I love this, “I must apologize to myself for accepting less than I deserve!” Someone saw this and sent it to me. I think it needs to be a tee shirt, a bumper sticker, even a billboard sign! It says everything about me – to me.
No relationship is perfect. But shouldn’t we be able to look at the good of a man, and see his goodness outweighs the bad? I know there are good, decent men out there, men who love their partners, who are thoughtful and considerate, men who think about the other person before making decisions. Men who include their partner in their thinking in all that they do. I believe these men exist, and their goodness is a beacon to their partners, and the rest of the world. That beacon shouts out, that yes, we indeed matter. What a wonderful light to see!
Those are the kind of men we’re searching for, longing for. The kind of men who create a solid relationship so when they mess up (which they inevitably do) it’s not as awful, there’s a cushion of their history to soften the blow. The other type of man, the man who doesn’t try, doesn’t think about us, who takes us for granted, or assumes he has the right to just be about himself, when those type of men mess up, there’s no cushion, no foundation for us to stand on, and we’re left with bruises from the blow.
In some ways, we bring this on ourselves for accepting less at any point in the relationship. The minute we allow ourselves to be treated below the bar, our standard for ourselves, that’s the minute we begin the Endurance Game. How many of us have played it? How many times have we played it? You know the game. We endure their behavior, we endure their inattentiveness, we endure their lackluster emotions. How can they think more of us when we elect to endure their ‘less than’ treatment of us? As many times as I’ve overlooked below the bar behavior or less than treatment, all for the sake of having someone who may throw me a few crumbs, is pathetic. I’ve stayed in the Endurance Game because I might have had a good time with him, a nice memory. We may have laugh over something just between the two of us, or we shared a special time together. And my mind tricks me into believing ‘this is good, it’s enough’. But eventually the moment comes when I’m seeking his attention or expecting reciprocal treatment, or wanting his affection, and there’s nothing. He’s unable to provide even a small gesture. The Endurance Game begins. You do all you can to express how much you care, and you come back empty-handed. His move in the Endurance game is to give you a smile, a quick squeeze or pat, and it’s back to usual. Or even worse, if you ask questions, persist in trying to elicit a tender response you could end up with impatience or indifference, a true sign you’ve lost the Endurance Game.
Being the loser of the game shows you exactly how much you mean (or don’t mean) to them. There’s no coming back from that game. You can’t play again because he knows your weakness, your tell. You’re now forever stuck enduring – until you decide to end the game.
We have to learn this lesson; if it doesn’t come back to us, in kind, we never had it to begin with. We all make mistakes but have to realize mutual efforts are the foundation for a long-lasting, healthy relationship. We have to learn that enduring should always have an ending, and accepting below the bar is misery no one deserves.
Honestly, I think all relationships are 60-40, but what makes them work is sometimes I get 60%, sometimes I get 40% - that’s a real relationship. If we consistently get 40%, then we should look deeply at ourselves.
If you look deeply at yourself, what is it you honestly want from a relationship? Do you want to go in trying to fix it, massage it, and maneuver it into what you long for? Will that make you happy? And how long are you willing to wait for him to be what you need? You give, keep giving and keep waiting, what’s the end result? We kid ourselves by thinking he has what we need/want in him. We fool ourselves thinking we can work with him to pull it out, all we have to do is just hang on a little while longer, he’ll show it, or share it with us. Another loser move in the Endurance Game. He may have it in him, but the question is, what he has inside, is that for you? Are you important enough to him for him to want to show it or share it? Shouldn’t we know the answer to that already? If he hasn’t stepped up yet, when is he planning to? And why, why, why should we have to wait to have an answer?!? Why aren’t we important enough NOW, just as we are. He’s important to you, right? You’re giving him more than you receive, trying to pull out of him whatever it is you think he has inside, right? If that wasn’t the case there’d be no need for this conversation. No, either you’re important enough for him to be all you desire and deserve - like he is to you, or you accept “less than you deserve”.
My last questions to you are this. Why struggle to get them to show they care about us or search to find some part of ‘above the bar’ treatment from them? When is it our turn for happily ever after? When do we get the prince who fights dragons or climbs mountains or gets on bended knee? I’m so sick of the one-sided efforts we make with bare minimum in return. And what does tolerating the bare minimum get us? What’s the reward? We get to say we have someone? We have a companion (when he wants to be a companion)? We scratch out a tiny piece of happiness, hold it close and say it’s enough, when we know it’s not. It’s so hard to find a good man – future man. But why is that? If you don’t care about me enough to make the effort than please leave me alone. Or God, please let me be strong enough to leave him alone.