Updated: May 18, 2021
My ex partner used to tell me he knew my mind better than I knew it myself. He knew MY mind better than I knew it. Now if that’s not a perfect example of toxic masculinity I don’t know what is. He really held the belief that men are the superior gender. I stayed with him for far longer than I should have, and in the end he kicked me out overnight. More fool me for not realising I didn’t need to stay…
Photo by Maria Lysenko on Unsplash
So, I’m writing this as a warning to anyone who is in a cohabiting relationship but only one of you owns the house. In his mind it was perfectly logical to kick me out with no notice period because he owned the house, and in his way of thinking, I was basically lodging there, which meant I had no rights at all, and I didn’t. There is no such thing as common law marriage and I think more people need to be aware of that. I literally had to pack my clothes, go to work and pretend that everything was fine, knowing I was technically homeless, and then go straight to my parents’ house in the evening. I was incredibly lucky that I had my family to turn to, without their support it would have been even worse.
If you don’t have a cohabitation agreement in place, please bear it in mind for the future. If your partner isn’t agreeable to one then this should be a major red flag, after all, ask yourself, why wouldn’t they want you to feel safe and secure? A happy, settled couple would naturally do this of their own accord. There are lots of law firms who will be able to help you put one in place and I highly recommend getting advice from a qualified professional if you can. Moving in together is great, but do it with an open mind and be aware of the pitfalls.
Lots of women find themselves in vulnerable positions and in toxic, unsupportive relationships. When the person who is supposed to love and care about you is the person who is putting you down every day and making you feel bad about yourself, making your anxiety worse… how are you meant to deal with that? I want you to know that there is support out there and there are charities and organisations who will help you.
Like me, you may be terrible at saving money. There’s no shame in that, sometimes the money only stretches so far and you can only buy food and pay your bills, and that’s okay. We have it drummed into us that we should always have a back up savings account, but the reality is that’s just not possible for everyone.
I want to reassure you that you genuinely don’t have to deal with your situation alone. It may be that you don’t have the support of your family, and if you are in that situation I’m so sorry. You really aren’t as alone as you think you are. Please reach out to someone, don’t stay in the toxic relationship and please know that there are always options. There are lots of organisations, such as Refuge who will be able to help you. So grab yourself a cup of tea, put your favourite music on, and handle your business. You’re stronger than the person putting you down, you always have been.
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