”Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart” -Washington Irving
Being in love is best feeling in the world. Sorry, I meant, when you’re in a reciprocal relationship, being in love is the best feeling in the world. This kind of relationship forms a strong foundation on which the relationship can further evolve. However, it is possible that you don’t find yourself in such a relationship. Actually, it’s very common nowadays that the quality of your relationship depends more on one person than the other. And this leads to ‘sick-relationships’. This is a relationship where one is depended on the other for his/her happiness and joy in life. The other person could take advantage of it (which often happens). You know that it’s wrong what he or she is doing, but you’re in love so you convince yourself that it’s part of the relationship and that you should accept it…WRONG! Saying and doing nothing is the worst way to deal with such a situation, you need to take a step back and reflect on your options, because you certainly have them. I’m here to help you with making the right decision.
1. You can accept it (low self-respect, settling for less, unhappiness)
I talked a bit in the introduction about choosing for this option. Honestly, the people who choose for this option are unfortunately ignorant. They don’t know what real love is, they are dependent and they don’t value themselves enough. The last part is the one aspect that really makes all the difference. If you aren’t familiar with the concepts of self-respect and self-love then you can’t blame someone for staying in an unhealthy and draining relationship.
Friends and family will have little to no influence to change the behavior of the person they care about. It’s not because he or she isn’t listening, it’s simply because the person doesn’t know better and thinks that the relationship is right for her/him. The only way a breakthrough happens is when the person finally has enough of the situation. You might think: ‘oh but what if it takes a while before I finally realize that this situation isn’t healthy for me?’ Well, then we are very happy for you, but realize this; you’ve wasted a lot of time chasing the wrong person and missed out on other potential partners that would treat you so much better.
2. Listen to the people around you (open mind, average level of self-respect, critical thinker)
One thing that almost every time happens is that the people that care about you will tell you why you should end your relationship. It hurts them seeing how you lose yourself in the relationship. I recommend you to listen to them even when they tell it in a not so very gentle way. These types of people who make an effort to make you happy are the ones that truly want to help you. Often they ask it in some type of demanding emotional way, but that’s only because they want the best for you. Often they will hate your partner and will say bad things about him/her. However, a mind full conclusions doesn’t have a room for improvements. Approach the conversation with an open mind and work actively together to come up with a solution, because there always is one.
When you decide to listen to what your family/friends have to say about your relationship, you acknowledge to yourself that your relationship isn’t really a good one to be in. However, you might be afraid to take that first step to break up with your partner and that’s where your friends & family come into play.
3. You make a change (high level of self-respect, critical thinker, open mind)
I really think that this is the best choice you can make. This choice is independent of other people and that means that you’re fully committed to your choice. This choice has also the most chance for a successful breakthrough not only on the short-term, but also in the long run. Most people tend to go back to their ex after a few months when they start feeling empty and uncomfortable, but not you. You know what is right for you and you that this relationship won’t give you what you deserve. So please, I encourage you to make that step on your own. If you’re too afraid that you’ll fail, ask other people that you trust for help. But try it first on your own, because most people underrate what they can do and overrate what they can’t do.
In sum, I’ve given you three options about what you can do when you find yourself in a bad relationship. Of course, choice 2 & 3 seem better than choice 1, but at the end of the day it’s all about perspective. Some people want to go with choice 3, because they know that they deserve more in life. Others go with step 1, because they still manage to see the good in the situation and they still have faith in the fact that everything will work out sooner than later.
I don’t want you to feel judged; I want you to feel understood. Know that there is always someone looking over your shoulder who is willing to help you with whatever you need.
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How do you deal with an unhealthy relationship?