Finding love is a wonderful feeling, and it’s a goal most of us share. When we meet someone who makes us feel that spark inside, we try hard to hold onto them as long as possible. Often, we put up with a lot of BS behaviors because we see it as a more favorable situation than being alone, but at a certain point, a relationship that’s tolerant of these behaviors becomes absolutely toxic. If you’ve thought or said any of these things about your boyfriend, you’re likely in denial about just how bad things are.
- My man keeps me in line. Excuse me? When someone says this, it means she’s been emotionally manipulated to accept the controlling nature of her partner. No woman needs a man to “keep her in line.” First of all, as grown ass women, we have every right to be out of line if we please. Second of all, if we do wish to be “in line,” we’re perfectly capable of making that happen on our own.
- I’m a pain in the ass, and he puts up with me. NO! Every woman is unique, and your quirks don’t make you a pain in the ass; they’re a part of who you are. Any man who’s worth a damn will love you for everything you are, not gaslight you into thinking you’re a pain in the ass and he’s such a god for putting up with you.
- Yes, he hit me/humiliated me/left me at the side of the road, but I deserved it. No one deserves to be treated like crap. It doesn’t matter what you did, there’s no excuse for this kind of abusive behavior, and you should have left him immediately when he showed you this scary violent side of himself.
- He’s not perfect, but I love him. There’s a difference between being imperfect and being abusive/controlling. An example of an acceptable imperfection is being terrible at parking or having no sense of direction. Being controlling or emotionally/physically abusive is more than an imperfection; it’s toxic behavior, and it’s a damn good reason to break up with someone. Love isn’t enough to make a relationship worthwhile.
- I know he doesn’t treat me right, but it would be wrong to break up the family. Toxic relationships are so much more complicated when there are children involved. No one wants to admit it, but children aren’t a legitimate excuse to allow yourself to be abused. The reason why is simple: if you allow your children to witness an abusive or controlling relationship firsthand every single day, you’re telling them that the behavior they’re seeing is normal and perfectly acceptable. Therefore, you’re teaching your sons to become abusers and teaching your daughters that it’s OK if a guy treats them badly. Is that really what you want?
- He treats me like a queen when I act like one. How low does your self-esteem have to go in order for you to actually believe you only deserve to be treated right when you meet all of your boyfriend’s demands? That’s messed up on so many levels. Women deserve to be treated right all the time, and men shouldn’t have a problem with that because it’s the right thing to do.
- I know the relationship isn’t perfect, but I can’t do better than him. This one goes right back to the self-esteem issue. It’s sad that so many women think they don’t deserve a great relationship. Who cares if your body is imperfect, your personality is quirky, or you have multiple kids? The right man will love you for everything you are, and he’ll treat you right all the time.
- I know he’s done bad things in the past, but we’re in counseling and he promised to change. Counseling is great, but I really wish it had a higher success rate. Unfortunately, most toxic guys aren’t capable of changing for good. They may go along with the motions of therapy for a while until they’ve successfully earned your trust back, but they’ll almost always go back to who they really are. As a general rule, someone’s natural ingrained personality traits don’t change.