Toxic relationships are hard to get out of because you don’t want to confess that you fell for a bad guy. You don’t want to let the world know that yes, you made a mistake and shouldn’t have dated him in the first place.
So instead of admitting that your heart led you down the wrong path, you convince yourself that your relationship is just going through a rough patch. You tell yourself that things are going to get better. That you can work through this.
You force yourself believe that he can — and will — change. That he’ll do it if he loves you enough. That he’ll do it because he wants this relationship to work as much as you do.
So you stay in the relationship longer than you should.
Your brain does this bizarre thing where it filters through memories. It ignores the bad days — all of the times where he left you crying alone on the bathroom floor without coming to comfort you — and it focuses on the good days.
Your mind reminds you of all of the times where he sat on the floor to play with your dog or made your parents laugh while out at dinner. It reminds you of the rare times when he spoiled you, when he bought your favorite flowers, which were the right color and everything.
You tell yourself that those happy moments wouldn’t have happened if he didn’t care, if you two weren’t right for each other. Those moments keep you holding onto something you know you should have let go of weeks, months, or maybe even years ago.
Toxic relationships are hard to get out of because you end up making justifications for actions that honestly have no excuse. He texts you about what a whore you are and threatens to leave you — and you tell yourself that none of it would have happened if you didn’t let him know about the guy at the bar who kept staring at you the other night.
Somehow, you find a way to blame yourself. You find a way to make him look like the good guy in the situation.
Toxic relationships are hard to get out of because you get to a point where you forget what a healthy relationship looks like. You don’t even realize that the things your boyfriend has been doing are fucked up.
You find it normal. You find nothing wrong with it.
You’re so used to the way that his mind works, with the way that your relationship works, that you don’t question whether he has a right to tell you how to dress and who to talk to. You don’t question whether he’s emotionally abusing you.
Even when your friends and family point it out, you think they’re overreacting. You think they don’t understand because they’re looking from the outside.
Toxic relationships are hard to get out of because you love the person. You wouldn’t have dreamed of staying this long if they didn’t mean anything to you. They mean everything to you.
You can’t imagine life without them — and that’s why you haven’t left yet.
But you know you have to leave eventually. You know they’re making your life more stressful than it is supposed to be.
You know that you deserve a love that doesn’t hurt.