There’s never just one problematic partner

In a relationship, if one person’s unhealthy, then the other is too

If one person is unhealthy, the other person is too — just in the opposite and balancing way.

If you think it’s always them: it’s you too. 
If you always think it’s you: it’s them as well.

If the problem was only one partner, the relationship would become imbalanced and the two would break up. And even if they eventually do — which they likely will — both partners were equally consensual and involved.

This is something I realized only coming out of my last relationship, when I dated a toxic, codependent dude. Which is why I can say: it’s true even if one of you is toxic. (In fact, it’s especially true if one of you is toxic.)

It’s something I’m still working on — and catch myself forgetting sometimes, when I retell that story to myself.

If one person is cruel or manipulative or overbearing, then the other is an enabler.

If they can’t decide on appropriate closeness or anything else, both are choosing to continue discussing it.

It’s about negotiation and compromise. It’s about making it work — and drawing lines in the sand around what is and isn’t appropriate. And when you cross it enough times, and aren’t able to find a healthy situation here, then it’s about accepting responsibility for the only thing we can — ourselves — and fixing the only thing that’s in our control, which is us.

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