All Articles Tagged "bad relationships"

When Love Isn’t Enough: How I Learned That I Needed A Lot More Than Love In My Relationship

March 11th, 2014 - By La Truly
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Overrated times to have sex

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“But I love him.”

“We have so much in common.”

“I feel like I can tell him anything.”

That was all well and good but when it came to the things that actually mattered, the things that would lay a strong, solid foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship – we struggled.

1. Our core values were very different

In an attempt to just get closer to someone who made me feel good and loved, we ignored the fact that we had very different beliefs. I suppose I thought it would all work out if we cared about each other enough, but it didn’t. My faith is the biggest part of my life but whenever I brought it up, I could see his body language change. He really didn’t want to discuss it. Our views on sexual intimacy were very different too. While he had a much more liberal and casual take on sex, I always believed it to be a much more personal, intimate and even sacred encounter. Did these red flags plague me? Absolutely. But I moved them to a far corner of my mind and tried to focus on all the other ways in which we seemed to work because after all, we had such a great time together. Right?

2. We were both afraid of being alone

I didn’t get to know him that well before we began spending all of our time together in the beginning. I was fresh out of a jacked up relationship, trying to numb the hurt of it with his company. It turned out that we really did enjoy each other’s company, but we were using each other in an attempt to avoid loneliness. He had a string of short, sporadic relationships, one after the other. I was coming out of a years-long on-again off-again tug-of-war with a guy I thought I would marry at one point. Instead of taking time to embrace being by ourselves, to heal, to dig deep and learn the lessons from our previous situations and patterns, we filled our days and nights with one another. We tried to chase away the feeling of emptiness with each other. And it worked–for a while. But it was just a stop-gap measure.

3. We had no direction

We casually sauntered toward each other and took hold. We didn’t know our core values individually. We didn’t sit down and discuss how we wanted this thing between us to go. We both had doubts about each other underneath the long philosophical discussions over pizza or the pillow talk about our families and career aspirations. It was so much deeper than we knew how to get to because we didn’t clearly assess our situation before we jumped into it. Wanting closeness was no reason to be with someone. Having unparalleled physical chemistry was no reason to stay in something that had no direction, no spiritual connection, and no purpose.

4. I compromised more than I should have

I noticed myself leaving God at the door whenever I would visit him and leaving Him at home whenever he would come to take me out. I couldn’t share the biggest part of my life with someone I was in a relationship with because I was afraid it would make him uncomfortable. How backwards is that? To top it off, I compromised myself intimately. I knew our views on sex were very different, but I figured that if I just gave a little slack in that area, things would come together. He’d see things my way.

How wrong and silly of me. If at any point you find yourself compromising things that are sacred to you, you are not in the right relationship. I loved him and I still do. I believe he is a good man despite our many differences, but loving him was not enough when I look back and see how ill-prepared and incompatible we were for our relationship.

I think of him often and pray that he is growing as I have been as a result of knowing and being involved with him. I still care for him deeply from a distance and that’s all right.

When friends and mentees ask me for love advice, I urge them to learn from my mistakes. To have the tough conversations at the very beginning. To allow time to reveal all things. To assess the person they are interested in. We don’t make monetary investments without assessing risk, so why invest our time, energy, emotions, and hearts into a relationship that will not yield mutual benefit and joy? Love is wonderful and necessary, but it does not stand alone in creating a solid, long-lasting relationship.

La Truly is a writer, college professor and young women’s empowerment enthusiast. She mixes her interest in social and cultural issues with her life experiences  to encourage thought, discussion and positive change among young Women of Color. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and check out her site: www.hersoulinc.com.

Let It Go, Let It Flow: Why You Should’t Hold On To Negative Feelings From Past Relationships

September 12th, 2013 - By Cecily Michelle
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It’s not unusual to hear a bruised woman say, “Eff love, I’m through with it” and carry a negative attitude about men for from then on. I mean, there are tons of songs based on sorry men and damaged females, TV shows that highlight good women turned cold (Snapped anyone?) and male-bashing movies that crucify men like they are the worst things next to the devil (ahem, Waiting to Exhale). Don’t get me wrong, those evil heart-breaking men do exist—I’ve ran into quite a few, witnessed them in action, and experienced some of my own, not to mention the ones in my family (sheesh!)—but letting those bad seeds dictate your outlook on men is the wrong thing to do. Here’s why:

