We are raised with such convoluted ideals of what is expected in a relationship. We relent and condone bad behavior, we allow others to interject their opinions and what they feel our relationship should produce or protect.
Truth is, it is not their relationship. I’ve heard “wait until your with someone for 15 years, that is a real relationship, real dedication, and real love.” Bullshit. Real love, real dedication – has no essence of time. Period.
Being addicted to love and the belief that one day if I put up with enough, this relationship will flourish into a lifetime commitment and I can finally relax into what normal people have is a ridiculous ideal. I’ve literally laid down and allowed men to walk all over me my entire life. I allowed my father to treat me as if I was worthless and that rolled into relationship after relationship after relationship.
You want to know why that is? That old adage “you might as well stick it out because the next person has just as much issues as the next.” This is a LIE, it is completely false and inaccurate. Everyone has their flaws, like leaving their clothes beside the laundry basket, forgetting to take the garbage out, not always helping with the kids but, let me tell you, serious issues, there are men without them. You CAN do better!
They say if you want a different outcome, do things differently. In each of my relationships I took from the previous failure and then tried to rectify that in the new one. If the guy before was unfaithful, I made myself more sexual, more available, more pleasing.
If the guy before was unhappy or felt uncared for, I learned to cook, to provide, to take care of him. If the guy before was deceitful and untrustworthy I tried to open up and communicate more, to allow and invite an openness in the relationship.
If the guy was emotionally, mentally or physically abusive, I would modify my looks, my behaviors, I would give up my life, my fun, my wants and needs and dedicate myself completely to helping and fixing the problems.
DO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM HERE?? The problems and changes to be made were not mine to make, it was simply unhealthy. I didn’t trust myself, I didn’t listen to my brain or follow my gut.
It is important for women to realize this:
It is not your job to take on the success or failure of a relationship in its entirety. If the marriage/relationship is failing and you are the only one fighting to solve the problems…STOP. If the first time you meet a guy he has texts from women on his phone saying they are waiting naked in bed for him, walk away!
If a guy slaps you then tells you he loves you, walk away, (well I would slap him back and then walk away) but you know what I mean!
If you find yourself in a dentist chair having a tooth extracted solely to provide your addict boyfriend with Vicodin,walk away!
Cheaters, cheat, Liars, lie, abusers dominate and destroy and Addicts transfer their addictions. You do not need to stay in any of these situations if you do not want to. It is your choice but you will lose yourself.
Yes, we tend to fall into relationship ruts, and often times can repeat the past and pick from a pond packed with damaged fish that are most likely floating sideways if not upside down already! BUT, you have the ability to re-cast your pole, or switch ponds entirely. You’re more wise than you give yourself credit for.
Women need to know there is better out there:
Not every man will abuse you, not every man will cheat, or be systematically deceitful, hurtful and unavailable. In my lifetime, I have loved entirely and completely three men. An abusive alcoholic, an unfaithful deceitful younger man, and an honest to goodness good man.
After the first two, the odds were not in my favor to say the least. But, I am here to tell you good men, they exist. I didn’t settle, I didn’t have to allow him to hurt me to be loved, or chase him for affection, or fight to keep him every night. He chose to stay, he chose to be kind, considerate, to listen, to communicate and to love me, even when I don’t deserve it.
You’ve heard the saying “do not compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel,” and it is true. Trust me, I lived a highlight reel life, I boasted and hung tightly to every UP, because I was so tormented and heartbroken by every LOW. I thought I needed to be thankful for the good times, because they made the hard times worth it, which is true to a point. However, when the hard times are many and the good times are few you have to be strong enough and value yourself enough to draw the line.
You want to know what I see when I look in the mirror? I see my daughter, I see her impressive beauty, her intelligence and witty personality, and her STRONG sense of self-esteem. I see my son, his goofy ways, his kind heart, and loving soul. I see my green eyes that I love, that have cried tears of happiness more than sadness, and that many have looked into, viewing the goodness of my heart.
I see a woman who has been real, honest and fought when necessary and is learning to let some battles go. I see a woman who is beautiful because of my actions, my children, my mind, and my heart – not because of my physical features. And most importantly I see a woman who is unafraid, intelligent, quick witted, stubborn, hilariously funny, dorky, goofy and flat out 100% one of a kind.
That is what I choose, and what I will raise my daughter to choose. It is what all women need to choose. Choose yourself and own your life. It will be the best investment you will ever make.