Thursday, November 29, 2012

Unhealthy Relationships... Perhaps?

If I had a dollar for every time I have had someone ask me how you know when to leave a relationship (guess they consider me an expert at that, ha) I would likely not be blogging right now because I would be too busy touring the world with a fat pocket. Now, I feel I give really good, useful, sound advice on this subject, which usually helps the person asking... but that is key; the person wondering ASKS me. Before you say what do you mean?... (I knew you would think that) I will share what I mean.

I have had more people ask me how to convince a friend or family member that they are in a bad relationship and need to get out, than people who were in it. I always have two words for them,YOU CAN'T! No matter how many times we tell a friend or loved one how awful or unhealthy their relationship is, they will never leave. In fact, it is often human nature to rebel when someone is "telling" you what you "should" be doing. Right? I mean, how many times have you had someone "tell" you what to do instead of "suggest" and you did the exact opposite? How about the overbearing mother who tries to rule your life, who no matter what you do it's not good enough, but yet nobody is good enough for you when you bring girlfriends or boyfriends home? Or a father who did not realize that you "needed" to have the boyfriend he did not like; and when he said, "no", What did you do?

See? Rebellion is typical, normal and well, in ways, necessary to learn from. If you have someone you know who is in a bad situation and you want to help, the best thing that you can do is to be there when they need you, tell them what YOU would do if you were them (which is in turn what you think they should do) and follow it by saying... "but that's just me". It's much less intrusive and they might actually TAKE your advice rather than reject your demands. Bottom line, let THEM make their own decision, stand your ground, but say things like... "you will know when it's time to leave." You will say this because that is the truth. THIS is what works, if you argue abusive with abusive then you get nothing but negative... and no positive= no results.

Now... for those that come to me who are asking my advice on when or if you should leave? Refer to the paragraph above; I practice what I preach. I will listen to what you have to say, ask a few questions and say what I truly feel. I define abusive relationships as...

1: Anyone who is dealing with arguments that lead to, yelling, screaming, name calling, comments that are debilitating, cruel, or spoken to hurt you. Physical contact that is forceful and/or negative.
2. Anyone who is dealing with bullying, constant ridicule, or being forced into doing something that you are not comfortable doing, or that is against your good will. This can mean anything from making you stop going to church, or out with your friends, to making you get plastic surgery to "look" a certain way.

I define unhealthy relationships as:

1. One to which any of the above applies.
2. If obsessive, jealous, neurotic, angry, needy, unforgiving, uncooperative, refuses to communicate, manipulative, never understands, isn't willing to change, or they won't talk about our problems,  could be used to describe who you are in a relationship with.

There are SO many things that are tell tale signs but these are the obvious whoppers that you need to pay attention to. These relationships are unhealthy, they leave you scarred for life... and the only people that overcome and leave this type are people who have a lot of strength. It takes A LOT to leave, however ALL of them should.

When I was going through my second divorce, I had to take a class that taught people how to be "divorced" parents to their children. (don't talk about each other etc.) I knew a lot of it because of common sense, the fact that I had already dealt with divorce,  and my love for psychology... but the most powerful and useful thing I learned was this, and I quote:

"It has been proven that it is easier to quit heroine than it is to leave an abusive relationship."

When I heard that, it was coming out of the teachers mouth right after I explained the type of relationship I had ended while I was pregnant with my 3rd child. (the one that had led me to this class) She shook my hand, and said, "You are a very strong woman... it has been proven that it is easier to quit heroine than it is to leave an abusive relationship." I was floored! I ended my first marriage at age 22, we had a daughter who was 4, I owned a home and a business, then my second marriage was ended while I was pregnant, I had a 1 year old, a 17 year old getting ready to leave for college and a 9 year old at home, I had two business's and no family around.  I stopped getting upset with people when I knew they were staying in an unhealthy relationship, I understood, that what I had done... twice, was harder than I even gave myself credit for.

I will tell you, that if you want to leave someone and you are scared, that is normal. If you believe you can do it... you can. I will also tell you however that YOU have to be ready to leave more than you want to stay. If you don't, then you need more time; time that if you don't give yourself, will lead you right back into that relationship again and again until you are.

So... that is my Dr. Phil, advice tonight. I offer this advice not with knowledge I gained from obtaining a degree in psychology, I am not a licensed counselor of ANY kind... the knowledge or wisdom if you will allow me to call it that, that I am sharing is from living through it myself. It may not work for you exactly like it did for me, we are all different. However I will tell you that yes... it's hard, yes, you will be on an emotional roller coaster, and you will second guess your second guessing; that's all normal. It does get easier, if it was the right decision.

Wishing all of you healthy happy relationships. ALL of the above can apply to friendships as well.

xoxo
~Shelley~
This is my daughter Baleigh a couple of years ago in a kissing booth! HAHA