Toxic and Abusive Marriages: Time to Let Go, Be Free
Just because the honeymoon period in a relationship ends, it doesn’t mean that love
and respect for each other should stop as well. Often times we don’t see the red flags because
we either don’t want to believe they are there, or we tell ourselves that such negativity is
normal, or worse yet, we believe that we deserve such poor treatment. Abuse may manifest in
distrust, such as your spouse monitoring your whereabouts everyday and every hour. Then,
your spouse’s behavior might escalate to name-calling and even shaming, calling you a slut for
wearing a cute dress with your friends. Worse yet, your spouse will want to control who you
spend time with, prohibiting you from seeing your friends until you end up cut off from them -
even from family too.
Once you are made to feel ugly, disgusting, and not worthy of respect, you tell yourself
that this abusive person is the only chance at happiness – even though happiness has been
thrown out the window a long time ago. At this point, you are convinced that the only thing you
can do is admit that it was all your fault because you attracted all of it. You try to make things
right by obeying every order you’re given, no matter if it’s demeaning or cruel, because any
crumb of love thrown your way by your abusive spouse is better than nothing at all. Deep down
you know that this is all wrong but the last thing stopping you from leaving such domestic
abuse is the idea of having failed at marriage. We think for some reason – be it religion, pride,
or fear of what others might think – that having “failed” at marriage is a shameful character
You are not failing at marriage when you are being traumatized. No amount of family or
public opinion is worth staying in a toxic relationship. The need for love and acceptance starts
from within – so start now, self-reflect! The road to recovery and empowerment begins with
introspection, self-love and self-acceptance.
Don’t be hard on yourself for not recognizing the dangers you were setting yourself up
for. It’s important to be kind to yourself, to recognize that your love is abundant and that you
are worth much more. It may be hard to forgive others, but you must also learn to forgive
yourself. You owe it to yourself to forgive the behavior you engaged in which was merely a
product of the tactics and patterns you took in order to survive. At that time, during moments
of severe pain and trauma, you had to become someone that you might not be proud of today.
But that’s ok, forgive yourself and let it go.