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How to Stop Loving a Jerk and Get On With Your Life

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Columnist, freelance writer, poet. With more than a half-century behind me, I've learned a lot through trial and error.

When you really look at your relationship, are you sure it's good for you?

When you really look at your relationship, are you sure it's good for you?

When Someone Isn't Who They Appear to Be

If the person you love makes you feel miserable most of the time, spit that person out like the delicious-looking, nasty-tasting dessert you once bit into.

If only it was that easy—that reflexive. When it was on display, something about this dessert grabbed your eye and tugged at your heart strings. From your view, it became more desirable every day. You imagined the sweetness that would spread across your taste buds. You expected the ingredients to have been blended together within the boundaries of what most people would consider good.

However, you were duped. The dessert wasn't sweet at all. It was salty. And, although it looked gorgeous on the outside, something is off with the ingredients. Another bite will not make it taste any better. Another bite will not change the effect it has on you.

When You're Tired of the Way They Treat You

Feeling miserable, most likely, is far from the effect you were hoping to get out of loving somebody. Like the analogy of the deceptive dessert, you never expected it to leave a bad taste in your mouth. You expected it to be an overall enjoyable experience.

You may have hoped that you would not simply be giving love but that you would be sharing love with somebody who showed their love through their actions. Instead, most of their actions show everything but love. Most of their actions are carried out without any regard to the effect they will have on you.

Without changes, the results stay the same. You, unhappily nibbling away on a repulsive dessert hoping that by some miracle the next bite will fulfill your desires. Unless you suddenly enjoy feeling repulsed, you can nibble away at that treat until it's gone and you will never feel satisfied or happy. If feeling happy and loved is your goal, your only choice is to change something within yourself and your relationship.

Analyze Why You Think This Is Love

The last person most people want to think about changing when somebody treats them badly is themselves. However, in order to stop loving a jerk, you need to step back from how you feel and take a look at how you got to where you feel.

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Take an investigative eye and try to determine when the negative behavior started occurring and how you react to it. If you continue to feel love for this person, ask yourself why. What qualities does this person have that you love? Did this person's lack of consideration for your feelings escalate gradually over the course of your relationship or did it seemingly pop up out of nowhere more recently?

The reason you need to find the answer to this is to determine whether the meanness you have experienced coming from your significant other is a personality trait or possibly a response to some underlying problem. If a personality trait is the culprit, the slim chance you will see a significant change in the manner this person treats you may take a very long time. If, however, this person treated you wonderfully for a long time and then out of the blue started mistreating you, there is a possibility that something triggered the negative attitude and some professional help may help get him or her back to being more thoughtful.

Is It True Love?

You also need to determine whether you fell in love with this person before they started disrespecting you or did you overlook and smooth over how those actions affected you while allowing them to continue? If you have been mistreated since the start of your relationship, figure out why you let it go on? If you were hungry for love, you were probably starving yourself.

Learn to treat yourself with the respect and admiration that you wish your other half would. Could you describe yourself as the victim of a bait and switch scheme or would you say the unkindness came through early in your relationship? When you analyze your view, your feelings, and reactions, you become more aware of who you are, who you want to be, and what you can do to make improvements in your life.

Learning to Let Go and Love Yourself Better

After examining who you are, you may determine that you couldn't possibly be in love with somebody who has little or no respect for you. However, you may also have started thinking more about whether or not the character flaws of your significant other could be rectified or redeemed.

Undoubtedly, there's little chance that you will ever truly love a horrible-tasting dessert—or your significant other as they are. A sweet topping might make the dessert taste better. But, would a conversation and an ultimatum make the jerk more kind and thoughtful? You have to decide.

Therefore, it's imperative to stop nibbling and hoping for a different outcome. Make changes by learning to love yourself first. Set goals and take the time to acquire skills and characteristics that enhance your chances of eventually finding true love.

Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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