It’s crazy how much tone plays a role in communication.
I used to date someone who made me cringe every time he called me “sweetheart.” This made me kind of sad, as I thought the nickname was one of the cutest someone could own, but this particular person always called me that when I did something wrong. If I took a wrong turn because I misunderstood the GPS, he would yell, “Sweetheart!” in his flustered voice. He would then scold me about how it was going to take even longer to reach our destination now, and that I should pay closer attention to my girl Siri.
Most of the time this word would slip from his lips when he was scolding me for something minor. I don’t know what this person had against the word, but it was apparently something to use only in circumstances of utter frustration or mild rage.
Then I met someone new. He is kind and gentle and patient.
He calls me sweetheart all the time, but instead of barking it sharply at me, he sings the word happily, as it should be said. I am slowly getting used to the joy of getting lost and making an adventure of it, rather than my mistake turning into a fight, and I am still easily spooked when I have one of my lovely “blonde moments” that might inconvenience either of us. I’ve learned that my old love was not the norm, and that I wasn’t crazy for thinking he was overreacting. I definitely won’t let someone treat me poorly again when I make a mistake (I am only human after all), and I finally realize that someone I date doesn’t have to be cruel when I mess something up.
Please learn from my mistakes. A large part of this blog was created in order to tell my funny stories to friends, but I also am so passionate about sharing some of the behaviors that I accepted in an emotionally abusive relationship so that others can recognize behaviors that are absolutely unhealthy if they ever are in a situation similar to my own. On the surface you don’t necessarily notice all the screwed up things that are going on, but when you dig deeper into what a healthy relationship should look like, an emotionally abusive relationship can become easier to recognize. If you have any doubts at all that your partner isn’t treating you right, (s)he very well may not be. Check out my older post about how I finally recognized that I wasn’t in a healthy relationship, and please seek help if you feel that you are not being treated fairly. There are so many amazing people in this world; don’t settle for someone who doesn’t treat you the way you would like your best friend to be treated in a relationship.
Here is one resource if you feel like you have any questions about whether your relationship is healthy. As I said before, if you think something isn’t right, trust your gut. Talk to someone you love and trust, or seek help if necessary. Or feel free to send me a message; I am definitely not an expert, but I will help you find one who can help you.