Toxic Partners Can be Fun, Too

It’s never all bad

Judith Victoria
8 min readJul 22, 2022


Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

People always respond the same way when I tell them about my previous relationship— with shock and disbelief.

And I can’t blame them.

When I look at my life through their eyes, I feel the same

Picture this. A man and a woman meet. After a year, she breaks up with him because he is cheating on her with two other girls. And to add insult to injury, these girls were friends and didn’t know they shared a boyfriend.

A couple of months later, they reconcile. He asks her to move in with him and start over. No more funny stuff, just the two of them. Two years later, he cheats again. He had an affair for nine months. She leaves him — again.

He begs her to come back. She is the love of his life, and everything will be different this time. So she goes back. And things are different. Until he hits on one of her best friends. This time, she doesn’t leave. She tells herself every relationship has its downsides. He’s really sorry — like super duper sorry. This time he’s going to stop cheating for real. But the lying, gaslighting, and manipulation just keep going on. She learns how to roll with the punches.

A couple of years later, he proposes to her. She is surprised because their relationship is in a comatose state. They’re like housemates who don’t really get along but treat each other politely. With a heart filled with doubt, she says yes. Maybe things will get better when they are married.

Months before the wedding, she gets an anonymous message on Facebook. Does she know her fiancé has been cheating on her for years? She can’t keep pretending everything is fine anymore. She confronts him. He lies. She insists. He lies. She screams. He lies. She gives him an ultimatum. He finally comes clean.

He has been living a double life for five years. She cancels the wedding and moves out. Everybody is happy — she’s finally left him for good.

Until six months later, when she moves back in. Because this time, he has really, really, really changed. And indeed, he has. He has changed so much that he kicks the woman out and starts a relationship with her cousin. They even have a child now.



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.