I Learned The Most From the Worst Relationship

It can be the catalyst to look deep within yourself

Jae L
7 min readMay 20


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If you’ve ever come through the other side of a bad relationship, chances are you’ve wondered why you wasted months or years of your life with that person.

A few years ago, I was in a relationship that was bad for me in many ways. But it took me a long time to see it. Once I did, it took a long time to understand why I had subjected myself to it.

The answer to that question was a painful lesson, but one that changed the course of my life. In a strange way I have to thank an abusive ex-partner for something that ultimately made my life better.

I had to find closure in my own way

I was completely on my own in making sense of things when the relationship ended. I wasn’t able to have the conversation that many people have that enables them to walk away with an element of closure. It’s normal that emotions inflamed by hurt cause people to lash and sometimes act in ways that they’re not proud of. But at some point there’s mutual acknowledgment of fault on both sides and an understanding that the best thing is to go your separate ways.

That’s not what happened in this relationship. For a start, there wasn’t just one but three break ups. That’s right. She would leave in dramatic circumstances after some perceived wrong inflicted by me. After a period of enforced silence, she would snake her way back to me. She would say all the things I wanted to hear and I would pretend that none of the bad stuff happened.

It took something especially heinous for me to face up to how bad the relationship was and accept that it was over for good. It was when she stole my car leaving me stranded six hours drive from home that I woke up like a bucket of icy water had been tipped on me.

While I didn’t want the relationship to continue, I did look to her to help me understand what had happened. I wanted her to be accountable and take responsibility for what she had done and the impact on me — not just at the end but throughout the relationship. Instead, she accused me of harassing her and making her anxious and blocked my phone number. But the only thing she was afraid of was scrutiny.



Jae L

Queer, neurodivergent and in the business of defying expectations. Doing my best to answer the questions I keep asking myself. diverge999@gmail.com