Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why Having a Healthy Relationship Matters

Today is my second of three posts that are my thoughts lately that bleed together. It felt great to get Monday's post down and let go of it a little bit. You all left really sweet comments and it's good to know I'm not alone in my "if only" moments.

Today's post continues to involve a topic I've never really talked about on my blog. It'd kind of cathartic, writing it down.  Hopefully writing this down will help me let more of this go.

In parts of high school & college I was in an unhealthy relationship. There, I said it. It kind of feels good to own that as part of my past, because it really has made me who I am today.
I started dating "A" my senior year of high school. He was my first boyfriend and looking back, we are and were very different people. I felt very stifled at times in the relationship and lost my connection to almost all of my friends while we were together. There are lots of reasons why the relationship was unhealthy, and it's not important to go into all of the reasons here, but it's important to realize from the experience of being in an unhealthy relationship; what a healthy relationship looks like and not jump into another unhealthy relationship.
It was shocking to me after we broke up how much my life changed for the better. I felt free, my relationship with my friends and family improved. For the first time I realized how a woman should be treated in a relationship and what type of person I wanted to be with.
These two circumstances have been floating around in my mind as a perfect example of a healthy relationship vs. and unhealthy relationship.

- In college my friend and I both wanted to move back east for a summer and work as camp counselors. It sounded like so much fun, and would be great to have a good friend there with me. Well, "A" did not like the idea of me going away for the summer and started writing horrible songs about me and saying mean things to his friends. It was stressful and made me feel so torn. The job didn't end up working out; so we never had to reach that point, but that is case in point and unhealthy situation.

- Last spring Hal had the opportunity to do an accounting study abroad. It would mean being away from each other for almost a month; the longest we've been apart since we met. It meant he got to travel all over Europe and experience amazing things without me. I supported him 100%, and even pushed him to go at times.
It seems like a lot of people feel limited by marriage and relationships, but in a healthy relationship you shouldn't feel limited, like you can't pursue your dreams. Yes, relationships mean sacrifices, but when you love someone, sacrificing for their betterment and happiness is worth it because in the end you also benefit from them being happier and choosing to better themselves.

A healthy relationship means supporting your partner when they want to do positive things. Even if it means things might be harder right now, in the long run things will be better because of the sacrifice. To me that is why a healthy relationship matters. A healthy relationship helps you grow, and you get to grow alongside someone you love. An unhealthy relationship does not help you grow, and often prohibits you from growing.
 I met Hal 6 months after I broke up with "A". So while my time in an unhealthy relationship was exactly that, unhealthy; once I was out of it I knew exactly what I did and did not want out of a relationship and was able to find exactly what I wanted.


Angela said...

Thank you for sharing this!! Our stories are very similar... for parts of high school and college I was also in an unhealthy relationship...and I didn't know what I was missing! So happy to have found my now husband who treats me better than I deserve. :)

Tanika Rice said...

You gotta go through crap to see the good! :) I firmly believe that!

Susannah said...

I think so many of us can relate to this. I was in a REALLY unhealthy relationship before Nate. My relationship is/was night and day difference from my relationship with my ex. What a blessing that you met and married Hal!!! :-)

Torrie said...

I totally get this. I had so many unhealthy relationships that I didn't even realize were unhealthy because I didn't have enough healthy ones to compare them to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I loved this.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Aw, I'm so glad you guys ended up together. You are both so good for each other!

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

You two are fantastic together and I believe your past relationship, as unhealthy as it was, was part of that journey we all have to take...the one that teaches us what we need and want most: a healthy, happy, and funny relationship where both love and support each other no matter what. You have it all girl. :)


Kimberly Corrigan said...

I love this post! I can relate to the things you've written and it makes me so happy that you found Hal!

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