Fighting is normal, right? If you don’t argue, you’re just sweeping issues under the rug, right?
Well, I can only answer yes with the HUGE caveat that how often and in what manner you fight will either make, or break your relationship. The only winner of any argument should be your relationship. A productive fight should produce a positive outcome that helps you each learn what your partner needs, and then you both agree on a better way to interact going forward. It becomes toxic if you argue a lot, if you argue about the same things without a solid resolution, and most definitely if you’re mean, judgmental, and/or critical.
A client once asked me how often was normal to fight. If you’re even asking that question, the answer is probably you’re arguing too much. But I’m very glad you asked! That question if answered properly could save your life. At least that’s what I’m hoping I can do with this post.
Do you know if you’re being abused?
I shot the above video shortly after I watched the entire police bodycam video of their interaction with Gabby Petito. It broke my heart. That sweet girl clearly loved her boyfriend and wanted to protect him. Sadly, I don’t believe she knew she was in an abusive relationship, and he was only interested in protecting himself. Watching her brought me right back to when I was her age, when I was in a toxic relationship that almost killed me.
When you feel like you found your soul mate, it’s very confusing when he’s not being loving to you all the time. He makes you feel like it’s your fault, and like you’re crazy. But your only mistake is not loving yourself most, and holding strong boundaries to protect yourself.
I’m talking about myself and Gabby but men can also be abused by women
Do you love too much?
I fully understand wanting to believe the good in him, desperately holding on to the hope things will get better, faithfully trusting he loves you enough to change back into the person you initially fell in love with, and that he would never intentionally hurt you. But his apologies after he does hurt you aren’t as good as they used to be, in fact he doesn’t really seem sorry. He has pushed you to behave in terrible ways that you’re embarrassed of, and you’re just so confused what went wrong. The most important clue is that you don’t recognize yourself anymore. You’re different, but not for the better.
Signs of Abuse
- Low self-esteem, but highly confident. It makes them insecure and extremely controlling.
- Possessive, extremely jealous, and has a very bad temper.
- Sabotages your success, work, or school.
- Demeaning and critical, puts you down and blames you for things that go wrong. See Recognize Verbal Abuse
- Picks a fight with you then acts like nothing’s wrong to others, making you look crazy or overly emotional (This is what the police bodycam video of Gabby and Brian Laundrie shows)
- Acts loving and caring in front of your friends and family but tries to isolate you from them.
- Doesn’t respect your boundaries. Snoops through your phone, computer, finances, and tells you what to do, say, and wear.
Don’t think your relationship is that bad?
I’ve been coaching people on their relationships since 2007. It is astounding to me how many smart, beautiful, successful people are either oblivious, or in denial, that their lover is toxic or abusive. I say that with absolutely no judgement, and it’s not criticism. I have walked in those same shoes, but thankfully I’m still alive to help others. Abusers can be very charming and lovable, at least in the beginning, and in-between fights. They’re manipulative. It can seem like it’s not that bad. I understand if you feel like you can’t leave or that your life won’t be better without him. But I promise you, you’re wrong.
Relationships are easy when they’re right. Many clients have called to tell me how easy their new relationship is after they were strong and loved themselves enough to let go of a bad one. That was true for myself too. Please reach out to me if you’re in a relationship that’s not making you happy. I’ll help you decide if it can be fixed or if you’d be better off finding someone new. Sign Up For Coaching
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a very informative website: https://ncadv.org/ You can safely visit their website by clicking the red “Safely Exit!” button in the bottom right corner when you’re done. Be very careful in reaching out for help if your partner is physically abuse and/or if you’re afraid.
After I shot this video, I happened to see Gabby’s parents on The Dr. Oz Show. They have created a foundation in her name: Gabby Petito Foundation If you want to help, you can donate to help others. You can also find additional resources.