Just in case you need some validation with these new feelings you’re having, I wrote this just for you.
If you feel it’s time for something to change in your toxic relationship, you’re right. You don’t need me to tell you what to do. But a little validation is always nice. Here are the four signs you’re ready for a change.
1. You start to see through the lies you so easily believed before.
2. You have an ache to feel safe.
3. You dream of what it would be like if your husband loved you.
4. You stop Making excuses for toxic behavior.
Are you seeing more and more of the truth, and not what your abuser wants you to believe? Deception plays a big role in toxic relationships. One person has unhealthy control over another person. And, to some degree, the person under control usually believes lies that keep them there. This creates the perfect environment for abuse to thrive. But as soon as you stop believing the lies the illusion of control is broken. This was the most painful realization I had because it felt like my world was shattering. The world wasn’t shattering, my world was shattering. It was hard for me to see that was a good thing.
You have an Ache to Feel Safe
You may begin to recognize that your marriage is not only toxic but also dangerous. Life used to just plug along, but now you are seeing all these little things and the outcomes they’ve had on you (or your children). Longing for safety, a place to belong and not fear, can feel consuming. You begin to want it so bad it hurts. And the more you see of the sad reality of your marriage the more you long for safety.
You Dream of What it Would be Like if Your Husband Loved You
“Of course he loves me, he’s my husband,” you say to yourself. But a domino effect has started in your heart and mind. Seeing truth has caused so many more feelings and desires (see why you couldn’t be allowed to see it before?). Does he love you? Is love supposed to hurt? You ache for safety, and now you long to be loved. What would it be like to be kissed with lips that never cussed you out? What would it be like to be held with arms and hands that never bruised you? Do you wonder what a loving marriage would be like? What if you could trust your heart with your husband?
You Stop Making Excuses for Toxic Behavior
There comes a time where the excuses must stop. It breaks my heart that not every victim reaches this point. Some do, and I think this is the biggest indicator of whether someone continues with toxic relationships or not. Did you know that Jesus always lays the responsibility for sins at the sinner’s feet? (Luke 6:42, Galatians 5:17, 1 Peter 1:15) You are not responsible for your husband’s behavior.
My hope and prayer is that you continue down this road. Continue to see the reality of your marriage and do not buy into the lies again. Do not suppress the desire for safety and love. And, as Jesus did, place the responsibility of sin at the sinner’s feet. You are only responsible for yourself and your actions, never another person. They are responsible for themselves.
If you are not seeing these things in your toxic marriage (yet) then you can begin by repeating truths to yourself. Break the internal cycle of suppressing the truth to appease others or to make it easier for you to stay in a dangerous situation. A cycle, in any form, is stopped by not continuing the same behaviors and thought patterns. I believe in you, and you can believe in yourself too. Sooner or later you will realize that you hold the KEY to your freedom, and the freedom to BE yourself.