Sunday, 1 July 2018

Knowing When You're In The Right & Wrong Kind Of Relationship

I've had three longterm relationships since I started 'dating'. I guess I was late to dating + having boyfriends as my first was when I was 17. Before that in my teen years I was focused on getting good grades and getting out of the wee town I lived in, also being a chubby teen I was considered less than desirable amongst my super slim counterparts. I was ok with that, I focused on what I needed to do, got the grades and went to uni hoping to find the ideal guy to bring home to my mum. It didn't quite turn out that way. 

TW* Talk of domestic abuse.

In my first year at uni I met my first proper boyfriend. My first love. We were inseparable even though we lived quite a distance apart, we spent a small fortune on flights up and down the country to see each other. I was absolutely besotted with him. I had never met a guy like him. A few months into the relationship I was pretty oblivious to the cracks forming, but my friends weren't. They asked why I never came out anymore, why I was missing some uni classes, why I was constantly messaging him in class if I did go into uni that day. I didn't really think a lot into it. It was my first real relationship and I genuinely believed that this was just how things went. You were supposed to message your partner every 10 minutes on a night out to assure them you weren't with someone else. You were supposed to always answer every single time they called you, without question. But, the same didn't work the other way round. He would sometimes ignore me when he went out, he would turn everything around to make it seem like my fault. He would tell me I had made stuff up, or that my feelings weren't even valid. This is when I should have told him that I never wanted to see him again, but I didn't. I did everything I could to reassure him, I stopped seeing my friends as much, I answered all of the phone calls and I became a paranoid mess

This isn't something that I want to go into detail on, but it took a very serious turn when things turned violent. Even after those times I stayed with him. I know how ridiculous that might sound to some of you reading, but I felt no way out. He had made me believe that nobody would want me, that I was lucky to have him and I genuinely believed that. He was absolutely everything I had as I had turned my back on so many of my friends. I feel really sad to even think about the person that I was at that time, because it really wasn't me. I would cry every single night, especially on the nights he would go out, as I knew I would get the brunt of his rage when he got home. I remember falling asleep one night and missing his call when he got back to home. I woke up with 35 missed calls, called him immediately and he told me that he had punched in his bedroom window because I had made him so mad as I hadn't answered the phone. He had done this because of me. It was my fault. I still remember apologising to him for that, begging him not to break up with me. Now, when I think back to this I realise how wild that sounds, but I quickly realised the easiest way to stop the arguing was to admit I was wrong no matter the circumstance, and apologise. 

We were in a toxic relationship. We would break up and get back together every few weeks. We would go through the same cycle time and time again of me apologising to him for whatever he had told me that I had done. He cheated on me - I apologised. He was aggressive - I apologised. He missed uni because he was too tired - I HAD to apologise. Eventually he broke up with me and I was completely and utterly heart broken. I wasn't relieved to be away from him, I honestly wondered what the fuck I was going to do because he was really the only person I had. I had to rebuild myself after that as my self worth was at the lowest it could have been. I had to rebuild my friendships and other relationships, I had to really focus at uni as I had missed out on a lot and I essentially started again. 

This 1.5 year long relationship has effected every one of my relationships after it. Its effected every date I've been on, my thoughts on every guy I've liked and still effects me now. It's the wrong kind of relationship in every way. You should not have to beg your partner to stay with you. You should not have to call or text them every 10 minutes to reassure them that you aren't sleeping with someone else. You SHOULD NOT apologise to them for something you have not done. They should not manipulate your thoughts or feelings, or make you think something happened when it didn't. Thats an unhealthy relationship, and actually its domestic abuse. 

For a while I definitely attracted the wrong kind of person, maybe the vibes I was giving off after being in a really toxic relationship were attracting shit guy after shit guy. But finally, when I least expected it I found the right person for me. 

I have never felt so comfortable with anyone in my life - maybe a bit too comfortable - but it's kinda nice to feel so relaxed with someone. I can be completely myself, without judgement. In fact he loves the weirdo side of me. He encourages me to push myself to be the best person I can be. He is kind and gentle with me. He is extremely patient with me - this is especially important as I have a chronic illness a lot of patience is needed! He apologises when he has done something wrong, and I apologise when I feel I should too. He does not make me message him continually when I'm out by myself, in fact he tells me to have a great night and there are no expectations to have to keep in constant contact with him. He checks in on me, he always makes sure I'm OK, and just being around him eases me. 

He understood my commitment issues, my insecurities and he has helped me to unpack those issues and learn to trust him. If I'm completely honest I think trusting men will always be something I'll find difficult to do, but I trust that he would never hurt me like I've been hurt in the past. He tells me he loves me everyday, and he does little things to try and show it. I know now that I am in the right kind of relationship - obviously every relationship is different - but for me this is the right kind. It is loving, it is safe and it is stable. 

Let me make it clear that you are important. Some people can take a lot from us, but we can get it back. We might need help from family, friends, loved ones, a councillor, to be able to get it back but we can. It's important if you've been in a toxic relationship to talk through your feelings with someone. You are no less of a person for staying with someone who was abusive to you. You can get out. You are loving, and you are strong. x

The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
The Helpline can give support, help and information over the telephone, wherever the caller might be in the country. The Helpline is staffed 24 hours a day by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers. All calls are completely confidential.

If you are unable to call, you can email WomensAid here:


Chloe x
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