Like many other people, I didn’t realize how badly I was treated in my previous relationship. I genuinely thought I was in love and that what I felt for him was a reflection of the love he felt for me.
My love for him was pure, innocent, and unconditional. There wasn’t a moment where I didn’t love that man to the fullest. At that point in time, he was everything I thought I wanted.
Who cares that I had to make hundreds of excuses each day just to look past his behavior? Who cares that I had to swallow my own pride and ignore all of my own boundaries just to keep him from raising his voice at me?
He never knew how to handle his emotions. He said that I shouldn’t make him keep them inside, that I should let him express his emotions, however extreme they may become.
So I did. I choked back my tears whenever he would yell at me or ignore me. I had to respect his emotions so that I wouldn’t lose him. And back then, I was petrified of losing him.
I didn’t think that I was treated badly by that man. I thought that he treated me the way he did because, for some reason, I did deserve it.
Imagine if you spend years with someone who gaslights you and makes you believe that you’re the issue. He told me that I was the problem, that I was the only reason he behaved the way he did.
So when he’d go out with his friends and not come home until the early morning hours, he’d say I had to endure it. He told me that I made him do it – that he needed a break from me so badly that he had to just escape for a while.
I didn’t realize just how badly I was treated because, truth be told, he had his moments. There were good days that I thought were the main reason I loved him so much. He’d make me dinner once a month and you wouldn’t believe how happy it made me.
He didn’t cheat on me, so I considered myself lucky. You’d think that this isn’t something that I should be grateful for. But I was grateful for things that are obviously the bare minimum.
But you need to understand that I had to find something to hold on to. If I didn’t have this, then what else did I have? I saw his potential, but that’s all that was keeping me in that relationship.
I know it sounds bad, but it’s the honest-to-God truth. Every minute of every day, I felt like I was crumbling from the inside out, but I let it all slide.
But the saddest part of all is that I was genuinely under the impression that everything was fine. Whenever my friends told me that I had to leave, I was so shocked and confused. I didn’t understand a word.
For some odd reason, I thought that as long as he didn’t physically abuse me or cheat on me, I was being treated like a goddess. And the few rare occasions he’d buy me flowers he made me feel even more special. Even though it was only on my birthdays.
In the end, we broke up. He left me. He said that I asked for too much because I wanted him to listen to my feelings and not pretend like I didn’t exist. I wanted him to spend more time with me, but I was asking for too much.
So he left me. I guess I was too much of a burden for him.
You can imagine how difficult the healing process was for me. For the longest time, I thought that I wasn’t worth anything. I got consumed by self-deprecating thoughts because I truly believed it was all my fault.
Until you came around and showed me that’s not the truth.
He didn’t treat me right. If anything, he treated me like trash that he could dispose of whenever and however he liked.
But even though I thought that everything was fine, you came along and opened my eyes to see that someone can treat me better.
He never bothered to make me coffee in the morning, but you never forget. You know how much I love it and you know exactly how I like it made.
You don’t think twice about holding my hand in public, while it was a complete no-go for him because, God forbid, someone could see him.
I remember that I was so apprehensive when it came to talking about my own feelings. I didn’t want to bother you with how I felt.
You got mad at me, but not because of the fact that I was so emotional, because you didn’t want me to be this scared. You taught me to say what’s on my heart and that I have the right to take up space.
There’s not been a second where I’ve felt lonely next to you. But beside him, I always felt like a bore, so I chose solitude over talking to him. I simply couldn’t ask for his attention because that would make him hysterical.
I shouldn’t compare you two. You’re a completely different person from him – infinitely better.
But sometimes think back to the time when I thought that I wasn’t treated badly. I get so sad when reflecting on how helpless I was. I genuinely thought that a man like him could love me, so I tried too hard to be there for him.
Now I see it clearly. He treated me awfully and if you didn’t come around I wouldn’t have even known it. I would’ve lived with the belief that everything was fine.
That’s in the past anyway! Now I’m here to love you with all that I have and never let you go! I will try my utmost to never disappoint you or make you doubt me because I will do anything to treat you right as well.
We both deserve someone who makes us happy, that’s why we’re here for each other. I’ll always cherish you because you’re doing your best to treat me like a princess.
Thank you for teaching me that love doesn’t have to hurt. Thank you for showing me that someone can really treat me right.
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