Stop pretending everything is OK if it is not
Stop pretending like everything is OK if it is not. If they are not playing ‘nice’, then you shouldn’t be playing ‘nice’ either!
They ‘may’ play nice in the beginning (as they usually do) and that is why it is called ‘the beginning’. Once ‘the beginning’ is over it is the time when we should start thinking about our boundaries. We don’t just want to conduct an inventory (of those boundaries), we want to stick with them too!
Here is what I find amazing AND sad at the same time: our decision to get involved is usually based on the way they play and treat us in the beginning. It is so EASY to be with them when they play nice. It is easy because the strength of our personality, our sense of self-love and our boundaries are not being challenged and compromised at that time. No matter our self-image and self-esteem, our relationship is good and perfect; there is no need to stand up for ourselves, to ‘try to make it work’, to pretend everything is great (because it IS!) or to be forced to make a decision. The bottom line is - the beginnings are EASY.
The problem is that they do not last. Duh, we knew that already, right? And, do you know what happens when The Beginning ends? Entire hell breaks loose and our boundaries get compromised.
When it happens and we are not sure how to handle their ugly behavior - which surely makes us upset big time - here is what they say:
~ stop being so upset
~ why are you ‘like this’?
~ omg, what a bunch of drama
~ take it easy!
~ I need a break, you just seem too emotional today
~ are you PMS-ing?
They shrug it all off making it all look like we are upset over nothing, and the negative emotions that we experience is our own fault. You know, it is like our negative emotions came out of nowhere and they had absolutely nothing to do with it.
As a result, next time when they pull off something painful and overstep our boundaries we clam up, put up on a happy face, and pretend like everything is OK.
When something is not right, and we pretend like it is, we mold ourselves into this convoluted model of a relationship that suits them only. They play by their rules, they get to say what they please, and they expect you to follow them. They expect you to be there no matter what.
They know they are being a jerk and yet they keep overstepping your boundaries and push their agenda. This is because they are so damn SURE YOU WON’T LEAVE:
~ we have been together for ages… she isn’t going anywhere
~ if she wanted to leave she would have already done so
~ she does not seem to be bothered with my jerky ways
They sure do not turn into monsters overnight. The above described downfall happens gradually. They take one step forward and then make a detour to see how you react. If you are scared, not-sure or lack self-confidence you may choose to pretend like you saw nothing. Sounds familiar? So, next time, when a good opportunity presents itself, they make a larger detour. They may even disappear from a horizon to see your reaction: ‘will she blow up?’
Rather than sticking to our boundaries and saying as it is we smile in return and say ‘It’s OK’. We want to be kind, loving, and understanding. We want to be an example of a good partner. We want them to see this and to hopefully change (by being driven by GUILT). We may also be afraid to speak up because we either don’t know how to do it, what to say or are not sure it would matter. We want them to better themselves on their own; we want them to realize how horribly wrong they are and finally come to their senses. We try to be loving and we do our best to be PATIENT.
We do all of the above AS IF it is going to change something or MAKE OUR PAIN AND DISCOMFORT GO AWAY. We won’t get a medal for it either!
You cannot make the pain go away by letting someone compromise your values, expectations, and standards. Whatever your standards are – you need to stick with them. That someone may not have to agree or even like your preferences, but you cannot be fully happy until you are deep down in agreement with yourself. Going against yourself never works. It will keep draining your spirit and eating you from inside. It is a losing battle!
~ Stop being their mother Theresa and dote to their every whim. You need someone loving and caring too.
~ Stop smiling when it hurts and start saying what you think and feel
~ Stop being their 911 service. You have needs too!
~ Stop being so there for them
~ Stop playing nice and do start looking around. They do not deserve to be in a relationship with you.
~ Stop being their ‘old faithful’ who is ‘not going anywhere’. Who do they think they are??
~ Erect your boundaries and watch what happens. If the relationship goes down the drain then maybe it is the place where it belongs
~ Stop thinking like they are your ‘only chance’ and ‘no one will love you like that’. You mean, like THAT??
~ It has been way too long and it is time to make a change. Things cannot change if YOU do not make the change.
It is not OK to say ‘everything is great’ if it isn’t. First – it hurts our position in a relationship, and second - it deprives them of an opportunity to make things better. Let them know WHAT IS NOT OK and let them deal with it. Stop making it so easy for them.