1. Whenever you get mad at him, you tell yourself that you’re overreacting. That you’re the crazy one. That you need to tone your emotions down if you want to keep him around.
2. You make excuses for him. Whenever he screws up, you find a way to justify the hurtful things that he did. He must have had a good reason for them. Right?
3. You believe in second chances. And you’ve given your boyfriend a bucketload of second chances. It’s because you think he has the power to change. That he wants to change. For you.
4. You feel bad for him. Whenever he treats you like trash, you think about what a hard childhood he had. About how he’s never seen a healthy relationship. About how he has the right to make mistakes.
5. You think that your relationship is normal. That every relationship involves snooping and cheating and name-calling.
6. You’re friends with the wrong people. People that are in relationships as toxic as yours. When you see how often your BFF’s boyfriend gets high on heroin, you feel like your relationship is actually the superior one.
7. You forgive him whenever he does something wrong (even if it’s the hundredth time he’s committed the same sin), as long as he apologizes for it.
8. You ignore the tears on your face and the bruises on your arms. Whenever you think about him, you focus on all of the happy memories. Because, really, he’s a good person once you get to know him.
9. You want to save him. You think that, by giving him enough love and affection, he’ll turn into the man that you wish he was.
10. When your loved ones advise you to break up with him, you end up in a screaming match with them. You honestly don’t see why they hate him as much as they do.
11. A little bit of affection means a lot to you. If he kisses you on the cheek or actually remembers your anniversary, you’ll feel like the luckiest woman in the world. Your expectations are dangerously low.
12. You’re always thinking about how horrible the single life was. About how you never want to crawl into an empty bed again. About how you’d rather deal with unhealthy relationship issues than be alone.
13. You laugh off your pain. If he wastes his entire paycheck on liquor or you catch him at a strip club, it’ll be a “funny story to tell your friends.” Boys will be boys, right?
14. You believe the bullshit about how men can’t keep it in their pants — about how monogamy is a lie. That’s why, whenever he cheats, you let it slide.
15. You never talk about your relationship problems. You just ignore them. Hope that they’ll magically fade away.
16. You love him. You’re so madly, blindly, irrationally in love with him that you don’t want to see how toxic he is. You don’t want to admit that he’s ruining your life. But, deep down, you know you need to leave him. You know you need to say goodbye.