• Monica Singer

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.

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