“You didn’t seem like the girl I know when he was here. All the things that make you amazing, that makes people love you, it was gone. You just weren’t yourself,” my mother noted, when everything went to shit with GwtS again. “It was like you were just worried about what he needed,” my father added. In GwtS’s defense I just did things for him because that is one of the ways I show affection. But my family’s assessment of my lack of openness was true. I am hesitant to give too much of myself especially when I have been hurt by someone I have allowed to stay in my life. That should have been my first indication that this wasn’t a healthy relationship.
It’s okay to love someone who has hurt you. If you have spent any considerable amount of time in someone’s life, if you understand who they are on an intimate level, it is completely normal to love that person but if the best you ever had makes you cry more than he/she makes you smile you need to reassess what role they should have in your life. You can love that person but that doesn’t mean you should keep them in your life. At some point your love becomes your excuse for letting someone who hurts you stay. You aren’t allowing yourself to find something better, someone worthy of the love you were willing to share with someone who didn’t appreciate it the way he/she should have.
And unfortunately, for you, that behavior will never change. Even if you cut this person out and he/she realizes that you were an important part of their life their behavior will not change because you taught him/her that their lack of respect was, at the very least, tolerable. There will be no epiphany, no revelation that will make that person realize they had truly done anything wrong. This is your relationship and for better or worse you helped design it. You hoped that at some point he/she would realize all of the emotional energy you exhausted was because you were waiting for your partner to change. In reality, your perseverance has prolonged your pain and sadness.
There are lessons to learn from these trial and error relationships. You have opportunities to grow from even the worst relationships. They are often the ones that teach us the most. The most important lesson is that you now know that you deserve better. You know how to better communicate that in a relationship. You understand that just saying something or allowing something to upset you won’t change anything. You have to be willing to let go of someone, even someone you love, if a relationship hurts you or makes you unhappy. You have to be who you are and accept that if that doesn’t work for your partner then you aren’t with the right person.
Relationships can be difficult. Even the good ones experience rough patches but if the good doesn’t outweigh the bad, if you find yourself losing your sense of self, losing your identity, you aren’t fighting for your relationship, you are fighting for less than you deserve. You are holding onto unnecessary pain and unhappiness and not allowing yourself to find someone who will truly appreciate everything you have to offer.
You can forgive the one who hurt you but don’t forget what it taught you.