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My boyfriend and I are recovering, working through things, and adapting. None of what we have gone through has been easy. We got, at one point, I would say pretty toxic with eachother. His choices planted doubts in our relationship which grew into huge insecurities.

It feels so liberating to say that. His choices. It feels so nice to acknowledge them for what they are. Not because I want to blame him, but because I was blaming myself. My looks, my personality, how I composed myself around her. I blamed me for the hurt of a decision they made, despite them knowing it was wrong.

I thought I wasn't skinny enough, I thought I wasn't flirty enough, and I thought I, myself, as a whole just couldn't be enough. I carried the weight of the decision he made and the pain. I took his defensive comments as truth. Comments like, "You never liked her, that's the real problem." Or "It happened, I apologized, now stop bringing it up and let it go." Even in my road to recovery I was faced with a new challenge. Being blamed with not being over it fast enough.

It is true that I made the decision to stay, it is false to think that making that decision meant wiping the slate clean in one swift motion. We had to rebuild from the ground up broken and damaged trust back in to something that could stabilize us again.

Here's the thing, I was hurt. I was consumed with it. So much so that I couldn't realize he was hurt too by his own actions. It was a very confusing time. He had always been the person to lift me out of the darkness and I still needed him in that way, yet his words would drag me back under. There was a slew of denial, defensiveness, and anger around the subject for him. I couldn't bottle my emotions, and though he didn't like it I had to talk about it.

I say talk about it, I don't say blame. I believe every relationship needs transparency. I believe that in order for me to work through it he had to understand my triggers, worries, insecurities, pain, anger and frustration. What I didn't realize was even saying it prefaced with: "I'm telling you this because it's bothering me and I want you to know so we can fix it together. I'm not trying to make you feel bad these are just my emotions." Wouldn't be enough to make him feel like he wasn't under attack.

I'm ashamed I didn't see it sooner. But he hated what he did. And me needing to talk about it was hurting him just as much as his need for me to not bring it up. It was a stale mate, and remained that way for a good amount of time.

It was this baseline of love we shared. This foundation that refused to give to the amounting pressure and kept us linked during this time. But boy did we test it and boy did we push it to it's limit.

We almost ended everything, neither of us wanted to bend. We argued into the night, I'd cry, he and I would both say hurtful things. It was ugly. We would wake up and apologize. Tell eachother how much we didn't like it. But no solution had been reached.

I became a mess. Exaughsted. Broken. He saw it, and he, the most stubborn one, bent just as I was ready to give up. We developed a way to identify a toxic argument as it was happening, it really was about listening to ourselves and eachother speak. If one of us would say something hurtful the other would go silent. This would give that person a moment to reflect and realize with out verbal explanation, how it was, or could impact the other.

This method also cut out my exaughstion. I feel very threatened in arguments and I clam up and feel panicked. I normally say things like "Go away, leave me alone," or just "stop." This was a quiet way of saying I don't like this, this is bad. We basically learned to stop the argument in its tracks, and understand breaking points.

We slowly became patient with eachother, understanding and gentle. It went from blaming to understanding. From hurt to repair. And from distance to bonding.

We have come out stronger. We understand us more, how we work, what we can do differently. I am so proud of him and us. Finding somone who is willing to adapt and grow out of love to overcome their own faults and that of a relationship as well... it's everything. I can't believe how lucky I am to find the one who is going to evolve with me and grow along side me.

I am so thankful he kept pushing for us, the future looks so bright.

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