A toxic relationship will either make you or break you. That being said I would encourage any survivor who is still reeling from such a liaison to seek healing, there is no better feeling than that of being a conqueror!

One of the interesting things about surviving a toxic relationship is the confidence it gives you to stand taller and stronger without apology. You should NEVER get used to be being bullied, but this is exactly what happens in an abusive relationship. You get accustomed to doing things against your will and conscience, being coerced against your better judgement and doing things for the sake of peace because peace no matter how short lived becomes the priority EVERY day. You strive for peace by any means necessary but it’s often at the cost of choosing the lesser of two evils.

When you learn to love yourself again, saying ‘no’ isn’t so painful or uncomfortable. I don’t say it out of spite or to be difficult. I consider a request before giving an answer, but if my response is a ‘no’ I no longer feel awkward or distressed to say so. I think I always had an unspoken obligation to always say ‘yes’ even if it took me way over and beyond my comfort zone. There are times in life when we will make that sacrifice and this is normally dependant on the person and situation that has arisen. While ‘No’ may sometimes call for negotiation, it helps us recognise our own boundaries and human limitations. It teaches us self respect. ‘Yes’ isn’t compulsory.

To walk away from an abusive marriage, makes the ability to make the decision to walk away from a mediocre relationship easier. There is no commitment to hang around when it becomes obvious that the alliance isn’t working as opposed to hanging on indefinitely just to see if things will turnaround. I don’t know if it’s a positive or negative thing because it can be misconstrued as impatience, but I know that life after toxicity makes one less tolerant of certain things; pathetic excuses, empty apologies and desolate promises. You cut through the poppycock with a sharpened knife born of experience to cut to the chase. There is a tendency to put others on a shorter leash since being taken for granted or being undermined is permanently off the table. There is only space and time for those who are genuine. Time wasters need not apply.

How unlike us God is, or perhaps I should rephrase that to I am so unlike God. His arm of love and mercy is ever extended towards humanity. He patiently sees us through the process of growth, tweaking the lesson as and when necessary. He can see past our faults and helps us to be and do better . . . If we allow Him too. I know I’m probably not that enduring anymore. I suppose that in terms of relationships I have learned not to settle because of the ‘potential’ seen in someone else because that ‘potential’ may never become a reality. You have to ask yourself; if this person never changes, am I okay with who they actually are at this precise moment in time? Realistically is this relationship going to help us both grow without us having similar core values? Is it worth my investment of time and emotion? As my very good friend Sister Viola always says “You write your own story”, meaning that whatever people say of you is refletctive of your character. When you’ve made a marital mistake once, you kinda have a cloud of fear that you may make it again. To this I say, you don’t have to, just really see the next suitor for who they really are. What they say, their views, their actions will tell you exactly who they are. Our character is the reference of who we are. Pretenders can’t fake forever. Time will reveal the true nature of an individual.

You probably know at least one person whose character is less than noble. Bogus people hurt others with their pretence and manipulation. But guess what? They can’t hide from God. The bible says ‘ But the very hairs of your head are all numbered’ Matthew 10:30. Does God know us or what! There is no counterfeit with Him, because even if we try, He sees right through our fabrication.

Honesty lives confident and carefree,

    but Shifty is sure to be exposed. Proverbs 10:9

The Message Bible

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