For Better Or Worse

There have been reports that domestic violence and divorce rates have doubled during this COVID-19 Quarantine. Why can’t people get along? Shouldn’t spending time with your significant other be fun? Are we in such a daily routine that we don’t talk to our partners and don’t communicate with them? Is it just the frustration of worry mixed with freedom? Who knows?

Maybe some people are having a hard time because they are in the wrong relationships to begin with. Could it be that everyday life is keeping you so busy that you haven’t had time to deal with your own unhappiness and what is causing it? I was watching a documentary about Whitney Houston, and it got me to thinking about how being in the wrong relationship can literally ruin your life. Relationships can make your life better, or it can make your life worse.

The relationship seemed to be just as toxic for Bobby Brown as it was for Whitney. Imagine having to live with people tarnishing your image to save their own. Imagine what that does to a persons self-esteem! For years people assumed that Whitney’s habits were a result of being with Bobby, only for her brother to come forward and say that all along it was him who was introducing her to a life of drug abuse. It is very unhealthy to allow someone to take the blame for your choices.

I’m not blaming Bobby Brown for anything, and I’m not blaming Whitney, but what I am saying is together they weren’t at their best. Two amazing people can be in a bad relationship and it can become toxic. I have seen firsthand what it can do to a person. I have watched people I love be torn down by bad relationships. 

You may be thinking to yourself well why do people stick around in bad relationships? The list of why people stick around is too long to fully write. People don’t leave because they put in the time, they put in the effort, they are tired of looking, fear of loneliness, they are comfortable, fear of physical abuse, etc. We have all known, seen, or been someone who stayed in a relationship passed it’s expiration date. Add in kids, financial obligations, health issues and anything else you can think of and there is your answer…the fear of the unknown.

I think about someone I loved who loved her man dearly, and she passed on without him ever really publicly acknowledging how amazing she was. She endured so much for so many years, and he couldn’t publicly acknowledge her until she was being buried. The saddest part of her passing was knowing how much she deserved to be loved but the fact that she didn’t get a chance to experience it. I know that she thought that if she endured enough he would appreciate her one day. She didn’t live to get to see it.

Abuse can come in many forms and often times if abuse is not physical we don’t notice that it is abuse in order to address it. I hate all abuse because I have seen it growing up, but it wasn’t really until I was about 18 that I learned about gaslighting, mental abuse, and verbal abuse. I endured those things but I will never again. I didn’t know that it was abuse, so I took it. The reason that I took it was because I had hope that the person would change if they had enough love and guidance.

The thing about abuse is knowledge will set you free. Sometimes we endure it because we don’t know better. We don’t know that sometimes things get worse and get dangerous before they get better. We don’t understand manipulation because it’s just not something that we would do. Good people like to see the good in people, but good people need to start seeing the bad too.

I was talking to my Uncle one day and he gave me some advice that I will never forget. He said “At your age you need to ask yourself… if this person never changes would I be ok with that?” I think that is a good question for us to ask ourselves. I don’t think that means try to find a flawless person, but I think it means be realistic about what you can endure. People change everyday, but its better to plan for the worst and expect the best than to not even fathom the worst.

The moral of the story is that we don’t always live happily ever after, and happily ever after isnt always going to include having a spouse. Being in a relationship will either make you better or worse. There is no in between. If you relationship doesn’t build you up, its bringing you down. Don’t allow yourself to be abused in any way. Don’t allow yourself to be put down. Don’t allow yourself to be disrespected. Even if you meet a great person, when that person starts mistreating you stop holding on to the beginning of the relationship and hoping that things will be like they were. Stop compromising your mental and physical health. Here is a resource with information on domestic abuse

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