Number one, everything that happens in life should be a learning experience. No matter how many guys have cheated on you, lied to you, hurt you, or manipulated you, learn from it and find peace. Oftentimes, the people we attract are a reflection of who we are, or just a case of bad judgment, so look within yourself and see if there’s anything that you need to change. (Hint, hint—you can’t keep dating guys who disrespect their mothers and sisters, walking around with tattoos that read “money over b**ches” and think that he’s going to treat you like a queen—yeah, probably not going to happen). Analyze each situation, pinpoint the problem(s) and realize what you might have ignored, what you could have done differently and can do differently in the future.

If cheating men have always been your problem, let’s not forget that we as women are not perfect and, believe it or not, sometimes give men reasons to step out—not justifying it, just stating facts. You could have left your man feeling lonely and unwanted, or maybe you weren’t supportive at times. Whatever the case, own up to your faults and make sure you don’t bring them into your next relationship.

But even if you were the picture-perfect girlfriend, fiancée or wife, you can still take away good out of a relationship that was bad. He lied to you? Get smarter. Now you know what questions to ask your new man, what to look out for, and to be more careful with whom you let get close to you. He beat you? Yes, he may have bruised you physically, but don’t let it destroy your spirit; grow from it and know the signs to look for in your next mate so that you stay clear of an abuser. Let all of his mistakes guide you to a wiser, stronger, better you so that you will be the best woman possible for your Mr. Right.

Which brings me to my next point. Harboring bad feelings from painful relationships can and will cause you to ruin your chances of finding a great guy—but only if you let it. If you keep holding on to every little negative thing your last partner did to you, you won’t give a good man the chance to love you like you deserve to be loved. It happens all the time. You get so wrapped up in the ideology that all men are dogs that you allow yourself to become angry, weak, and insecure, looking for everything you possibly can find to run a decent man away. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens, he books, and fast. Don’t be that bitter sista who remains so blinded by past rage that she won’t learn from her past and be too afraid to open up her heart and try again. I know it’s hard ladies, but just remember, staying bitter won’t benefit you in any way. Don’t be the butcher of your own happiness. Let it go honey, let it go.

True Life: I Wish I Knew This Before I Got Involved

February 28th, 2013 - By MN Editor
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When you’re dating, you never know what type of mess you’re going to find yourself in.Wouldn’t it be great if we could see the type of baggage potential partners are carrying before we get involved? Yeah, it would certainly help. But unfortunately the cookie doesn’t crumble that way. Instead, we have to go through it. We asked our Facebook followers, which things they wish they knew about their romantic partners before they ever got caught up. There are some outrageous stories. Check them out.

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Diandra: He liked guys too.

Vanessa: That’s he’s full of shyt!! EVERYTHING that came out his mouth was a lie.

Getting Back to Loving You: Forgiving Yourself For Putting Up With A Bad Relationship

February 21st, 2013 - By Kendra Koger
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Hey Readers,

The month of February encourages us to celebrate the love we feel for others, and to respect and acknowledge Black history.  Well, with these things in mind, we can put ourselves on the back burner and instead of learning from our own past, we look at it with disdain while not learning from it; and for a while I did that.  I am a strong believer in using introspection to help others, and I hope you allow me to do so at this time.

Relationships can be such a beautiful thing to experience.  But with every rose you run the risk of being pricked by a few thorns. Most of us have experienced the break ups, the promises of “baby, I’ll do better,” and the annoyance that you feel with yourself when you believe the line and the person continues to behave the exact same way, but you stay.  For me this type of annoyance I had for myself began to turn into self-loathing after one bad relationship after another.

I’m a very strong person, but I found myself overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the violation, the disappointment, the self-anger, it all bubbled in me.  But after promises of “It’ll never happen again,” I stayed, with internal disappointment at myself because this wasn’t how I was raised.  Living in a two parent, upper-middle class household where my father told me he loved me constantly and he and my mother were both such supportive influences in my life.  What would they say?

After ending a particularly horrible relationship, as I took inventory of the courtship I realized that I hated myself more than I hated him.  I was the stupid person that stayed. Why am I such a people pleaser?  My sisters aren’t suffering with this.  What is wrong with me?

