Sunday, 23 February 2014


I think at this point we all know that a destructive relationship is one where the other person does everything from kill your favourite pet to make you lie to the people you love to protect him/her; whatever your definition, it's not a walk in the park!
Now the truth about destructive relationships is that they give new meaning to the expression; “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”. I mean you may intend with all your heart to come out of them but more often than not, you need a little help on the how to.
So just in case you have battling with how to kick that person to the curb without doing irreparable damage to your already vulnerable heart in the process, here are a few clues:

1.  Acknowledge you have a problem and end it in your mind.
As with most addictions, the first step is the acknowledgement and then the decision to stop. Yes I can almost see you cringe at the word ‘addiction’ but in truth, a destructive relationship is about as addictive as they come because even though you know it’s bad for you, you find it hard to stop. So whether you think of it as habit, addiction or just situation, the key to the best part of the rest of your life is simply to decide firmly in your mind that it’s over and even go the extra mile of telling yourself why it can no longer work. Yes, you can’t possibly go wrong with an honest-to-goodness list, unless of course they see it before you have fully gotten your mind made up and firm; in which case they would simply tear down your less-than-effective barricades and force their way deeper into your heart.

2  Get a real friend and talk to the person about it
Whoever said ‘a problem shared is a problem half-solved’ certainly knew what they were talking about. As bad as your situation may seem, there must be that one friend somewhere who would listen to you and encourage you without judging and without so much as an ‘I told you so.’ This is one of those times when you need a good friend; someone to remind you that you are special, desirable, and wonderful and that you are not going to end up a lonely old person with cats for company just because you decided to end this abusive relationship. Get someone who will convince you that you deserve better and that they are going to stand by you until you get out of this mess you have made of your life. Of course, if you are one of the unlucky few who have no such friends, you can still end it, you just need to draw on every ounce of your personal strength; and then some!

3.     Plan what you will say.
 This is one of those times when spontaneity may not be your friend because while you are twiddling your thumbs and running it through your mind trying to think of a good reason they can’t argue with, they will burst into tears, or give you ‘the look’ and all your good intentions will go flying out of the window as you fall back into their arms right back where you started. Of course you know that with every failed attempt you make, the harder it becomes to break free and the more manipulative they will become.

4. Avoid emotion.
It may make sense to cry to show them that this isn’t an easy decision you took but you will only be hurting yourself because any emotion you display at this time will be used against you in the battle for your freedom. And no, you are not being Mirandized! Look at it this way; assume you burst into tears and tell them how wonderful they are, how crushed you are by your decision, and how hard it is to leave them; what do you think their natural reaction would be? He/she would say, “Then don’t leave me” or in some extreme case, even go so far as to threaten suicide and then like a good prison warden, your partner would close off that escape route and tighten the leash even more.

5.  Mode of delivery.
Most things about a relationship are better done in person and otherwise may seem tacky but where you are in genuine fear for your life because you partner is likely to resort to physical abuse, you may have to join countless of faceless others in writing the infamous ‘Dear John’ letter. In the alternative, if you just have to face them down, then you could simply arrange to meet and discuss in a very public place and even take a friend along with you for good measure. Oh and by the way, if you live with this person then the last thing you want is a shouting match while you are lugging trolleys in both hands so be sure to have gotten your things the hell out of Dodge (literally) before you pop the... well, decision.

6.   Don’t look back.
Memories can be very tricky. Let’s face it, as horrible as they were to you, your significant other certainly had their redeeming qualities. There must have been something absolutely charming about them and it could be everything from their smile to how they tease you to how they pamper you. But when you do make up your mind to use the nearest exit, actually do use the nearest exit and don’t look back for one last tender gaze! Yes and at this point, it would definitely be a good idea to lose their number (yes even though the digits are branded into your brain) and if possible, get a new number of your own.

I hope this works for you and hey, if you try all these, they will definitely work; so see you on the other side of your freedom and feel free to share on your social media coz you never know who might be out there needing to hear someone say it can be done!

Sunday, 16 February 2014


I once watched a man kick his wife's stomach from here to Sunday because his dinner had gone cold; and get this, she was four months pregnant at the time! Talk about a destructive relationship huh? Of course she lost the baby, a lot of blood, and her ability to ever have kids again. Long story short, the twerp subsequently divorced her and went for another woman who was 'fertile' conveniently forgetting that he was the reason his first wife could no longer have kids. Happily, the second woman bore four children while married to him and it turned out none of them were his. Karma rocks!!! :)

The problem with destructive relationships is that the clues are not always so obvious. Of course physical abuse is such an obvious sign that it virtually elicits a duh so it really does not count. The thing you have to understand about destructive relationships is that most times, the very things you think are sweet and romantic are actually the signs you should have been looking out for in the first place. Here are a few:

1. They always want you all to themselves.
Yes when a partner always wants to get you alone 24/7 and never share your attention with anyone at all, it's tempting to be flattered and very easy to get swept up in it and assume that they are possessive because they are crazy about you and can't bear to share you; most times, you would be right. But in the end, you are isolated from everyone; family and friends drop away and soon, that partner becomes the center of your universe and, you are virtually at their mercy because you become socially awkward and completely dependent on them for fun and conversation. It's underhanded, manipulative and very effective because hey, no man is really an island.

2. They make you work for their attention.
There can be no possible excuse for this one. If you are in a relationship where you have to work for crumbs of attention, you might want to get out as fast as you can because you are headed down a dangerous path otherwise. Take a look at the statistics, most people who commit or attempt suicide do that because of unrequited love. Now if you have to keep chasing after someone you are in a relationship with, chances are you end up feeling frustrated, your self-esteem suffers, and just when you are trying to catch your breath from all that running around after them,you realize that you have decided to settle for how badly they treat you; or worse, you become convinced that you don't deserve better.

3. They receive; you give.
Yes I understand the absolute joy that sweeps over you when you give your heart-throb a gift and watch his/her face light up. But when you are always the one doing the giving, materially, emotionally and otherwise, you might want to reconsider that relationship. Of course if you choose to continue along that path, you will give until you have nothing else left. Now for some of us, nothing about always being the giver suggests a destructive relationship but in truth, these are hoops you unwittingly jump through in the name of love and the fact is the more hoops you jump through, the more they place in front of you just for the fun of it.

4. They point out your flaws and make fun of you.
Frankly I think it's a no-brainer. Why would someone who professes to love you want to make you feel anything but good about yourself? Don't get me wrong, in healthy relationships, you may poke gentle fun at each other and tease the socks off each other; that's great and hilarious. But if say you are sensitive about your weight and your significant other baldly informs you in front of a roomful of people that your ass is the size of two pigs in a sack, I don't think you need me to tell you to get the hell outta Dodge!

5. They guilt or manipulate you into doing something you had rather not.
 Like I said, not every destructive relationship comes with the obvious signs coz not every devil wears a horn and carries a pitchfork! A spouse may appear weak, vulnerable and weepy but in truth, they are playing you like a fiddle. You may decide to end the relationship and they turn on the waterworks; you may say you don't have money for a big vacation and they sulk and pout and list every time they made sacrifices for your ungrateful hide; you may decide you want your mother to come for Thanksgiving and they issue an ultimatum: "It's me or your mum! Choose!"

An abusive partner may generally use threats, intimidation, blame games, act like you are crazy or paranoid, and do all of the above and even more, but unfortunately, most times, the problem is not knowing you are in a destructive relationship, but knowing how to get out of it.

Feel free to look out for our next post on how to get out of a destructive relationship with your sanity and body parts intact! :)