The truth of the matter is we stay in toxic relationships as at the time we are not even aware it is toxic. The toxicity builds up over time and during that time our self-worth has been destroyed along with all our hopes and dreams.
When we do first see it for what it is, we instinctively do all we can to try and save the relationship thinking we can ‘fix’ it.
All we have truly achieved by staying is hurting ourselves, you see toxic relationships are addictive and like any addiction, it needs to be treated and the cycle broken.
The relationship is dysfunctional and you feel and believe that even ‘this’ relationship is better than no relationship at all, because being alone is something the toxic person had convinced you is something to fear.
You get to the stage where you have this mental scorecard, and each time something happens you mark off who caused it, what caused it, why it happened and so on.
The scorecard grows as you keep score on who is giving more to the relationship, who is to blame when things go wrong and you see your partner playing the passive-aggressive game.
Your toxic partner is unable to communicate as the normal level, they will give hints of what is wrong all faced in your direction so that gets added to your mental scorecard and before long the scorecard is full and the relationship is at an end.
You take your time going through recovery and you really think you will never find someone you want to be in a relationship with ever again. The new you is emerging and you have learned to love yourself all over again.
But a miracle happens and you do meet someone you want to spend time with but you are full of doubts and fears, that’s normal!
Even though you want this relationship you can’t help but overthink every little detail, you are looking for some hidden meaning behind what they say, you wonder if their actions are genuine, you are waiting for a repeat of what has gone before.
When the relationship is going well, you think it is too good to be true so it must be fake, you are waiting for a storm to erupt, you have a new scorecard and this one is how you see the new relationship.
You want to trust them; you want it to work and you know you have to put the effort into keeping your heart and mind open by giving this new person in your life a chance.
You know that you need to start trusting your new partner, but it will be baby steps as this trust is fragile and easily broken.
You start by doing things you both enjoy and both want to do, for you, this is a massive change as for so long you were dictated to about everything. Spending time like this is what happens in normal relationships so it is really the first time you see normal and you’ll enjoy it, that will go on your mental scorecard.
You know fights in relationships are normal we can’t agree all the time, but you will see the difference in a disagreement to a full-blown fight that you are used to. You won’t feel afraid and you will be able to speak your mind with power behind your voice, another one for the scorecard.
You will notice that when your friends and family see you with your new partner they will be happy for you, the looks of worry are not there, the anxious glances are no longer happening and they will see a glow about you they haven’t seen for a long time, and yes, another one for the scorecard.
Your new partner will want to hold your hand, be affectionate in public and it will be genuine, and not a prelude to a public humiliation, yes, go ahead put that on the scorecard.
You will do some of life’s basics together, grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, relaxing on the sofa watching a movie, you will find yourself relaxing into the relationship and beginning to feel life is good, go hit the scorecard up again.
You talk about the future together, do not underestimate this as this is one of the biggest steps you will take, you feel you can trust them and that life can be really good, another one for the scorecard.
You go out and about on your own, you make decisions based on what you want to do when you are apart, you don’t need to ask anyone’s permission! There’s the scorecard calling you again.
You feel love, real love, you feel appreciated and you know that your new partner who was totally aware of your past because you told them has, in fact, helped you move to the final stage of recovery.
Now get out your mental scorecards, see them for what they are. The first one the one of pain and the new one full of hope, a bright future and the one you are living now. Now file them away, their job is done.
Life is good. You feel amazing. You may even cry a little that’s okay that’s the last of the poison leaving your soul, so let them flow.
Look at you now! Strong. Independent. And above all FREE!