I remember my unhealthy relationship years ago kept me asking this question over and over and over again.
“Is this really a healthy loving relationship? Or is this, by far, the most toxic thing I have ever experienced in my life.”
You would think that is a simple question to answer – but in reality, it’s one of the hardest things to decipher when you are going through it.
Love is heated and passionate. So it’s only natural that a relationship has ups and downs right? So how do we actually figure out if we are just having a normal relationship or a seriously destructive disastrous romance that leaves us running for the hills?
Today’s post… breaking it down for ya!
Warning Signs You Are In A Toxic Relationship
Take a good hard look at your relationship and see if any of these little warning signs ring a bell.
When you fight, you feel like you are constantly being misunderstood.
Time and time again you are finding yourself in heated arguments that you feel like you never officially “solve.” Not to mention, you find yourself fighting about the same things over and over again with little results. What’s worse is that when you have these arguments, you feel like no matter what you say he just “doesn’t get it.”
You feel like you have tried to change yourself to please partner too often.
You stop being as “emotional” to please him. Or maybe you stop being so flirty because he isn’t comfortable with affection. Or how about all the times you yelled or started raising your voice and thought to yourself, “this isn’t me. Why am I acting this way?” If you find yourself changing who you are in a negative way, your relationship may be doing you and your individuality some serious harm. Part of being in a loving relationship is accepting the differences and uniqueness each partner brings to the table. And if you feel like your relationship isn’t doing that, it may be a big warning sign your love life isn’t really as healthy as you thought it was.
You have a lost your sense of worth or confidence and can attribute it to your relationship.
You feel stuck. Insecure. Afraid of walking away because you don’t think you’ll find anything better. In my past relationship, I was always scared of walking away because I was told so many times that “No one else would ever love me.” I started to believe I was damaged goods, and that even if my unhealthy relationship was bad, I wouldn’t be able to find anything else. This is a big red flag.
You are constantly giving yourself and getting little back.
You give up hobbies, cancel time with friends, devote all your energy to trying to fix the relationship, but when you reflect on your partner’s actions, you see little of the same “hard work” that you keep putting in. You constantly try to show your partner that you do love them, hoping to get some love and affection back but often times you feel like nothing happens.
It’s time to walk away girl.
What other warning signs have you experienced or seen? Come share in the Facebook Group.
I’m writing this to you. See that picture? That’s our house. Today we move in. “We Buy House,” as we say, is now “We Have House.” Today we start “traditions.” Today we have our first home together. Today is so freekin exciting I need to just tell you that… document it in a blog post.
“It will be great,” is now a thing of the past. Lucky me – because now you can’t make fun of me for saying cheesy things like that. Now it’s just great. There’s no “will be.”
But seriously I just want to tell you how much I love you. How much you mean to me. And how deeply and truly appreciative I am of you. This is one of the happiest moments of my life. And I am so happy to be sharing it with you.
Let’s go get house together. xoxox
Yes, Today is the Big Day!
This beautiful home we have been hoping and wishing for is finally ours. And today is the day we sign the papers, get the keys and move up into a new awesome chapter of our lives.
I am so so excited. But also nervous… but mostly excited. EEK!
Okay.. so here’s the deal.. I am also super emotional. Because this is the first time in what feels like FOREVER that I will finally have a true home. I mean – I know that sounds nuts, but it’s kinda true. I have moved almost every year since 2007. I have the deets to prove it if you don’t believe me.
2007- I went to college moved to NJ.
2008- I transformed and moved back to Long Island
2009- moved into my friend Britt’s house.
2010 – moved into my future husbands house
2011 – we moved into a new house together
2012 – I got divorced and moved into my parents
2013- I started my single life and moved to the Bronx
2014- I fell in love with Matt and we moved to Westchester
2016 We decided to buy a house and we moved to Connecticut.
AND NOW HERE WE ARE.
It took me 9 years to get here. To find true love, to get a stable footing. To have the happiness I always wanted. Matt is wonderful. This year we officially found a home and made it ours… among other things like getting engaged, it seems 2016 has seriously been an amazing year.
The fact that I did so much moving around for so long may seem cool and exciting – but truthfully, it sucked. It didn’t happen because I was feeling adventurous. It happened because my life was a rollercoaster mess and I kept having to try and find my way.
It was hard. And it was lonely. And for a while I thought I would never have the life I wanted – with happiness, peace and a total sense of joy.
But here I am now.
This is the scariest thing in the world for me. But it’s the thing I have always wanted.
The moral of the story here is don’t ever stop fighting for happiness. Don’t ever believe that the past needs to dictate the future. You can change anything.
Oh.. and one last thing – I’ll be sharing some live videos on Facebook today of the house!! So be sure you are following me.
