I had just returned from the salad bar. I set my plate down and slid into the booth across from my then-husband. We were silent for a few minutes and then he said something shitty to me.
I can’t even recall what it was, but I remember the impact it had on my body: my shoulders slumped, and the whole of me caved inward, like I was trying to protect myself. My eyes filled, and I excused myself to go to the bathroom so the other restaurant guests wouldn’t see me crying.
All couples fight, I remember telling myself hundreds of times while I was still married to him. I told friends, strangers, and myself I was happily married. I said it so many times hoping it’d become the truth, yet it never did.
Watch: Mamamia Confessions: Relationship deal-breakers. Post continues.
My marriage wasn’t normal. It was toxic, and it took me far too long to figure that out. Here are the signs that your marriage is toxic too.
Every couple fights, but it’s how they fight that matters. Just because someone never hits you doesn’t mean they aren’t abusive.
- Do you and your partner fight constantly?
- Do the fights begin small, but escalate quickly?
- Are there personal attacks, name-calling, or raised voices?
- Do boundary violations occur (getting into your personal space, destroying your things, breaking things in front of you)?
- Is there ever resolution, or do you just retreat and things return to “normal” after a couple of days?
If you can answer yes to one or several or the above questions, then you are most likely in a toxic marriage. How you treat each other when you’re the maddest at each other should still be respectful. If it’s not, it’s unhealthy.
I didn’t know until nearly the end of my marriage that my husband and I kept too many secrets from one another.
He secretly abused drugs for nearly the entire time we were together. He sold little things to get the money he needed, so it wasn’t so obvious he was getting drugs. He also had a personal credit card I didn’t have access to that he bought things on and never told me, and he later embezzled from his job.
I had several inappropriate relationships with men that skirted too close to the lines of infidelity. I would purchase things and not tell him because I could never get him to compromise — let alone agree — to what I wanted or believed we needed. If something happened that I knew might possibly upset him, I just wouldn’t tell him.