I’ve had several people ask me if my relationship was so bad, why I was in it for four years. The thing is, when you are in it, it is very hard to see that. I thought everything he was doing was trying to make me a better person. It is hard to find the line between when someone is trying to help you, and when someone is trying to control you. I didn’t hate him until it was ending, until I realized what had happened, until I let myself see the truth. I loved him very much. I was planning to marry him in less than six months. We had been together four and a half years, and had been best friends for three years before that. I assumed he wanted what was best for me, he taught me that I wasn’t smart enough to think for myself, but I only saw the best.
The problem was that I was so desperate to make him happy, that I didn’t ever see it as him controlling me or being abusive. I always thought that maybe I had done something wrong, and he was telling me so that I could be better. I always thought that he was trying to lead me to be better. It happened so slowly at first that I didn’t notice any changes at all. I didn’t notice that I had drifted away from all of my friends because he didn’t like them. I didn’t notice that I had stopped all the activities that made me happy because he wanted to spend more time with me. I thought it was him being sweet, since my love language is quality time. But it wasn’t that at all. Everything was always my fault. I’ve actually been yelled at for going home for Christmas to see my family one year… I was yelled at for not having dinner ready when he got out of class. I was expected to be perfect, even though he constantly told me how I was never, and would never be good enough. But I saw it as him caring about me, and loving me.
I always saw the best in the situation, and I never saw the bad. Everything looks lovely when you are looking through rose tinted glasses. You don’t ever see the darkness. You are able to justify everything. You find a reason for it to be okay, you find a reason to tell yourself you are happy and in love. It’s a wonderful idea, being in love. It’s easy to convince yourself to be happy, because everyone wants love.
It took one of my closest friends sitting me down and looking at me and saying “you aren’t happy, something is very wrong here”. When she said it, I almost felt the glass shatter. All of the fears and thoughts I had been pushing away flooded me. I knew she was right, I knew I had been trying to ignore it for the better part of the relationship. I felt crazy until someone else saw it too. I had been looking through rose tinted glasses at our relationship, because I wanted to be loved. On the outside, our relationship looked so wonderful to so many people. I got to the point where I clung to the idea of our perfect relationship and was able to trick myself into ignoring what it had become.
See he had me convinced that I was crazy, and that he was perfect and I needed to be fixed, so I left him try to fix me. I had tried to talk to him about it several times, but things only got worse. Every time we talked about it, he told me that every couple fights and has hard times, but that he would get better. He made me feel like I couldn’t escape.
When you love someone, you want to see the best parts of them. We should always look for the best parts of people. The world needs that. But there is a difference between seeing the best, and not seeing abuse. I couldn’t see the difference for a long time. If you are ever in that situation, I promise you, if I was strong enough to get out, you are too. You are not alone, you are not trapped. There are people who can help you. Getting out of situations like that is so much better than staying in them.