Having a loving and committed relationship is dependent on the essential ingredient of respect. Too many times I’ve either made compromises personally or listened to a friend recount their tale of disrespect in their relationship. So why is it so hard to let go of something we know is not deserving of our time, or energy?
This afternoon I got a call from one of my most cherished friends. I wish that she would see herself this way, as I have been hearing the sound of her heart breaking in this toxic relationship that she’s been in for 9 1/2 years. It all comes down to respect. You see in her situation, she continually holds on to this relationship in the hope of something changing for the better. She is trusting, loyal, genuine, and authentic in everything she does, except when it comes to dealing with herself.
Find Your Power And Switch It On
It’s hard to be the friend who can see how amazing someone is, and watch them work hard to feed their constant ‘validation monster’ only to find that the appetite of the ‘monster’ they are trying to feed, is insatiable. For years I’ve been listening to this friend deal with how her disrespectful partner continually sidelines her due to his money, love of women, and constant need to validate himself. He always gets away with it with her, and as soon as he’s found out, he comes crawling back with his lies, even when there’s proof, denying all the way.
You guessed it, he’s a gaslighter. Highly manipulative, self-seeking, and a liar. Much like in the 1944 film, Gaslight, wherein the wife is driven mad on account of her husband’s manipulations, so my friend has been driven to a sort of madness that has her becoming the one needing validation. It’s as if he has switched her ‘self-respect’ power button to the off position and she just can’t figure out how to turn it back on. It doesn’t matter what I say at this point. I’ve resigned myself to the ever-enduring art of listening without judgment. Until she realises her own worth, I’m afraid I’ll just be a sounding board.
Why Is It So Hard To Let Go?
After investing your time, energy, and money into something for a long period of time, there should be some fruitful reward, no matter what you’ve invested in. It’s not so easy to let go of a unfruitful dream venture, let alone the ‘love of your life’. At some point though, the ‘self-respect’ power button has to be switched on and your own self-worth accounted for, especially if you are in a relationship where there are children involved.
Staying in a relationship where you’re constantly questioning yourself and being undermined in your worth is not acceptable for anyone. There is no excuse for this abuse, and that is what it is, abuse. While this may be true, it can be crippling to try and take the first steps to freedom. Realising you’re worth more than a diamond mine filled to the brim with precious stones, is the first thing to tick off your list.
It Takes A Village
It’s time to push the reset button in your own head to break out of this cycle of disrespect. It can’t be done alone in most cases, so now’s the time to start trusting and leaning on your friends and family.
Find the one precious person who knows you and has been your sounding board through it all, and let them in. I mean really let them in, and then lean on them. You know the person I’m talking about, the one who has tried to support your attempts to salvage things, even when they thought you were nuts. It’s not too late.
Most importantly, give yourself space to breathe, to grieve, to heal, and to fall down again. You’ve got to work at rebuilding trust in yourself again after dealing with letting someone in who did a number on both your heart and your head.
Finally, don’t look back as you take your first steps to freedom. Looking back means that you’re still stuck in ‘what could have been’, instead of looking forward to ‘what could be’. Afterall, your life is more precious than rubies, and it’s time for you to shine.