Poisonous relationships can destroy you and you’re often too consumed with the person you think you love to notice it as it’s happening. Thankfully, I realized this early enough to get out before any major damage is done when my boyfriend freaked out over the fact that I was still friends with my ex.
Overactive Jealousy Drove Me Crazy. My ex and I were friends long before dating and we decided to stay friends after the breakup. We’ve both dated at least two other people since ending our romantic relationship, but my most recent boyfriend was unreasonably jealous of every aspect of my friendship with my ex. A simple, “Hey, just checking on you” text from my ex was interpreted by my boyfriend as me sleeping around behind his back. Overactive jealousy is a hint towards an abusive/controlling boyfriend, and that means it’s time to depart that relationship.
Trust Was Out The Door. There’s no doubt that trust needs to be earned and that without it, a relationship can’t survive for long. However, when coupling up with someone new, there should be some assumed trust from the beginning—I mean, if you don’t trust the person, why the hell did you agree to be with them? Every time I wasn’t around my boyfriend, he questioned if I was with my ex when my ex and I rarely hung out. He rarely believed me when I truthfully told him no.
I Was Always Apologizing. There were times where I found myself apologizing over my friendship with my ex and I had no clue why. My boyfriend was an expert at making me feel guilty when I did nothing wrong. Eventually, feeling guilty started to alter how I viewed myself and I started to believe that I was a bad girlfriend. I had to exit stage left before my confidence disappeared completely.
He gave me an ultimatum and I doubt he liked my decision. Every relationship comes with compromise, and that’s understandable as long as the compromise is reasonable. It started off as, “Okay, I don’t mind the friendship, just watch the conversations you guys have” and ended up being, “You’re either his friend or my boyfriend.” What did I choose? Being my ex’s friend of course! If he demanded me ending this friendship without good reason, who knows what else he would’ve demanded just for the sake of controlling me?
Listening To Reason Was Never an Option For Him. Whenever I would try to explain my friendship with my ex and communicate with my boyfriend about it, he dismissed me. Nothing I said meant anything to him because he believed that exes can’t be friends. Relationships require effort and understanding and he attempted neither. It made the relationship one-ended and I became lonely because I was unheard.
My Ex Didn’t Cause Drama. I was fine with choosing my friendship with my ex over my boyfriend because my ex wasn’t the one who caused all the commotion in my relationship. When we spoke, we didn’t talk about my relationship, nor did we have inappropriate conversations that hinted we were more than friends. We only talked occasionally as I do with other friends, so choosing a calm and civil relationship over a hectic and unreasonable one was easier in the long run.
I Became Isolated From Everyone. Before making the decision to leave, I tried to please my boyfriend by not communicating with not only my ex but other friends and family members that he didn’t approve of. He guilted me into believing I was a completely horrible person and girlfriend to the point that I gave all of my time to him trying to convince him otherwise. I had no personal time, family time, or social time. It took me a while to realize I wasn’t the problem.
My friends—including my ex—weren’t blind to what was happening. Your friends know you more than you realize, therefore they know when you’re in distress. My ex and other friends tried to get me to see that I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I was a good person, but I was too stubborn and in the thick of my boyfriend’s control to realize. He and other friends continued to reach out to me, direct me to professional advice, and keep my spirits lifted, and eventually, I listened.
I Grew Tired of The Same Argument. After avoiding conversations with my ex and other friends to give my boyfriend more of my time, we still argued over my friendship with him. No matter what I did, how much I apologized, or how much time I gave him, he was always displeased because I didn’t end my friendship with my ex completely. We had the same argument every day and no progress was made. He ended up winning every disagreement because I was tired of fighting.
I Realized My Boyfriend’s Behavior Was Controlling. A controlling person wants to dictate every aspect of your life, and it may start off with controlling one aspect but if you let them, they’ll end up controlling it all. I cared for my boyfriend so I ignored the signs—not listening, unreasonable compromises, isolation, feeling incompetent, and always being wrong. I didn’t completely sink into his demands which allowed me to eventually see the signs, along with having friends who didn’t give up on me.
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