Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not boast, or keep score, love does not punish harshly, nor does it make you feel like garbage when you say something the other doesn’t like. Have you ever been in love with someone that you were afraid to talk to? Let me be more specific. Have you been in a relationship, where you knew if you said something the “wrong” way, that it would send the other person over the edge, and you would potentially have to deal with them badgering you until you felt just awful, and apologized again and again? Yeah, that’s not okay. Emotional abuse in relationships is a very real thing. When it comes to single parents, we sometimes find ourselves getting into situations where we are faced with taking emotional abuse from a partner, and we may not be aware of it. Sometimes the signs are pretty clear, and yet other times, we don’t realize we are in an emotionally abusive situation, until it’s too late to easily back out. Let me share a story about how I recognized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, as well as the signs I pick up on now, to know whether or not someone is in an emotionally healthy state of mind for a relationship.
He was saying all the right things, but somehow they never really added up. He told me that he wanted a house, and new cars, to be my last first kiss; but some things were always just one step off. One day, we were playing around, joking and I told him that he was so “stupid”. He stopped smiling, and got very serious for a second. “So you think I’m stupid huh?” I laughed as though we were both still in a joking mode. “Yeah, you’re stupid, like ha ha so silly, funny stupid.” He snapped back again. “So you do think I’m stupid then? What did I say that was so stupid? Tell me, I wanna understand.” Things went sour very fast. We got into a whole aggressive conversation about why I was only joking, but he believed, that somehow, I was trying to degrade him. I ended up apologizing numerous times, hoping that this would quickly pass. I felt horrible after that conversation, but wasn’t exactly sure why. I was only kidding, and yet he made me feel as if I had done something terribly wrong. Time went on, and things were “good” again. However, he made no effort to really show me that he was the man he claimed to be. He made comments suggesting that while he could do all these wonderful things for me, but that I still needed to get myself together before I could enjoy that life with him. Funny how he never could follow through on any of the promises he made early in the relationship. I was the one putting in more of the, let’s say heavy lifting when it came to making moves. I proved that I could afford the house, I proved that I could get the cars; not that I was buying any of them for him, but more that I could show financially that I could get these things. He was all talk. Finally one day we were joking and laughing again, and I made a joke about him being mean to me. Again it set him off on a tangent. He was yelling, and berating me about not choosing my words wisely when speaking to him. He continued to speak to me in a fashion that said that I was somehow beneath him, and that I needed to learn how to grow up and treat a “real man”. “This is why men leave ignorant women, because their mouths get them in trouble, and they aren’t smart enough to know why.” WOAH WOAH WOAH. He began insinuating that my mouth was the reason why I was single, that because I wasn’t more humble towards men. Now this isn’t 16 year old Bre, this is 30 something year old, financially independent, single mother, got some good damn sense Bre. I knew at this point, that it wasn’t me. He went on in his rant to hypothetically bash me, and put me down, and further wanted me to explain myself to him yet again. Well let’s say I gave him a good “explanation” as to why I would not be doing this with him any longer.
YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, and YOU DESERVE SOMEONE WHO SPEAKS TO YOU GENTLY.
This story isn’t really about just one man, it was about multiple men I met and dated. Clearly I need to spend some more time alone, and wait for someone WAY better. The point is the conversations were similar. Little things would set them off. Questioning them about normal rational things, sent them over the edge. Coming off as if you are challenging them, when you are only joking or playing around, will put you in a situation where you must defend your words or actions, and possibly apologize for how they feel. Feeling terrible after a seemingly innocent comment makes him/her upset. This isn’t love. This is dysfunction. We should be able to be with someone who understands us, provided that we aren’t the ones saying hurtful and abusive things (be careful of the what and how you say things to those you care about). You don’t have to change for love. Change because it’s good for you, change because it’s what’s best for your children. Change because shit is bad around you, and you want better for yourself and your family. DON’T EVER CHANGE FOR A PARTNER!
Take the time to listen to every word someone says. Time is your friend when it comes to love. People tell you who they are eventually, you just have to pay attention. He or she will expose themselves, and it’s up to you to decide whether or not to accept negative behavior. My advice is to NOT. Life in the physical plain is short; so why waste it on someone who makes you feel crappy, only to make them feel better. Emotional abusers will seek out single mothers and fathers, hoping that you are somehow vulnerable, weak, or desperate. They prey on our want to be in a relationship, our desire to have a whole family; but what they aren’t expecting is for you to be a whole person. So build yourself up, and become a stronger tougher version of the person you once were. Make a list of ONLY the things you want in a partner. A very specific list. Choose to focus on those things, choose to pick the qualities and traits that make you happy. Everything else, throw away. In the end, it will make it much easier to weed out the bull when dating, because you will only look for the love you want in your life. In the end, love is kind, gentle, respectful. Love is not some broken piece of a person, looking for someone else to hurt.
– Be the best version of YOU-