Those who grew up in broken homes understand the weight of the memories that come with it, memories that’re a big part of who we are.
Growing up in a toxic household affects the way you love:
1. We’re a bit overprotective.
We’ve spent most of our lives trying to protect someone in our household from getting hurt. That need to play the role of protector follows us, even after we leave that toxic environment. We’re on guard for when anyone tries to hurt you and can sometimes be a little paranoid about it.
2. We’re blunt…
Because we can’t stand tension. It’s like walking on a minefield for us. The anxiety of it all pushes us to be blunt with you. If we have a problem, we’ll say it – not because we want to make you feel bad about yourself, but because we want to get it out of the way and move on.
3. …But we’ll feel bad about it.
We’re still struggling to learn to be assertive because we were punished for it in our households. The last thing we want to do is create potential conflict, but we also recognize that it’s important to have confrontation in a relationship.
4. If we’re vulnerable with you, you’re a keeper.
It takes a long time before we let our guard down because we were hurt so many times at home. So if we do open ourselves up to you, we really like you and, more importantly, we trust you.
5. We’re not the best with our emotions.
We like to think we’re emotionally intelligent but, in reality, we’ve kept our emotions in a jack-in-the-box (which is why we tend to blow up at the wrong times).
6. We have trust issues…
We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt… but we’ll be cautious about it in the beginning. It's nothing against you. Many people have failed us in the past and we're scared to take that risk again.
7. …So we take trust very seriously.
Vulnerability is a big deal and we understand that.
8. But we may not say, “I love you" as often as we should.
Not just because we’re bad at expressing emotions, but because it’s something that held so many heavy meanings at home. It’s a term that brings so many intense memories for us.
9. We’re not just loving – we’re compassionate.
We know pain which is why we’re empathetic to your pain (in addition to all those hugs and kisses).