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After the honeymoon period, where I was just astounded that I was having sex, our relationship became a matter of constant fighting, jealousy, guilt trips and having to justify myself on an almost daily basis.
Almost every fight we ever had would escalate from disagreeing over what to rent at Blockbuster to threats of breaking up with me… I allowed her walk all over me because I was willing to put up with this.
I wouldn’t take responsibility for what was ultimately my screw up and fix it – either through trying to work things out with my girlfriend or by dumping her and walking away – and so I instead tried to shirk the blame and refused to acknowledge that anything was wrong.
This is going to be a tricky section because what I’m about to say is going to sound an awful lot like victim-blaming, which is not my intent. People who have poor boundaries and low self-esteem are typically easy prey for abusers.
After all, if you were better, cooler, or more desirable, you’d be able to stand up for yourself.
When you don’t feel as though you have anything to offer and you’re desperate for someone to complete you, you will tend to shift your boundaries and sacrifice your values for someone else in the hopes that this will prompt them to like you. They rely on obligation and allow themselves to be used – as well as live in fear of conflict or disagreement – because they don’t feel that they can rely on their own value.
I forget what the excuse was, but it was some “togetherness” emergency – I had to go shopping with her for some trivial thing or other. In fact, that phrase – “I let her” – defined the majority of our relationship.
This can be intimidating, especially when you’re not the most secure person to begin with.
A major reason why I put up with being treated so badly in my relationships was because I was conflict averse; I didn’t have a strong foundation to work from and dreaded any fight for fear of causing more drama which would inevitably be my fault and lead to further fights down the line.
As a result, I became the sort of person who was very good at finding excuses for why things had gone wrong – it wasn’t Why would I do this?
Because I didn’t want to acknowledge my part: I was choosing to continue a relationship with someone who made me miserable.