It can be difficult to talk about a broken relationship — that investment of your heart that’s taken a hard turn resulting in pain, confusion, and questioning where it all went wrong. It can be even more difficult when it seems like your history is just full of those broken moments, leaving you wondering if there will ever be a healthy, happy relationship for you out there.
That’s precisely the place Christy Johnson, author of the book Love Junkies, found herself in years ago. Yet, it was in uncovering the deeper issues — like how her underlying soul health was at play — that finally enabled her to find freedom, peace and real love in the end. She shares a bit of her story with us today, as well as educates us on how to be a source of encouragement and hope for friends who may be in a similar situation.
Darling Magazine: What prompted you to write Love Junkies?
Christy: Like many readers, I wondered why relationships were so hard. Years ago, when it came to romance, I qualified for the biggest loser. When I was in a relationship, I was miserable. When I was out of a relationship, I was desperately looking for one. I simply didn’t know where else to find my hope, confidence or trust, so I sucked approval and affirmation out of relationships. It took me a long time and a lot of heartache to figure out there is no man on earth that can fill those shoes. After I found my own freedom, I wanted to help other women find the same hope and healing that I’ve found.
DM: What is the Soul Health Profile and how can women use it?
Christy: Love Junkies comes with access to an online Soul Assessment Profile on my website. The Soul Assessment Profile is a self-assessment tool, a series of seven online quizzes that helps women evaluate their strengths and weaknesses in each of the seven steps. I created the soul-health assessment to help women determine the health of their soul and target their areas of relationship vulnerability. After they identify their weaknesses, they can create their own personalized action plan to strengthen their areas of vulnerability.
We can acquire knowledge, but without application there is no change. When women change their habits, they heal their soul. And when they have a healthy soul, a natural thing happens — they are no longer drawn to toxic relationships because not only have they learned to respect themselves, but they also are no longer oblivious to the red flags that used to blindside them.
We can acquire knowledge, but without application there is no change. When women change their habits, they heal their soul.
DM: How can a woman know if her relationship is toxic?
Christy: A vicious cycle of misery is the biggest clue. Most women stuck in toxic relationships know something is wrong, but they never question what is now normal to them. Eventually they become desensitized to the pain and their chaos becomes all they know. Women who are vulnerable to toxic relationships tend to gravitate toward the same type of men — guys who are emotionally unavailable, controlling, abusive, or needy. She may depend on their relationship or marriage for their source of happiness and feel stuck when they are in a bad relationship. She may fantasize about another relationship when their current one is having issues. She may commit too soon because of “chemistry” out of a fear of being alone.
DM: What lies might women believe that keep them in such relationships?
Christy: There are so many lies love junkies tell themselves in order to camouflage the chaos. The lies become the façade that helps them tolerate the misery. Lies like: “It’s normal to feel pain in love.”, “I can change him.”, “He’s really not that bad.”, and “He doesn’t mean to do the things he does.” And they remain stuck in these relationships, propelled by more lies they tell themselves like: “It’s all my fault.”, “There’s something wrong with me.”, “This is the best I can do.”, and “I deserve this.”
DM: What would you say to a woman who is struggling with being single? (Or afraid to be?)
Christy: Being single is an opportunity to focus on you, to invest in yourself, to develop your full potential so that you can become your best possible self. Use your time of being single to focus on becoming the kind of person you want to attract. If you aren’t content with your life, a relationship won’t make it better. There are many miserably married women. Marriage won’t satisfy your soul. It magnifies your soul. If your soul is healthy, your marriage will be beautiful, but if your soul is sick, your marriage will be a disaster.
If you aren’t content with your life, a relationship won’t make it better.
DM: How can we be a good friend to someone in a toxic relationship?
Christy: Often as women, we want to show our compassion and concern. Women need to vent and have a listening ear. But sometimes, listening is not enough. The truth needs to be told in love. If your friend asks for advice, give it honestly. Don’t sugar coat your advice because you’re afraid of offending her or hurting her feelings. Be straight forward.
In addition, if your friend constantly complains about her partner that can be a real drain. Don’t join her pity party. Use the opportunity to tell her that complaints without solutions for change are futile. Help her evaluate her options. Remind her that she can’t change her partner. The only person she can change is herself. The best way to improve her relationship is to improve her own soul health.