I read a blog entry the other day, written by a fellow blogger. I asked permission from him to re-blog it. He graciously gave me permission because it hit me in so many ways with his only request being that I didn’t reblog it in the traditional way and keep his blog piece anonymous, which I am doing.
I think a lot of people can relate to this in one way or another and I hope that everyone will treasure themselves enough to dare to believe that we deserve only the best, never settling for less.
“I bumped into an old friend this past weekend. She had been with a guy who hadn’t moved beyond where they started 4 years ago. As a matter of fact, they were worse off than the first day they moved in together. They were still in the same rented house that was falling apart and the landlord wasn’t moving to repair, she was working a retail job she hated but, couldn’t leave for financial reasons, had no friends of her own anymore and no will to try again, had run through every penny she had previously saved to go back to school and was always feeling sick, tired and depressed. The guy she was with, worked at a job where he’d been demoted or laid off several times and drank beer or smoked weed. She looked weary, drained and not happy. Yet when I asked her if she was happy, she responded, “oh yeah!”. There was only a half smile and I could tell that it wasn’t a genuine answer. It was what she thought she should say. I asked her straight out why she was with this guy and she couldn’t answer anything other than, “I love him.”
I couldn’t help but question that answer. After all, she wasn’t moving forward with her life. She had actually, regressed. How could she be “happy” in a life that wasn’t moving her forward?
That answer came as no surprise. “He’s planning on doing so much so, I have to wait.”
I could only mumble inside my own head, “wait for WHAT? If he’s not moving ahead and he’s moving backwards with nothing changing for the better over the past 4 years, what makes you think he’s going to change anything now?” Of course, I kept that to myself because my opinion wasn’t asked for at that point.
Having gone to high school with her, we’d known one another for so long, we grabbed a coffee and chatted further about my life, hers, things in general. Perhaps, her guard came down when she relaxed with me as an old friend but, it finally came out. “I just wish that I could change things. I’m not happy. I want more than what I’ve got but, there’s no way to get it.”
Why not? What was stopping her? (Of course, I knew the answer to this one but, she had to recognize it for herself.)
“It’s just that he’s in a bit of an emotional state over other things in his life and, I can’t get him to work things out. He just keeps doing the same things over and over again. Nothing ever improves except, when I threaten to end the relationship. Then, he straightens things up for a bit and pledges to make changes but, he never does. Things just keep staying the same or getting worse.”
“A zebra doesn’t change its stripes,” I answered. “You can’t turn a toad into a prince. This isn’t a fairytale. Keep doing the same things and expecting a different result is…well…you know the rest.”
She nodded, putting her head down. “But, how can I leave him? I’d have to start all over again and maybe, go live with a friend or go back home with my parents who are 2 cities away. I’d be going backwards!”
“Do you think you’re moving ahead now?” I asked, hoping for the answer I hoped I’d hear coming from her mouth.
She shook her head, ‘no’.
“Then, what are you hanging onto? Do you like being stuck? A move anywhere right now, is better than standing still. Do you not think you’re worth better than this?”
“But, I’ve put so much time and effort into him and our relationship. I’d be admitting that I had made a mistake. How can I give up on something I have vested so much into?” she asked, I think, not really wanting an answer from me.
“Do you think that all that you’ve put into this relationship has paid you back with some sort of ‘interest'”, I asked. “Where do you see yourself, 5 years from now if you stay with him?”
SILENCE, HEAD DOWN, THINKING
“Right now, I don’t see myself being anywhere different but, I keep hoping that he will do as he keeps promising he’s going to do,” she answered. “If he does, it’ll all be ok!”
“What if he doesn’t?” I questioned. “What if all that he’s giving you is lip-service and you’ve spent another 5 years of your life, waiting? Can you accept and deal with that then?”
“I am struggling to deal with it NOW,” she answered, seeming relieved that she’d blurted it out. “I want more. I want to get ahead. I want a life that doesn’t include just working, coming home, cooking/cleaning/doing laundry and watching him play video games or play on the net. I don’t want to keep our money going into beer and weed. I want him to get a better job so that we can have better!”
I didn’t think that I needed to say much more because she’d already said so much in just that few sentences but, she was still stuck.
“So, do you think you want to wait it out or do you simply admit that you’ve made an error in judgement and move on NOW?” I asked as we were finishing our coffees. “Do you think that you deserve better than what he’s giving you or what you’ve got right now? Never mind what he says or proclaims or his gripes, groans, moans and complaints about everything and everyone else because those are all excuses. Do you deserve better?”
At that point she had to go. Actually, she wanted to go. I don’t think she could answer my questions any further so, I wished her well and let her know that I was happy that I’d bumped into her. She hugged me and we exchanged email addresses.
I don’t know what she’ll decide. Maybe, she’ll remain stuck. My hope is that she’ll think this through carefully and decide that her life isn’t going to change for the better with this guy she’s with. Anyone could have told her that. All that I can do is to hope that she’ll decide to move on. She can’t change a zebra’s stripes so, why waste more precious time in life. You attract and stay stuck with the love you think you deserve. I hope she realizes that she deserves better and does it soon.
Life goes by quickly. I know. I got out of a couple of relationships that just weren’t worth it after losing too much time already. Thankfully, I have found someone who is wonderful. I am so much better off for recognizing that I deserved better than I thought.”