I've asked a few people to share their stories from past toxic relationships. Lets get real.
"I was in an abusive (physically and verbally) marriage with a cheating husband and I was adamant on never divorcing because of my beliefs until one day he took it one step too far and I called my best friend at the time crying saying "This is way too hard I can't do this anymore" and he and our boss picked me up with everything I could pack in 20 minutes, took me to dinner and figured out somewhere else I could stay until the separation/divorce was finalized. During the marriage I was made to feel worthless and it was a huge detriment of my mental and emotional health, and I lost everything afterwards too but over time and with the help of my amazing friends and family, I was able to get my things and animals back and move on to bigger and better things. Today I'm engaged to a man that treats me so special and we have a beautiful baby boy. My biggest advice would be listen to your heart, your family and your friends. Sometimes when in a relationship like that, you feel like there is no way out, and if you seek help or you do move on you'll get judged because "you didn't try hard enough" or my personal favorite "pray long enough" but at the end of the day- you need to focus on you and everything and everyone else will fall into place. Don't ever let someone treat you like you are less than anything, you don't deserve that."
"I was the toxic individual in my last relationship. I'm not proud of it and still to this day I have so much remorse of what I mentally put that woman through. I was too young to understand and didn't deserve a love like that. I was insensitive and I guess you could say cold hearted. I never really left that situation, she just left me. Those feelings still hit me hard. The experience always have me be a lot more open minded and not just being inconsiderate of other people. Today I'm doing good and I hope she is too. I don't know what kind of advice I could give out because I was just another teenager in love, but sometimes losing an argument is easier than losing her."
"I was with this girl for 3 years. At the beginning was nice and everything but as time went by she started to be jealous for anything even for going out with my friends she started to argue. I was the one that always made the effort to see each other and if I didn't she would say stuff like, "you don't care, why are you like this?" and she lived far away from my house. Then I started to have mental issues with anxiety and panic attacks. She didn't care. Said I did it to call attention, also for not seeing her. Weird stuff. One day I was in a trip with friends and we started arguing on the phone. She was pissed about it, she started saying stuff, I always remained calm in every fight we had. The last thing she said was "I hate you I hope you have nightmares the rest of your life." Then I realized that I needed something better and love myself because I left my dignity on the floor for a long time always blaming myself. I just responded to her, have a good night and hung up. I turned off my phone and enjoyed the rest of the night. The next day I broke up with her and she didn't want to, she brought up how long we have been together and how we already know our families (her family always wanted to get involved) but I was tired of it. If I could give any advice it would be to always learn how much you are worth and know when is enough."