When My Love Life Turned My Life Upside Down
Let me take you back to 2012. The year my whole entire life changed. The year that (I think) actually catapulted me into the life I have now: full of self love, happiness, and joy. You see, before I became the What is Perfection Girl and developed all my online self improvement courses, I actually had a pretty messed up story to tell.
So here’s just a little part of it. Me: 2012.
My bank account was empty, and so was my heart. I was about to walk away from my 5 year relationship. Actually.. I was really walking away. Literally. Well.. more like running.
And all of my belongings were jam packed into a the back seat of my ’95 Honda Civic. I was done. Officially.
I decided it was time to leave my relationship because I was so sick of being hurt. It had been years of me trying to make it work and I guess I reached my breaking point. I don’t know what that “point” was specifically, but I definitely knew I was broken. And so “over” the being lied to and the secrets. There were so many secrets.
Having your life physically fall apart in just a matter of months isn’t the worst part: It’s believing that you will never be able to put it back together again. My life was a big Humpty Dumpty Disaster, and I had no idea how to fix it.
In case you’ve never been in a story book like this one, let me tell you what happens next:
You feel hopeless. You start believing you will never be happy again. You form this idea that you are a miserable person who will always be miserable. You feel angry and resentful for the pain you are carrying. And you fall into a scary pitiful version of yourself you didn’t know existed.
You feel stuck, heartbroken, and angry. “I never asked for this.” or ‘Why me?” are very common mantras.
Ever been there? You know what I’m talking about.
And while other people may not feel like the world has ended, you sure as hell do.
The truth is, as painful as those moments are, having your world turn upside down can be the best thing that ever happened to you.
You just need to let it.
Rebuilding and starting over.
Trying to put the pieces of my life back together was really scary. When you live for so long depending on your “other half” for things like happiness, love, and confidence, you kind of forget how to do those things for yourself. And trying learn how to do those things again for the first time is really hard.
But I promise you – now matter how hard it is, rebuilding your life and being able to look back on what you once had will make you feel so grateful for that experience. Because once you heal your heart, you will see just how wrong that past life was for you.
When My Life Turned Upside Down, It Changed for the Better.
Before my “Perfect Life” shattered in front of my eyes, I was living with rose colored glasses on. I didn’t see it then, but looking back six years later, I can see how truly unhappy I was. I was successful, happy, and loved by everyone else’s standards but my own. I wasn’t “truly fulfilled by my life” but I didn’t realize until it was taken from me.
To everyone else, my life was “perfect.” At least that’s what people told me. I had a “successful” career as a television news producer. At least that’s what other people said. I was a married young twenty-something who lived a loving happy wonderful life. At least that’s what other people saw.
When my marriage ended I was able to take off the rose colored glasses and see my life for what it really was: Something that caused me more unhappiness than joy. I had a life that I was “trying to make work,” rather than a life I truly wanted.
My life was never perfect because it wasn’t the life I wanted it to be.
I was never actually successful because I wasn’t pursuing my passion.
I didn’t feel wonderful or full of love because those qualities were only based on other people’s standards.
Picking up the pieces of my life and rebuilding myself became almost like a big art collage project. I was able to remove all the clutter, the garbage, the unnecessary and the negative; I started filling my life with all the things I truly wanted there. I recreated my life.
Looking back, six years later, I realize that I didn’t just leave a broken marriage: I left a broken life. And having the chance to rebuild it was the best most wonderful opportunity I ever had. It was a chance at a fresh start and new beginning: To makes something of myself that I truly wanted.
And it’s a chance that – if you’re struggling in an unhealthy unhappy relationship (or trying to heal your heart from one) you deserve to have too.
Sometimes you need a little help (heads up all my life transformation tips are in my online courses)
But there’s a deep lesson you need to learn here: Painful experiences can be a blessing in disguise. You may not ask for painful experiences, you may not expect them, and you may even curse the world for letting bad things happen to you: But years later, you can look back smile, and chant a new mantra:
“Everything Happens for A Reason.”
What happened when I finally moved forward?
I healed my heart in a way that I didn’t even know it needed to heal! I thought that my relationship was the only thing damaged, but when that ended, I realized that my self love needed a ton of TLC too. Had I not had that rock bottom experience, I would have never faced the truth about myself – I was picking low-worth relationships because I had a low-worth placed on myself. I didn’t think I was deserving of the good stuff. I was constantly trying to please other people, so all I did was find “takers” to fill my life with. People who would take advantage of me.
By walking away from that relationship, I was able to drastically transform every area of my life. And I’ve never been happier.
Don’t worry… one day. That will be you too.
