“We need to talk about.. “
Being with the wrong person will have you feeling as though you have always left your straighteners on at home.
I saw this statement on tik-tok a few months ago and, I know, a lot of the things we see on tik-tok should be taken with a pinch of salt, HOWEVER, when I saw this, it hit me like a tonne of bricks. The more times I read it, the more it sunk in. That feeling when you’ve got to work, your heart races, your temperature soars and you’re racking your brain to remember whether you unplugged your straighteners or if you’re going to return home to your house burnt to the ground (I know you know the feeling).
Context, at this time, I had not long ended a relationship and looking back, this statement made so much sense to me. Obviously, hindsight is a marvellous thing, and it is so difficult to see things for what they are while you’re in it, but it dawned on me that throughout the course of that relationship, I constantly felt on edge and anxious and unfortunately at the time, I didn’t understand what the cause of those feelings were. So many times, I had this feeling of impending doom, waiting for something bad to happen, waiting to feel disappointed and most of the time, those gut feelings were accurate. It got to the point that I had a discussion with my GP about anti-anxiety medication, as I truly believed that I had just become a more anxious person. I believe that medication can be a lifeline for some mental health conditions, however, it became clear that there were other forces at work causing these feelings and therefore I was able to manage these feelings without prescription medication. That being said, if you do have any concerns, please speak to your GP and talk this through with them.
Let’s use some examples:
Your partner can be a bit of a loose cannon, likes a drink, can take it a little bit too far which usually ends in you having to bundle them home or having a blazing argument. You have a family wedding coming up and the weeks leading up to the wedding you feel anxious, agitated and constantly worried about how they’re going to behave after a few drinks. You’re conscious that you’ll struggle to relax and enjoy yourself because you’re aware of keeping an eye on how many drinks they’ve had. This then becomes a pattern for every social event, and you begin to dread being invited to anything together, also, whenever you bring it up to your partner, they dismiss your feelings and tell you you’re overreacting.
You have found out your partner has been messaging various people of the opposite (or same) sex behind your back. You talk it through, they accept responsibility for what they’ve done and apologise for hurting you. Some time passes and you can’t seem to shake the feeling in your gut that it might still be happening, you notice that they’re shady with their phone, leave it face down and rarely openly go on it around you. You’re on edge whenever they go out without you and struggle to sleep until they come home. You worry that you don’t want to bring it up because you could be wrong and don’t want to cause an argument over nothing.
Your relationship and partner should make you feel safe, peaceful and secure and sadly sometimes this isn’t the case. If your relationship is costing you your peace, it’s probably not a relationship you should be in. This feeling can be caused by a number of things, broken trust, betrayal, alcohol and drug issues, gambling, a difference in morals or values, just to name a few. However, it can be prevented by your partner understanding how certain behaviours impact you and your relationship. If your partner is not willing to listen to your concerns, understand the affect it is having on your relationship and implement changes, this should be a red flag that their priority is not your happiness. Even more importantly, if it doesn’t feel safe or comfortable to open up the conversation in the first place, this should be an indication that something isn’t right.
Conversation starters can look like:
“When you _________ it makes me feel like ________”
“Last night when you _________ I felt really __________”
“Can we talk about ________”
How your partner reacts and interacts with these conversation starters can and will tell you everything you need to know about their intentions and their level of respect for you and the importance of your relationship to them, you should never feel unable to or worried about having difficult conversations with your partner. If their response is dismissive, and they begin to deflect and disregard your feelings rather than focusing of their own behaviours, it may be time to reevaluate. Uncomfortable conversations can be tough, but it’s a short-term difficulty for a long-term gain.