Know when to leave a bad relationship

There are a number of reasons why people stay in bad relationships. There may be kids involved, the fear of being alone, financial security, or for some, sex could be the reason too. People sometimes choose to say in a bad relationship because of pure bedroom chemistry.  It’s sad to say, but it does.

We often go into a new relationship hoping to find blissful companionship filled with love, care and compatibility. And the majority of the time relationships start off that way. But how do we know when we’ve reached a dead end and most importantly, how do we get out?

Common red flags of bad relationships often blind us because we tend to confuse abuse with love. News flash: if a spouse has to show their love by verbally, mentally or physically attacking their loved one, then that’s the definition of a bad relationship. Run Forrest, run.

I was once told, by the father of my childre, that a woman knows when her “man” really loves her is when he starts to hit her. I know, how absurd. And what’s even more ridiculous is that I believed it at one point. No one should have to experience abuse in any form, especially if that person has supposedly declared their love. Here are four red flags on how to know when to leave a bad relationship:

RED FLAG # 1:

Words are sometimes more powerful than a slap or a punch in the face. It’s something about hurtful words that seem to sit in a persons mind longer. Don’t get me wrong, a bloody nose or black eye can never be forgotten. But cruel words stick like open wounds stick to band-aids.

Many are oblivious to the fact that verbally attacking someone is abuse and it only prevails after that. If you start believing you are “worthless, lazy, and stupid,” you have begun to pass judgment on yourself and in that case, now would be the time to run as far away as you can. But many don’t because, again, we often mistake verbal abuse as love. Some may find themselves defending the heartless actions of their spouse even though it’s their own self-esteem being chopped down like a tree.

If a woman starts making excuses using the words, “Oh he didn’t mean it. He had a long day at work, that’s all.” Or if a man says, “She’s just stressed from the kids and work, I know she loves me,” then that’s an eye opener to a bad relationship. Genuine love isn’t degrading, hurtful or selfish. And if it is, then that’s just counterfeit love fooling you. It’s as fake as a $200 dollar bill.

RED FLAG #2:

OK, so maybe the insensitive phrases or comments weren’t enough to leave. But will emotional abuse be enough to leave? Frequently being criticized, not being allowed to socialize with family and friends, or having to constantly “walk on egg shells” are sure signs that you need to let it go, as Keyshia Cole would say.

For five years of my life, I walked on egg shells, emotionally draining myself to make sure I was careful not to crack any; which is impossible to do. My five year relationship was like a Magic Mountain roller coaster ride. The first half was the high point of a roller coaster ride, we were inseparable and the other half was like the drop from the Superman ride, it was complete shock, scary actually.

In the beginning, I was showered with affection and then it came to a screeching halt when he preferred to sleep on the living room floor rather than in the room with me. I was an emotional wreck. How could someone just abruptly stop showing compassion for the person they claim they love? Real love doesn’t stop; it continues. A red flag like this blatantly demonstrates a bad relationship.

RED FLAG #3:

Being afraid of expressing thoughts, feelings and/or ideas to a significant other should never be frightening for anyone. A relationship that lacks communication because of fear is like a car without oil; you’re doomed to blow a head gasket or even worse an engine. That engine is the heart of the relationship and once that’s blown, its time to invest in another vehicle.

It’s obvious when someone is in a bad relationship because it’s like a one-way street. Any other way causes disruption. In other words, expressing your dreams and suggestions would cause your spouse to blow a lid.

I was fed up with the one way street in my relationship so I finally took another direction.  Although the outcome resulted in a restraining order, the fact of not riding on a one-way street was the best decision I made.

RED FLAG #4:

A man or woman who hits you is never love. This red flag should be the number one reason to depart. Someone who uses physical force to quote on quote, “show their love” is someone who feels like they have lost control. And in order for them to gain that power back, they belittle or cause pain to their spouse.