Are We Letting Him Dim Our Happiness?
No one has the power to make you unhappy unless you let them . . .
There are many women who will stay in a relationship that is clearly dimming their happiness because they are afraid of being alone. Having this type of fear can cause several outcomes:
- We will make excuses for a man's poor treatment of us.
- We will convince ourselves that his happiness is more important than ours.
- We will self-sacrifice the things that make us genuinely happy in order to keep a relationship.
- We will lose hope of ever finding anyone better.
The sad thing is, even when we are shedding more tears than gleaning joy, we will still stay in this type of unhealthy relationship just so we don't have to be single again. Really?!
Why do our ears conveniently become so deaf to the negative words we end up expressing to describe our unhealthy relationship?
When we talk to our friends and family with tears and multiple complaints over and over again, do we actually believe this demonstrates happiness?
There are many women who will stay in relationships that end up slowly killing their happiness because they have this obscured romantic notion (probably from seeing too many movies) that a man—who no longer is putting in the same effort as before—will miraculously start appreciating them again. Maybe, with therapy, the grace of God and a head trauma. But, likely no.
For most men, when the effort stops dramatically, this is their subtle way of letting us know that they do not see a permanent future with us. Basically, they are keeping us around for their own selfish needs. Wonderful. Every time you believe he will magically revert back to the guy you first dated—after months or possibly years of subpar effort—this naive notion will only keep you investing more time and energy on the wrong guy. Yikes!
The sad thing, we will anxiously wait for his "old-self" to return while enduring his crappy behavior. We convince ourselves that as long as he throws us a small bone (ever so often), that is filled with some sort of romantic gesture—then this is a sign that he cares. Seriously?! Companionship should be more rewarding than that. Regrettably, too often it is not.
A close friend of mine is in a relationship with a guy who has known from the first day they started dating how important holidays are to her. She loves New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, her birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and anyone's birthday who is important to her.
My friend will get excited weeks before a holiday occurs and on the actual day she is filled with immense joy—radiating her entire spirit. This is one of her attributes that makes her unique. But, instead of appreciating this about her, her boyfriend will purposely knock her holiday spirit down.
There have been numerous occasions where he will plan a trip, see his friends or family—not including her. Really! Her holidays have been a letdown since she has been with this guy, but instead of realizing that they are not compatible, she has now convinced herself that she should change—no longer making holidays a big deal. Hmm...
By changing a big core of who we are for a man who clearly is not invested in us, will only create more unhappiness for ourselves.
Ask yourself, "Is being with a guy who can easily dim your happiness more important that being alone?"
Although my friend wants to believe she is in a loving relationship, she is not. Instead, she is in a relationship with a guy who clearly loves himself, cares only about himself and keeps her around for companionship and sex. This has been apparent for a long time, however, she chooses to ignore all the Red Flags that continue to come up (and there have been dozens).
Here's the thing, when the honeymoon stage has ended and you start to realize he is not as compatible with you as you might have thought, move on. If you have patience, the right guy will come along. Unfortunately, so many women convince themselves differently. My friend also makes herself a victim of this disbelief. Ugh!
When my girlfriend called me crying—telling me that another holiday was ruined because her boyfriend decided (again) that he didn't want to spend the holidays with her and her family—even though they had already spent part of it with his kids—the question I asked her, "why are you letting this man dim your happiness?" ZAt first she became quiet, then she started to make a bunch of lame excuses for his behavior—all which included materialistic things.
OK, so if a guy takes you to nice dinners, on trips and buys you gifts, this gives him the right to crush your happiness whenever he feels like it? Please. I could not believe the ridiculous excuses she was making. And for what? She hasn't been happy—really happy—in months.
By believing a man holds the key to our happiness, we will never be truly happy...
Holidays are a huge part of my friend's life. She lights up with so much joy during the holidays. She pre-plans what she will wear—getting dressed accordingly for each holiday. She will decorate, cook, bake, and find the perfect gifts to give to family and friends; she is like a Martha Stewart of holidays. Why give all this up for someone who has shown her (on many occasions) that she is not a top priority for him? Let's keep it real, if she can't learn to love and value herself how does she expect a man too?
Yes, it is unrealistic to think that all the things you love, your significant other will love too. However, when it comes to something that you are passionate about—that brings you incredible joy—yes, your partner should be supportive—if he sincerely loves you. For love to last you have to be compatible, know how to communicate and learn to compromise.
Ladies, stop telling yourself that being with someone who obviously doesn't appreciate, respect or value you is better than being with no one. By letting a guy dim your happiness you are inadvertently letting him know that you are not worthy of his love. Is that the message you are trying to give? The only way to be truly happy is by learning to love yourself first and by not sacrificing the things that bring you true joy for anyone.