I Thought My Relationship Was Toxic, But Now I Realize I Was The Toxic One

For a long time, I blamed my ex for why our relationship was so horrible. He was immature, rude, arrogant and unwilling to compromise, and that’s why it didn’t work out — at least, that’s what thought. However, after taking time to reflect on everything and facing some serious home truths, I had to get real and admit that I was the issue. Sure, our relationship was toxic — but I was the one who helped make it that way. Here’s how:

I read too much into everything.

We’re all guilty of overanalyzing sometimes, but I took it to another level — an unhealthy level. I wasn’t just reading too much into what he did, I was obsessing over it. Every little thing (no matter how insignificant) was something I had to break down, read into, and question him about. It was crazy, but at the time, I couldn’t see just how crazy it was.

My expectations were too rigid. 

It wasn’t that my expectations were high because they weren’t — they were just set. I had a detailed list (in my head) of the kind of guy I wanted to end up with. My ex didn’t check off every quality I had on that list, so I took it upon myself to mold him into my perfect guy. Yes, I was that girlfriend — ya know, the one who throws out half her boyfriend’s closet all because she doesn’t like his clothes. Yikes.

I was always jealous.

In my defense, my ex had a lot of friends that were girls — too many. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of that. I never have been and probably never will be; it just makes me uncomfortable. I didn’t want him hanging out with Sarah and Jenny — I wanted him hanging out with David and Brian. I guess I could’ve expressed my discomfort with the situation instead of screaming and forbidding him to hang out with girls, altogether.

I was insecure AF.

When you’re young, you’re insecure about everything. How can you not be? Especially when you’re only following reality stars and Victoria’s Secret models on Instagram, which is what I was doing. My hair, my weight, my clothes — I wanted to change everything about myself to look like those girls. I wasn’t secure, and being uncomfortable with who I was made me want a lot of validation from my ex. When he didn’t always give it, I’d get pissed.

I constantly questioned him.

I didn’t trust him. It wasn’t that I thought he’d cheat on me — well… maybe I kind of did. People cheat all the time, even in good relationships, so I was scared. I didn’t want to be that girl who walked in on her boyfriend screwing some gorgeous woman he met at the gym, okay? So, I questioned him… about everything — where he was going, who he was going with, and why he’d rather hang out with them instead of me…

My communication sucked.

Instead of talking like two mature semi-adults, we chose to scream at one another — or rather, I screamed and he sat there and listened. I didn’t have the necessary skills to calmly talk about things with my partner. He was my first “real” relationship and it showed — I was basically a communication virgin. I couldn’t “talk things out.” I either yelled or shunned him with silence.

I was needy… and I knew it.

It didn’t matter how long we’d been together — I still expected the relationship to be the same as when we first met. I wanted us to text throughout the day and I wanted to see him all the time. I was needy and I was fully aware of it. I didn’t know I was smothering him with too much attention, though; I thought my actions were totally normal.

I never thought I was wrong. 

He was the one who was always wrong — not me. To be fair, sometimes he was wrong. He could be a complete jerk, but looking back, I could too. I never used to see it that way, though. Everything was his fault when we were together. He was the one who always owed me an apology and I would give him the cold shoulder for weeks until I got one.

I couldn’t express emotion.

I’ve always had a difficult time expressing emotion, especially with people I’m dating. I can communicate with my friends, family — even strangers. But when I have to show emotion to a guy I’m in a relationship with, I freeze. I don’t think my ex ever really knew how much I cared about him. I sure didn’t tell him.

My idea of a relationship wasn’t realistic.

A small part of me blames the media for giving unrealistic ideas of what a “good” relationship looks like. I wasn’t prepared for fights or compromises. I was young (ish) — I thought that if two people liked each other, they would agree on everything and live happily ever after. Boy, was I wrong. My unrealistic perception of a relationship made me unprepared to actually be in one.

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