What You Need To Remember When Things Are Tough:
This is a learning moment – that if you let it – can make you stronger.
Everything – even the shitty stuff – happens for a reason.
Life is never perfect. And sometimes when things go drastically wrong, it just means there is a big drastic transformation waiting to happen.
Heads up. If you’re relating to this story here, hurting and down on your luck. I’d suggest you check out:
Back when I was in an unhealthy relationship –
I would go to my friends and family for advice…
and often times, they would get frustrated when I didn’t listen.
Here’s what I would have said back then if I had the courage:
Dear friend: I know he is an asshole. And I know you hate it.
But there are some things you need to know…things that haven’t been said. After all, you are usually the one giving the advice… telling me what I should do and how I should move on from my unhealthy relationship… but I ask that just for now, you take some advice instead of giving it.
Because you need to hear this. There are a few things you need to know from me, your friend who is struggling an unhealthy abusive relationship. You know, the one you are always trying to help guide. I need to speak the truth here. And I know first hand that sometimes the truth is hard to hear. But just as I need to hear it often, you need to hear it too.
I know you are frustrated with me. I am frustrated with my life too.
You get upset when I don’t listen to your advice. I come to you with my problems and tell you what is happening in my unhealthy relationship, and I hear the same things from you. You tell me “leave him,” and “you need to walk away.” Then you get frustrated when I don’t “listen to you.” But it isn’t because I don’t love you. And it isn’t because I don’t trust you. It’s just that I’m not ready to do what I know I need to do.
I may just need time. And yes, you may be frustrated – but I need you to love me anyway.
You have been giving me the same advice time and time again, telling me the same common sense opinion – “This relationship is no good for you,” you say. “I’m sorry but you deserve so much better than this,” you tell me.
I know this is true. And I know you are sick of saying it. And I’m sometimes sick of hearing it too. Because it’s sometimes hard for me to actually believe it. But I love you anyway. And I need you to return the favor and love me anyway too. Even if I don’t do what you tell me to do the moment you say it. Because it isn’t that you aren’t “right.” It is just that I am scared to do this.
I feel embarrassed when you act as if I should know better.
It isn’t that I don’t want to walk away, and it isn’t that I think you are wrong. It is just that I don’t know how to do it yet. Maybe I’m not ready. Maybe I’m trying to find the strength. Maybe I just need time. But whatever it is – whatever the reason I don’t listen to you – it isn’t because I don’t love you or that I don’t need you around to talk to about my problems. I love and need you now more than ever before. I just need you to not take it so personally when I don’t listen. Please respect that sometimes it takes me a while to hear what you are saying – to believe in myself and find the strength to listen to your sound advice may not happen right away. Please be patient. I am working on finding my strength.
Because your words are strong, but his words are still stronger sometimes…
You can tell me 100 times I should leave. But he has told me a million times that no one will ever love me the way that I am. So finding the strength to trust your words is hard – because it means I have to let go of his words too. And that takes a long time.
You can tell me 200 times that I deserve better. But when my partner has made me feel worthless, it is hard to trust that I will in fact find something better than this.
And you can say 300 times that things will get better, but they were better – three years go or three months ago when he was a different wonderful loving person that I fell in love with – and that’s hard to walk away from.
Maybe you are confident that I should walk away – but my confidence has been beaten down for years. And so making decisions on my own is something that is scary for me. It isn’t easy.
My mind has been molded over the years in this relationship… and retraining my brain to believe in my worth and see myself as more deserving than this is something that is going to take time. And I am hoping you keep patient with me.
Please let me keep coming to you.
I may not have the self esteem and confidence you do. Which is probably why I keep coming to you – because I admire your strength and I respect your advice.
And eventually I will take it. But if I am not ready at this moment, please be patient. Please don’t shut down and push me away when I don’t do what you tell me to do. I need you to understand that with every conversation I have with you, I grow stronger and more trusting that this is the right decision – to walk away. But it may take some time… it may take more conversations. It may take months or years… but please, please be patient.
Eventually it will happen. But please don’t shut me out or get mad when my actions don’t follow your expected timeline. Everyone finds strength in their own way… and my way may be different than your. It may take more time for me. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
And just because I don’t take your advice the second you give it, it doesn’t mean that I’m not listening.
I am listening. And I’ll keep listening. And eventually I’ll listen enough to actually do something about it.
But for the time being please let me keep coming to you. Please be there. Don’t let your frustration get in the way of the help I need.
If I am coming to you, it is because I admire you. I trust you. And I want your advice. I just also want kindness, and patience, and the respect that I may not be ready just yet .
But one day I will be.
And I would so love it if you could be there when it happens. So I can thank you for always being there.
FEEL READY TO GET HELP?
