It’s unfortunate how often people are mistreated in what they believe to be a healthy relationship. For many reasons, they assume that this negative treatment is somehow something they deserve … something that everyone goes through.
The truth is it is not okay for someone to treat you poorly. Whether you’re in a relationship where you’re being cheated on, taken for granted, lied to, verbally abused, or physically abused, it is by no means what you deserve.
I wanted to get a consensus of why my clients were willing to stay in a toxic relationship, and what I found was pretty astonishing:
Top Reasons Good People Stay in Bad Relationships
1. It’s as good as it gets
2. They treat you good more times than not
3. They’re unaware that the treatment is bad to begin with
4. They’ve sacrificed too much to start over
5. They don’t want to be alone
6. They’ll change with time
More often than not, these are the reasons people decide to stay in destructive relationships. Instead of taking a stand and getting the love you want, you’d rather cut your losses and put up with what your significant other brings your way.
The only problem with this form of “logic” is that ultimately you’re the one who’s unhappy deep down inside. Ultimately, you dismiss yourself.
No matter what, no woman or man should feel scared in their relationship. Emotional and physical safety is necessary for intimate, lasting love. It’s a requirement.
I had a client come in the office and she wanted to talk with me about this guy she had been dating for about a year or so. She stated that cared so much for the guy, but couldn’t figure out why he was treating her so bad.
There were days where he’d yell at her for not having dinner made when he came home, instances in which he would point out her flaws and make her feel bad about herself, and even times where he’d openly flirt with other women in front of her just to remind her he could be with whoever he wanted to.
My client’s claim was, she knew that deep down he loved her, and his aggression was merely him trying to make her a better woman.
Of course, as a relationship expert and coach, it is not my place to say, “You silly woman! You deserve so much better than this!” I simply asked her one question:
“Why do you deserve to be treated this way?”
Her, response was, “I don’t know, but I know he loves me.”!
There is not a reason in this entire universe why you deserve to be treated this way. Even most religious practices believe that when you do wrong, if you’re truly sorry for it, you can repent and be forgiven. So what could she have done, that was so wrong in life, that she deserved to be treated… like a doormat?
Of course, she knew she didn’t have a good answer for my question. She asked me if I could help her to gain the type of respect everyone deserved in healthy relationships. She wanted me to teach her the best methods for getting the love she longed for and deserved.
I’ll give you the same advice I gave her:
The Keys to Being Treated with Love and Kindness in Your Relationship Are:
1. Know Your Boundaries – Though there are times when everyone mistreats someone without intending to, there has to be a limit. Everyone should have a point in which they say, “enough is enough”. Maybe a heated argument might lead to a few harsh words between you two, but if your partner is throwing out the “b” word in place of your name over and over again, this is a line that shouldn’t be crossed.
Sit down and have a real heart to heart with yourself. What are the things you no longer want to won’t tolerate in your relationship? We all like to go to the extreme and say, “If he puts his hands on me, it’s over”, but there are other lines that should not be crossed. Your partner should not verbally abuse you, they should not make you feel less than, and they definitely should not be allowed to break your spirits on the regular basis. If this is happening, you have to be bold enough to address it or move on.
Or perhaps you’ve got caught up in it too. You’re also responding to your guy in dismissive and even abusive ways. No matter who’s doing what, this kind of behavior is unhealthy, and erodes the feelings of safety, intimacy and love. It stems from a place of hear, not love.
2. Speak Your Mind – Now I’m not saying that you approach the matter with your head bobbing, eyes rolling, and fingers snapping, but you must learn to speak up for yourself. If you’re with a person who has begun to treat you poorly, you have to let them know. While repetitive acts of poor treatment are likely a deliberate action on your partner’s behalf, there are instances in which they didn’t realize they were hurting you. Talk to them about their actions, why it affected you, and what’s important for you in a loving relationship.
3. Stop Rewarding Poor Behavior – If your partner just cheated on you claiming that you pushed them to do it, don’t follow up by taking them out on a date and trying to “rekindle the flame”. If you were treated poorly, no matter what the reason was (i.e. he cheated because you’re so insecure that you accuse him of cheating daily), you should not reward the negative behavior. The moment you pacify the behavior or cover it up with a good act is the moment your partner loses all respect for you and any boundaries you have setup. If you were treated poorly, once you address it, you need to reflect on it.
4. Love Yourself Enough to Know When to Walk Away – Finally, you have to have enough love for yourself that you realize when you’re not getting the love you want and deserve. You must know when it is time to throw in the towel. No matter how much you care about the person, if they really valued you and treasured you for the person you are, they would not treat you this way. If you’ve addressed the matter and they still have not made an effort to change, you deserve better.
Out of all the above 4 points, loving yourself is the most important. When you truly love you, you will know how to create the ultimate kind of loving relationship. You will know what you deserve and what you do not. Relationships become much easier and far more joyful.
As a relationship expert, it can be really difficult to hear stories from truly beautiful women (inside and out) being mistreated by an emotionally wounded man who doesn’t honor himself, let alone you! An emotionally healthy woman will not be attracted to or stay with an unhealthy wounded man. Period.
If you believe that you are being treated poorly in a relationship, remember the four bits of advice I provided above. Set boundaries, speak your mind, don’t reward the behavior, and most importantly, love yourself enough to know when to walk away…
If you keep these factors in mind, you’ll be able to get through the negativity and find a healthy relationship with someone who will treat you with the love, respect, and kindness you deserve.
Please share with me your thoughts and feelings below the blog in the comments.