I fell in love like I’d always imagined I would. Hopelessly and completely. Growing up as a shy bookworm, I had grown up thinking that all men were honorable and kind like Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and my other literary heroes. It took years for me to realize this wasn’t the case. That not all men were good and kind and that unfortunately for me, the man I had fallen head over heels for was neither.
Narcissistic and selfish but definitely not kind. Of course, no-one likes admitting when they’re in a toxic, unhealthy relationship. Sometimes it’s hard to realize that you’re in one and by the time you do, you’re stuck. You’re stuck with a man or woman who is adamant they love you, despite their controlling behavior.
Looking back and it is with some pain, I realize I was a doormat. I gave in to his whims. I stopped seeing my friends simply so he wouldn’t be angry with me. I even agreed with whatever he said so he wouldn’t blame me for putting him in a mood. After all, I felt responsible for his moods.
It didn’t seem so bad at the time. I loved him. I wanted to be with him, no matter the form that took. Despite the fact I became isolated and deeply unhappy. What made it worse is that he barely noticed his behavior.
It’s easy to see the signs that the relationship was unhappy but that’s simply because I know what to look for now.
For instance, when your life revolves around someone who not only makes you feel bad about yourself but deeply unhappy, something is wrong. During our relationship, I was told that I could not cut my hair because he didn’t want me to. I agreed eagerly. Partly because I didn’t want to disobey but also because I didn’t want to upset him. Then he started to having tantrums whenever I saw my friends, making me feel bad for having other people in my life whilst he was at it. Slowly, I saw them less and less. His role in my life was getting bigger and bigger. At one point, I seemed to forget what I liked and only knew what he did. Luckily for me the relationship ended but the scars from it still remain.
If you’re with a man who sees you as a possession, remind yourself that you are worthy of happiness. No matter what you may feel. Love does not need to cause you to be unhappy. It is not love causing you to be unhappy. It is the person you are with. The one thing I regret is that I lost my identity along with my self respect. No-one should be allowed to take those things from you. We are worth so much more than that.