The chaos the wrong partner brings

AMERICAN actress Keke Palmer is again in the news with her ex; this time, having filed for a restraining order after alleging abuse. The actress, whose personal life has remained off the radar for all her career, now has the whole world invested in her romantic life yet again, and as some people have been putting it – the wrong partner, a non-fit, a man that's bad for you, can cause such chaos in your otherwise well-ordered life, that sometimes the damage can't be undone.

It's what counsellor David Anderson calls the height of toxicity, and he warns that you have to know how to recognise it, and how to cope.

"We all have a human need to be loved, but it's not easy to pick partners that suit us well," Anderson said. "The fact is that many, many people repeatedly pick the wrong partners, and end up unhappy and broken. And for some people it's easy to walk away from a relationship that's toxic, but some people aren't even aware of their unhappiness, even if they know deep down that their partner is not the right one."

Toxic? That's too nice a word for what these people say they suffered.

Michael, 28:

She alienated me from my friends and family and I didn't even realise it. It started with Christmas gifts — she said it was foolish for me to be buying gifts for my nieces and nephews when I had created a new family with her and her daughter. Then she said my brothers had no class, and she didn't want them at our house. One time I hired my brother to do a job, and she got so upset, that she didn't speak to me for weeks. I had to hide and communicate with my family — nobody was good enough for her. We were married six years before I was able to get out and reconnect with my folks.

Shelly-Ann, 35:

I thought I was in love, so when he busted my lip open because someone at work shared a playlist with me, and when he almost broke my finger as 'punishment' for daring to have lunch with a co-worker, I didn't even see it as abnormal. I just lied when people asked what happened. One time he hit me so hard in my stomach that I saw stars, and still I didn't break up with him. He was the one who found someone else, and then, I acted like a fool trying to get him back. Thank God that my prayers weren't answered, because now, years later, I can see how stupid I was.

Lesa, 33:

One time I went to a get-together with some of my girlfriends, and when I got back, my ex-husband lifted me up and threw me so hard on the bathroom floor, that I knocked a tooth out and cracked my elbow. Then he just went to bed as usual, and muttered something about me waking him up when I opened the grille. The fact that the next day he acted like everything was normal, and asked if I was still going to bring food to his mom who was in the hospital, was amazing to me. It was the first time he was laying hands on me, and the fact that he was able to pretend that we could go on as normal, was the incentive I needed to leave that relationship fast.

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