With all that has been going on lately, with Ray Rice and his abusive relationship, and my anniversary this past weekend, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.
When the news went viral about Ray Rice and his then fiancé in the elevator, I thought, what is wrong with that woman to marry him after the fact? Then a friend put it all into perspective for me. Many of us women have been exactly where Janay Palmer is, and are guilty of continuing as the victim just as she is, including myself.
First off, before my Dad reads this and grabs his gun, I have never been abused, physically or verbally. Emotionally, however, is a totally different story, and just as bad if you ask me. Janay is in a toxic relationship. She’s not one of the few, she’s part of the majority of women and men in toxic relationships. She is sticking with the man who hit her. Think of all the memes on social media with teenagers talking about their ideal guy and their idea of losing weight to get them, even to the point of starvation dieting and exercise bulimia.
I was in and out of a toxic relationship for 5 years. I was made to feel “less than” due to lying and cheating, yet I continued in the relationship for some reason I still don’t understand. I guess I felt like that is all I was worth… there’s no telling and I don’t really want to revisit who I was back then, as I had truly forgotten about all of that until now. And yes, you can forget about all of that once you are truly happy. Back then, I believed a good man didn’t exist. In order to be happy, you just had to lower your standards. I thought all men lied and cheated, because almost all men seem to. That relationship made me a different person. I was crazy and bi-polar. I would be happy one day and feel the darkest of sadness the next. One day, I woke up and realized that if what I was putting up with is all there was, I didn’t need any of that. I would rather cut that person out of my life, as well as any of my friends who supported that relationship.
I went on a few lunch dates and what-not, but one night my room mates dragged me down to Charleston for a birthday party where I met my now-husband. I had no intention of getting into a serious relationship, as I was in the process of interviewing for my dream job that wouldn’t allow for it. However, I met the man God sent to save my life. He literally saved me from myself. Our anniversary weekend just passed… 5 years of marriage (a year of dating), a few moves, and 2 babies later, I realized just how happy I am and how much I have forgotten about my not so awesome past. I am in the type of relationship every woman should wish for- not that mine is perfect at all, but it’s pretty darn close to it. From the beginning, my husband has supported me in every decision I have ever made, every job choice, every friendship, every educational choice, every travel opportunity, and even every illegal and taboo life changing decision such as our home birth. He holds me accountable when it comes to my faith, my training, and all even at the cost of his time. He will go to work all day, come home, and make sure I go get my training done, even if that means he is home alone with cranky kids (if they happen to be cranky). And better yet, he seems to improve as a husband as the years go by. He even wakes up to soothe our youngest to sleep at night after I nurse him. Most importantly, he never ever gives me any reason to doubt him, and trust is such a huge part of a loving relationship. He has that kind of respect for me, to make me feel security and feel truly loved. That’s what every woman should wait for.
Why am I writing about this on my fitness blog? Because the relationship a person is in completely affects their mental and physical health. If you are in a relationship that makes you unhappy, you do not make good diet or exercise choices. When you are stressed due to your significant other, you tend to lack drive, and elevated cortisol levels are terrible for your heart. If you are in a toxic relationship, know that there is better.