I’m on the phone with a private investigator hoping he can help me find out all of my husband’s secrets. For the first time I share every detail of what is going on in my marriage. It’s embarrassing, but I am desperate to get help.
I tell him everything. The PI is silent for a minute. Finally, he speaks.
“Do you have a support system?” the private investigator says. “You know, someone to talk to?”
It’s not exactly what you expect to hear when you make a call to a PI.
“I would really love to help you – but you just need to walk away from this. It sounds bad,” he says.
You expect a price negotiation, a proposal for his undercover plan maybe, an idea for catching your husband in all his secrets.
I’m not hearing any of that.
“Seriously you need to get out.”
What I am hearing instead is a stranger who just listened to me vomit my whole life story and now feels bad for me.
“I don’t need a support system. I need someone to help me find out my husband is lying,” I thought back then.
If you don’t know the story here, let me fill you in.
It was 2012 and I was married to a drug addict.
I didn’t know he had a problem until the very end of our relationship.
He was really good at keeping secrets.
He was also really good at stealing money to support his habit…. Which is why he got fired…
And why his former boss wanted to arrange a meeting with me.
And why I was calling a private investigator that day.
But the only truth the PI had for me was the obvious:
This relationship is totally destructive, damaging and scary.
And I need to run the fuck away. Now. Get out fast.
It wasn’t exactly the truth I was looking for, but there it was.
Right out of the Private Investigator’s mouth.
Facing the truth your relationship is terrible.
Anytime anyone walks away from a relationship, they can usually look back years later and recognize the red flags. The problems leading up to the big breaking point seem obvious. “Yeah, no duh that was terrible,” you look back and think.
But in the moment of making decision like that, things aren’t so crystal clear. Deciding to stay or go seems complicated. The lines between right and wrong are blurry.
The idea of walking away from something – no matter how destructive it currently is – feels scary. You worry this is just a bump in the road you are supposed to overcome together – and you wonder if you are making a mistake.
At least I did. Yes, even after a total stranger and private investigator listened to my story and told me to get out – I still wondered if I was making the right choice.
Calling it quits makes you feel like a failure.
Or an idiot. Or sometimes, like in my case, it makes you feel both of those things. Finding out that the relationship you once thought was wonderful was actually so destructive and horrible is a big shock.
In that moment, I felt like life had just thrown me this big massive curve ball that I didn’t see coming. And now it was hitting me right in the face. Hard. And in front of an audience.
Because now I would have to tell my friends and family exactly what was going on. I would have to tell them that I was so naive to not see something like this coming. And it was embarrassing.
What I wish I knew back then:
The unknown future is always better than the painful “now.”
Today, years later, I am a totally different person. I am legit the happiest version of myself that I have ever been in my life. I now have a new love in my life and have totally and completely healed my heart. Had I known that I was capable of those things back then, I would have went running for the hills way before it came down to calling a PI. The fear of the unknown can keep so many of us feeling stuck in our present misery. But the truth is if a current life situation is painful – anything else is better than that. Using that mindset really got me through the tough times of having to be alone.
A support system is only good if you’re ready to hear what they have to say.
Yes. Believe it or not, even after that moment I did try to work through my relationship. Shocking – I know. but the truth is sometimes you need to learn lessons the hard way. If you have a support system for what you are going through – that is absolutely fantastic. But if you aren’t ready to hear what they have to say about your unhealthy relationship – it doesn’t matter how right they are.
A bad partner will always be a bad partner.
Don’t get me wrong, bad habits die hard but can actually die. We all have unhealthy habits we bring to the relationship table. But there’s a big difference between working on a few communication skills vs. totally trying to change someone. My ex-husband was not a loving caring honest partner, and that was just the hard cold truth. I couldn’t change that about him even if I tried (and trust me – I tried for a long, long time.) You cannot change people or alter their values to align with yours.
A terrible relationship is often a sign that you feel terrible about yourself.
Ouch. Hurts to hear doesn’t it? But it’s the truth. I don’t care who tells you otherwise. If you find yourself holding onto a terrible relationship – it’s probably because you don’t believe you are capable of finding anything better. And you need to fix that mentality way way before you fix any relationship with anyone else. Case and point.
The key to moving on from a horrible relationship is repairing the relationship you have with yourself.
When I left that relationship I knew one thing for sure: I NEVER wanted to go through anything like that again. And I never did. Because I worked on myself. Once I left that relationship I spent years rebuilding my worth and restructuring my identity. I grew confidence, re-established my values and completely drastically changed my life. Now – I know exactly what I deserve. I went from rock bottom broken to a totally beautiful life that I am so grateful for.
Going through things like this? You should check out the 30 Day Online Course
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