if it’s clear over time that nothing has changed. It’s even easier if you can see that the only thing different is that the lights have gone out in you.
When people show you over and over that they aren’t capable of loving you the way you want to be loved, believe them
9) The Abuser
The signs might be subtle at first but they’ll be there. Soon, there will be a clear cycle of abuse, but you may or may not recognize it for what it is but this is how it will look:
- There will be rising tension. You’ll feel it. You’ll tread carefully and you’ll be scared of saying or doing the wrong thing.
- Eventually, there will be an explosion. A fight. There will be physical or emotional abuse and it will be terrifying. At first, you’ll make excuses – ‘I shouldn’t have said that/ did that/ gone out/ had an opinion/ said no.
- Then, the honeymoon. The abuser can be wonderfully kind and loving when they need to be, but only when they need to be. You’ll be so desperate for things to get better than you’ll believe the apologies, the tenderness, the declarations of love, the promises.
- The tension will start to rise again. Over time, the cycle will get shorter and it will happen more often. The tension will rise quicker, the explosions will be bigger, and the honeymoons will be shorter.
If this is familiar, you’re in a cycle of abuse. It’s not loving. It’s not stress. It’s not your fault. It’s abuse. The honeymoon will be one of the things that keep you there. The love will feel real and you’ll crave it, of course, you will – that’s completely understandable – but listen to this: Love after abuse isn’t loved, it’s manipulation. If the love was real, there would be mountains moved to make sure you were never hurt or scared again.
10) The Jealous One
Your partner is important and so are other people in your life. If you act in a trustworthy way, you deserve to be trusted. We all get insecure now and then and sometimes we could all do with a little more loving and reassurance, but when the questions, accusations, and demands are consistent and without reason, it will only be a matter of time before your phone is checked, your movements are questioned, and your friends are closed out. Misplaced jealousy isn’t loved; it’s a lack of trust in you.
11) The Worse-Off One
These people will always have problems that are bigger than yours. You’re sick, they’re sicker; you’re exhausted from working late every night this week, they’re shattered – from the gym; you’ve just lost your job, they’re ‘devastated because it’s really hard when you know someone who’s lost their job’. You’ll always be the supporter, never the supported. There’s only so long that you can keep drawing on your emotional well if there’s nothing coming back.
12) The Sideways Glancer
Ok. So the human form is beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with admiring it, but when it’s done constantly in your company – in your face – it’s tiring, and it feels bad. You deserve to be first and you deserve to feel noticed. That doesn’t mean you have to be first all the time, but certainly, you shouldn’t have to fight strangers for your share of attention. Some things will never be adorable.
13) The Cheater
Infidelity doesn’t have to mean the end of a relationship – that depends on the circumstances and the people involved and it’s not for anyone else to judge whether or not you should stay. It’s a deeply personal decision and one you can make in strength either way, but when infidelity happens more than once, or when it happens without remorse or commitment to the future of the relationship, it will cause breakage.