A Relationship Story
You meet someone new. This person starts showering you with attention in the moment you met, and even though they don’t know you yet, they treat you like the most important person in the world. At first, you talk about mundane things. They sincerely approve of your comments. It looks like you’re on the same page about almost everything. You enjoy or dislike the same things. You have so much in common. Then, they start getting curious about deeper things, they want to get to know you better. The questions they ask you are not only about your daily life, but also your childhood, your parents, your past relationships and your friends. They wish to know the things you like best, the things you hate most, the events that hurt you in the past and your deepest secrets. Perhaps you find this a little disturbing at first. After all, it’s hard to open up to someone you just met. On the other hand, they listen to you so carefully that you feel like no one ever has been so interested in you, not even your closest friends and family members. Besides, they talk about themselves as well. Their experiences are quite similar to your own, they’ve been through similar things and they’ve come to similar conclusions. Perhaps that’s why you get along so well and trust each other so much already.
But of course, that’s not all. Whenever you need something, they’re the first person to come to your rescue and they want to be the first person you call whenever you’re upset. They keep texting you, wondering how you’re doing. You’re not used to so much attention. In fact, you start talking about things like soul mates, sharing a house or perhaps even getting married at the very beginning of the relationship. You’re aware of the fact things are escalating a bit too fast but you don’t really care much. Maybe that’s just proof that you’ve finally found ‘the one’.
Actually you notice little signs even during the very first days. They say something that contradicts the impression they first left on you or talk about something they’ve told you before but this time with different details. Sometimes they say things that upset you but then they immediately apologize. So, you usually let it slide. And sometimes they don’t really say anything wrong, but you see a conceited smile on their lips or a dark look in their eyes. Still, you don’t mind it much. After all, don’t we all have a dark side?
Even when there isn’t a visible problem, you start feeling strangely uncomfortable when they say something in a certain way. As if the person in front of you is not entirely honest with you. But this feeling is probably caused by your skeptical nature or past experiences. In fact, maybe you’re trying to sabotage your own relationship because deep down you think that you don’t deserve this much love and attention. Why not? Because if you think about it, there are no apparent problems or reasons that might lead you to feel uncomfortable. Therefore, you dismiss all your doubts. You bring down your own walls and fully invite them into your life. After all, you’ve never been shown so much attention so you should be enjoying it.
You start spending so much time with them you become dependent on them. Like you can’t do anything without them. That’s exactly what they want. They insist on spending as much time with you as possible. Eventually, you start neglecting your family and your friends.
As you get more and more attached to them, letting yourself be wrapped around their little finger; things start to change. The same person who used to see the good in you, now only sees your flaws. You feel like you’re no longer as special and important to them. They start with seemingly harmless, insignificant criticism. Although they seem small, they’re actually all about your weakest points. You resent it. At the beginning of the relationship, you already revealed your insecurities so they should have known better than to criticize those very things. Apart from criticism, their conceited attitude starts to get more noticeable. But if you try to talk to them about it, they say that they’re not making fun of you or anything, and it’s just harmless banter. Then they add: ‘I think you’re a bit touchy these days, you’re exaggerating everything.’
In the meantime, they start getting even more protective. They keep asking you about the people you meet or text with, or why you were late. If you’d ask them, they’re doing this only because they love you too much and don’t trust other people. They’re not jealous or possessive, but these are dark times. It’s not you they don’t trust, it’s them.
At the same time, perhaps you start to get more possessive as well. Because they’re not who they used to be. They’re not as attentive anymore and sometimes they compare you to others.
You want to talk to your friends or family about it, but they don’t understand either. ‘Weren’t you the one who kept saying how wonderful they are? Besides, I met them too, they’re not like that at all. All relationships have ups and down, it’s not a big deal, just give it some time.’ Responses like this make you feel alone.
You put the blame on yourself. You try to find where you went wrong, and which situations you could have handled better. You try to be more attentive and start spending more time with them. After all, they took such good care of you at the beginning.
You can’t make time for yourself anymore because they are the center of your world. Now you have to try even harder to balance your life. You’ve already been neglecting your family and friends because of them. Perhaps you’ve started to slack off at work as well. You can’t stay concentrated on things for long. You’re turning into an aggressive and restless person. Your inner circle notices this difference too. You probably have some psychological problems…
You catch them lying every once in a while. They deny it immediately. Sometimes they claim that they said no such thing. And then they add, ‘you’re mistaken, that’s all in your head’. Everyone kept telling you that they’ve been concerned about your state of mind already. You start doubting yourself for real.
Then one day, you decide that you can’t take it anymore and explode. You tell them everything you’ve been keeping to yourself all this time. You react in such a violent way because you’ve been holding back for so long. But instead of your accusations, they focus on your reaction. They scream back at you. What did they do to deserve such reaction? How could you trust them so little? How dare you question them? Who do you think you are? They’re clenching their fists angrily.
You realize that this relationship cannot go on and that you need to break up. But is it that easy? Perhaps you’re married with children. Perhaps you’re economically dependent on them. And it’s not all about material things. What about everything you’ve done for this relationship, all those years you wasted on this person? You don’t want to accept it, but it’s hard to start over. Besides, even if you won’t admit it, you’re also afraid of them. How could such a beautiful relationship end up like this? You realize that you knew nothing about the true nature of the person in front of you, and had no idea that they could hurt you so badly. You’re getting more and more hopeless, restless and unhappy.
If you find this story relatable, know that your relationship won’t go back to the good old days. That was nothing but an illusion, some fairy tale to convince you. Not real love. Besides, the emotional and psychological abuse you’ve been through will only get worse. Perhaps soon physical abuse will follow. No matter how difficult it looks for now, there’s only one thing to do. Saving yourself from that person as soon as you can.
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