After months of feeling this way, I had to learn that hating myself wasn’t helping me at all.  If anything, it was continuing the destructive affect he had on my life.  I had to learn that instead of being angry with myself for staying as long as I did, to be proud that I, at least, took a step forward to getting better by leaving.  I had to learn that the only love that’s really important is the love that you give yourself.

After situations like these, it’s so easy to beat yourself up, and over look the small victories, of moving on, and beginning to like who you see in the mirror.  But you HAVE to notice those victories, because they are the silver linings.  They are the encouragement to do more, to be better, to learn from the past.  Hindsight is always 20/20, and you’ll always be able to see what you did wrong when you look back on the situation, but if you just fixate on the problems while badgering yourself, you’re not finding a solution.

You have to get back to loving yourself, because YOU are worth it.  YOU are amazing and YOU do deserve so much better than you’re getting.

Kendra Koger loves herself.  You should love her twitter account @kkoger.

14 Signs He’s Probably Gonna Break Up With You — Sorry!

February 20th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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In a relationship, there is always the risk that it’ll end, either mutually, or because of you, or because of him. Not all relationships have happy endings and sometimes those ends come after plenty of warning signs and red flags. If you’re in a relationship with a guy that is going down-hill, there are some definite signs to look out for. Here are 14 signs that your boyfriend is breaking up with you in the near future.

Facing The Truth: Signs You’re Being Emotionally Abused By Your Man

February 1st, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Even though emotional abuse doesn’t leave physical marks, it is said to be the hardest type of abuse to understand and escape. Emotional abuse can occur in the many relationships and for those impacted, stick and stones may break their bones, but words will never hurt them. Here are 15 signs that your relationship is emotionally abusive.

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He puts you down.

Us women love compliments, that’s a fact. If your guy talks down to you and makes you feel like less than who you really are, it’s time to reconsider. No man is worth losing your self-esteem or self-confidence over.

“It’s Complicated”: When Is Enough Really Enough In Relationships Going Nowhere?

January 3rd, 2013 - By Cecily Michelle
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Source: Shutterstock

Ever have someone ask you if you were in a relationship and your reply was, “It’s complicated”? I think most people have experienced at least one of these in their lives. It’s the kind of thing where you don’t really know where you stand as a couple; you’re not sure if you’re together, friends with benefits, bed buddies, or just plain ol’ friends. The two of you may take a day-long, week-long or even month-long break on a regular basis, only to reunite, and you often wonder to yourself, “What are we doing?” You’re on-again-off-again and undefined, and whatever it is you’re doing has you, him and everyone around you confused.

In a lot of these cases there is a strong bond between the two involved, so it’s hard to let go even if you both think it’s the best thing to do. A close friend of mine is in a situation like this. Her and her childhood sweetheart are together one week and not talking the next, but they’re “just friends.” They both date other people but continue to hang out, go shopping with one another, buy each other gifts and celebrate birthdays together. There’s no sex between them (or so they say, but honestly, I don’t believe them), no intimacy at all, yet they still discuss kids, marriage and their future together as a whole, but again, they’re “just friends.” Talk about complicated, I would say that they are the absolute definition of the word. It’s as if they want to have the other around, but don’t know if they really want to be in a relationship. Either way, it’s a mess.

The worse ones are the relationships where you consider yourself to be involved, but you go through so much drama and separations that you don’t even want to claim each other half the time. Like another one of my friends whose promiscuous boyfriend can’t decide if he wants to be with her and only her, so they break if off at least twice a week, and every time he switches up and changes his mind about what he wants. She knows his entire family, is close with all his friends and even hangs out with his sisters, but his nonsense has her feeling silly and she often finds herself telling people that they’re only “cool” when they’re actually madly in love with one another. However, he just can’t keep it in his pants, and she hates him for it.

But at some point, these kind of relationships get draining, right? You get tired of the confusion, the aggravation, anger, the pain. Sometimes you just have to say “enough is enough.” When? If you find yourself losing sleep, spending all day wondering if it’ll work, sad and deprived of joy, neglecting your friends because not only is your spirit is too low to go out and have fun, but because you’re leaving your schedule open in case he calls, do what your grandma would say and “let that be.” You have to do what’s best for you, and anything or anyone who’s not contributing to your happiness and well-being doesn’t deserve a spot in your life. And, let’s be real, it’s not always the guy’s fault. A lot of times, we’re the ones to blame. We sometimes give men the runaround, unsure of what we really want, if we want to be friends, married, single, or just have fun, and often times we just don’t know. So if you’re with a person who’s serious about you but your indecisiveness is taking a toll on their emotional health, do what’s right and tell them to move on as well. Even if they don’t want to, you know that you don’t have yourself together, so respect them enough to let them go. Either way, you don’t want to waste too much time playing the complicated game and blocking yourself from the person who is out there waiting for you.

