I figured after the previous post, it would be a good idea to speak on what happens when the proper commitments are not made. So here it goes…
In my most recent relationship, I was 100% committed to her and the relationship. Before she and I had even met, I told myself that I wanted my next one, to be the last one. Unfortunately for me, she was more committed to being faultless and feeling safe and in control. This is a bad combination all around and we were doomed to fail from the very beginning (with me being the emotional casualty). But pay close attention what I wrote there: I was committed to her and the relationship, and she was committed to herself (and not in a good way).
Just a recap of my previous post: there are 3 types of commitment.
- A commitment to the relationship
- A commitment to the other person
- A commitment to yourself
Now I’m going to talk about myself before speaking on her. I had the first 2 commitments down pat. I can say without hesitation that I gave that relationship my absolute all and really can’t say I would or could have done anything differently to make it work. The mistake I made was that I was not committed to myself. As a result, I tolerated wayyyyyy too much and ignored dozens of signs. Why? Because I believed that deep down she was a good person and that if I gave her time, space, and love, she would rise up to the occasion. Oh how wrong I was… so very very wrong. Whenever I challenged her to be better or called her out on her hypocrisy, I was met with vitriol, attacks on my character and who I am as a person. If I had a problem with something she did or said, it was because I was weak or insecure. There was even an instance where I told her flat out she owed me an apology. She did apologize, but when asked, she admitted that if I had not asked for it, she would not have given it to me. There were soooo many signs for me to walk away, but because I let my commitments to her and relationship completely supersede my commitment to myself, I stayed way too long. As a result, I had my heart broken, my pride crushed, and my self-esteem and confidence destroyed.
On her side, she had a deep commitment to herself, and not in a good way. For her, being wrong or at fault was tantamount to death. Whenever I would tell her that something she did or said had hurt me, she’d become super defensive and make it completely about her. Despite my being the one who was hurt, the discussion always ended up being about her and how she was feeling in that moment. The idea that she had made a mistake she took as a personal reflection of her. In other words, in her mind, “if what I did or said is flawed, then I must be flawed”. This was unacceptable and thus she fought tooth, nail, and dagger. She needed to control the situation and feel that she was safe. Even as the relationship progressed, I had asked her how do I broach the subject when something is bothering me. Even after I tried her suggestions, she still managed to blame me and say I was the problem. What’s more, if I wanted to hang out with individuals she didn’t want me hanging with, somehow it was an indication that I didn’t care about her or her feelings. But when the table was flipped, suddenly I was insecure. (And for the record, whom she didn’t want me hanging with were friends like family, whom I didn’t want her hanging with was an ex… there was no comparison). And one final point, the second commitment, “commitment to the other person” she failed miserably at. I had shared with her my various goals and there were instances where I had shared my joy at my progress and she got angry because she felt I didn’t care enough about the things she felt I should care about.
I could go on and on but I’ll leave it there. The point is, make sure you and your partner are committed to the right things. What’s more, make sure that actions are in alignment with the commitments that you both have made. I take full responsibility for the pain I experienced, because I lacked that commitment to myself. Yes, she played her in being a terrible person towards me, but ultimately, I chose to stay as long as I did and tolerated it. Don’t make the same mistake either of us made. Protect yourself and don’t hurt others.
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