It’s never easy admitting to friends and family, let alone yourself, when you are not in the most ideal relationship. Most of the time we focus on trying to convince ourselves and others of our happiness, because living in hope seems like the lesser evils of breaking up or staying in an unhappy place.
We can feel guilty for wanting more or hiding the truth from everyone purely because no one likes to feel like they messed up, or perhaps simply we are just in self-denial. But here are some definite tell-tale comments that are frequently heard from people living in a toxic or unfulfilling relationship:
1: “They’re just going through a phase, it’s not forever…”
The thing with phases is that they have an expiry date, and if your partner is still doing the same thing over and over again to hurt you or your relationship then chances are it’s not just a phase. A healthy relationship will have season of hardships but it will not have consistent conflict or continual phases of sadness, insecurity, doubt and stress. Get to know the red flags from the start and make sure you know where healthy boundaries need to be set.
2: “I think it will be better once we move in together…”
Whilst living together usually does give you a chance to really see if your relationship will last or not, it shouldn’t be the last string to try and save it. You should both be able to have a healthy, fulfilling and functional relationship whilst not living together first. Moving in together should be the next step of progress after you have established a firm and positive foundation, because whilst it may be a fun new chapter it also takes a lot of energy and emotions.
3: “I think having a baby will fix it…”
Band-aid-babies are never a good idea, even if you are married! An extra child will automatically add extra pressure financially and emotionally, eat up more “together time” and take away precious sleep which always adds to the stress levels. Having a child with someone requires a lot from both parents and will deplete the much-needed quality time that your relationship is asking for. The most ideal time to have a baby with your partner is when you both know that you are stable and strong as a couple and can handle the added little bundle.
4: “We’ve been together for so long now…”
Just because you have been with someone for a certain amount of time and created a life and memories, does not mean you have to continue with them. Stop guilt tripping and justifying their behaviour and your sadness based off the history you have with them. Your relationship shouldn’t leave you weary and if you are recalling on your time together it should be to celebrate memories not to explain why you “should” or “have” to stay with them.The biggest lie we can tell ourselves is that we have to stay with someone just because of what we have created with them or the amount of time we have invested into what you have as a couple.
5: It’s OK, the fairy tale isn’t realistic anyway…
Yes it is realistic, even if it doesn’t involve Disney songs! Don’t kid yourself into thinking being unhappy and settling has to be your reality, you are worthy of more and are clearly yearning for something better. Wanting to be in a happy and satisfying relationship is not an unrealistic dream, it’s actually something completely normal, justifiable and achievable.
Relationships are hard work and each one has its own process, seasons of growth and problems, but let’s not become so focused on what we want it to be that we lose sight of what it really is. Your happiness is your responsibility, and choosing to love yourself first and not settling for second best doesn’t mean that you will end up single or alone. Yes there is the awful breakup process, but don’t let a temporary pain hold you back from a lifetime potential of happiness.