I have the most toxic, narcissistic, red-flag-waving ex in this entire world. He has cheated on me, disrespected me, and mistreated me more times than I can count on both my hands and feet. He has taken advantage of me in ways that would make any woman become immediately repulsed by the word “man”. Although the good times would only last a day or two, over the span of our twelve years of being involved with each other, I kept taking him back. After finally getting out of that situation, I would like to share the hardest things I had to accept during and after our relationship.
He Won’t Change
If I were to ever address an issue that we were having, he would usually brush it off and invalidate my feelings. However, if I even mentioned leaving, he would clean up his act – until he felt like I was satisfied. It wouldn’t even take a week for him to fall into the same habit that upset me in the first place. For instance, let’s say that he would joke about my looks in comparison to his celebrity crush. If I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable with how often he would compare me to her, he would say things like, “You’re being problematic”, or “It’s not even that serious”, or even, “Just because you’re insecure doesn’t mean you can control me”. If I told him that I was thinking about leaving him, he’d finally take the hint and stop bringing it up for a couple of days. He’d then come at me out of the blue with, “She just cut her hair short. You should do that”.
His Actions are Intentional
People are capable of making mistakes that hurt other people, but there are some things that are clearly intentional and have pure malintent. You can’t ACCIDENTALLY cheat. You can’t ACCIDENTALLY bring up insecurities to family and friends as jokes. Everyone is aware of the choices that they make and how that action will affect others BEFORE it happens. If boundaries are set in the beginning, it takes an aware mind to cross them.
One time, I told my ex that I was insecure about my skin discoloration. Instead of understanding, respecting my boundaries, and defending me, he would point it out and even tell his family and friends about it. When I told him that it made me upset that he shared my insecurities so easily, he said that it made me cute or beautiful in his eyes. And although this sounds sweet, the tone in his voice and the look in his eyes told me how much he wished I was someone else.
He Doesn’t truly love you, just what you do for him
I used to give him half of my paycheck. I shouldn’t have, but I saw us as a family. We raised a dog together. He was there for me through the roughest events in my life and I would give him as much as he needed – plus more if I had it. He would never do the same for me, and he even encouraged me to lie to his family so that he’d look like the perfect guy for me. However, the lack of respect, compliments, compassion, or understanding showed me that he cared more about – and eventually felt entitled to – my money. Once I stopped giving him what he wanted, he would give his attention to someone else.
You don’t love him, you love the idea of him
This was the hardest thing for me to understand. I did not truly love him. I cared about him because of our history together. He gave me a sense of security. He gave me hope to one day get married – even if not happily. I made a list of pros and cons and realized that the cons list was significantly longer. I then realized that I was in love with what I wanted him to become, not who he really was. He wasn’t going to change, so what was I waiting for?
You can do so much better
He made it his routine to remind me that no one would love me like he did…that no one would protect me the way he does. Because he engraved that in my brain, I truly believed it. For years, I believed that I truly could not do better. However, after I left him for good, I made a promise to myself not to settle. Since that day, I have worked on myself mentally, physically, and emotionally, and decided that I was never gonna settle again. The men I met after my ex were ten times better than what he said I deserved.
He will crawl back – don’t take him back
My ex has changed his number more than ten times just to get in contact with me. He always apologizes, wants to be friends, and then involves his feelings for me, trying to get in my head to get me back. I don’t give in to him anymore. I won’t give in to him again. Those twelve years of my life were miserable. My childhood was stressful because of him. I was disrespectful to my parents because he didn’t like them. He took and took and took from me until I had nothing left…and he still is crawling back.
Don’t take your toxic ex back. Use this testimony as a mirror into your previous toxic relationships. It can be hard to leave, but it is possible. If you have the opportunity to run, do it as soon as you can. Don’t let things escalate. Don’t miss out on the best things that life has to offer you because of some guy. Ultimately, you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for, and you deserve nothing but the best in your relationships.