You Say You’re Leaving, But You Never Go Anywhere: How Your Empty Threats Make A Bad Relationship Worse

December 20th, 2012 - By Cecily Michelle
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"Black woman stressed"

You and your man argue all the time. It’s to a point where you can’t even look at him without wanting to turn up your nose or slap his face. You try to make things work, but time and time again, he proves that he’s not going to change, and he doesn’t seem to be putting in much effort either. Whether he’s sleeping around, lazy and bumming it up, messing up the bill money, or just mean and vicious to you, his behavior has got you fed up.
Simply put, you want out. You pack up your stuff—or his—telling yourself that this time is different. You’re going to put an end to this, for real. But as you sit and think, a wave of emotion rushes over you and you find that you just can’t do it. Unfortunately, this happens all the time, and your man notices.

Why? You love him. Or maybe you think you need him. Some women put up with the pain simply because they don’t think they can handle paying the bills on their own. Others feel that they are too old, too unattractive or have too many kids to find anything better. What man is going to take in someone else’s seeds as their own or overlook all of those hideous flaws that you keep telling yourself are unattractive, right? Or, as it seems sometimes, some women are just plain scared of being lonely.

Whatever the case, anytime you’ve seriously contemplated exiting a relationship, more than once, it’s pretty obvious that this rollercoaster ride you’re on with your man is plain ol’ TOXIC. He’s no good for you. And your arguing makes it no better. It only keeps you stressed and angry and makes him bitter because you keep nagging and trying to change him. Trust me, I’ve witnessed this firsthand because I’ve been through it. And because you always claim you’re going to book it, but continue to keep running right back, he’s going to keep taking you for granted, feeling like he can proceed to do whatever he’s doing that drives you nuts, because ultimately, you’re not going anywhere anyway.
And could you blame him for thinking this way? How could you really expect him to take you seriously if you keep letting him get away with the same things? It’s like trying to teach a child right from wrong but rewarding them whenever they do something good AND when they’re bad. It’s backwards. In situations like this, it boils down to this: you have to know your worth. If you’re a woman who takes care of her man, cooks, cleans, has the ability to keep him smiling and make him feel comfortable, all while excelling in life and taking care of yourself, then you don’t need to be with someone who doesn’t respect you or give you the same kind of love and nurturing in return.

I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to get it together eventually, boo. If things are really meant to be between the two of you, he will eventually come around and do better, and maybe then you can live happily ever after. If that’s honestly what you want. But in the meantime, find the inner strength to let him go. If not, you’ll continue to drown in misery for a very long, long time.

Survey Says: Most People Experience A Toxic Relationship At Some Point

December 17th, 2012 - By madamenoire
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Credit: Shutterstock

From YourTango

New York, NY (December 17, 2012): A survey of YourTango Experts exposes the ugly truth about toxic relationships. For starters, a staggering eighty-nine percent agree that half or more of all people have toxic relationships in their lives.

But how can you tell if you are in one? The top three indications of toxicity include: “spending more time fighting than enjoying each other,” “regularly feeling like you can’t do anything right” and “feeling depressed and/or anxious.” Two other telltale signs of toxic relationships are when the relationship stops being fulfilling and when you notice friends start distancing themselves from you.

Additionally, 71% of experts identify poor relationship role models, including parents, as the leading cause of toxic relationship habits, followed closely by low self-esteem, with “fear of being truly open with someone else” clocking in third.

Read more at YourTango.com.

Let It Go, Let It Flow:14 Ways to Let Go of a Bad Dead End Relationship

December 3rd, 2012 - By Ashley Page
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Though it can be extremely hard, it’s always better to let go of a bad dead end relationship instead of stringing it along. Nobody ever  said it would be easy, but in the end you have to do what’s right for you. Here are 14 ways to move on and let go of a bad relationship once you realize it is going anywhere — or at least where you want it to go.