Sometimes it can take a while for you to notice that a relationship is not equal. This can happen in romantic relationships, but also in friendships. In both cases, you often find yourself in the eye of the storm, which makes it hard to look at the situation objectively. Sometimes you give too much and the other gives too little. You can have the feeling that you have to apologize for everything, whilst the other is constantly putting his / her needs above yours. There are many more examples to be mentioned. These patterns continuously repeat themselves and are hard to break through, until you realize that this isn’t healthy. But how do you tell someone else that your relationship isn’t healthy, when they don’t see it yet? What do you do? Do you go on like you always did, or do you say goodbye?
It always starts out nice. You meet someone and notice that there is a connection between you two. You have a lot of common ground, and it feels like you think about life in the same way. “Is this my soulmate?”, you wonder. It must be, because it feels like you’ve known this person for years. Slowly, the trust and feeling of safety grows. You share your deepest secrets with each other and it starts to feel like you cannot live without the other. Everywhere you are with this person feels like a paradise. That’s all you need!
But then the first incident happens, which causes darkness to creep into your paradise. You apologize, because you’re the only one who feels guilty. The light comes back; things are going well again. At least, for a while. Because suddenly there is the second incident. Then follows the third, the fourth and so on. Your wonderful paradise crashes down. The trust and feeling of safety has completely disappeared. You take off your rose-colored glasses and reality hits you; this isn’t right. This just isn’t right.
The reality hits you hard. You analyse all the different incidents that have occured between you and the other person. Wherever there’s an incident, there are two people that have had an influence in it. Those who see their part in it are able to self reflect. Those who don’t and think that they have made no mistake, are not able to self reflect. You try your best to explain to the other person that it’s not okay to behave like that, or to say certain things, but it won’t work. You’re left by yourself with all of your pain, sorrow and anger.
We’re better off this way
And that’s how you keep trying to move forward, while the safety and trust have already been torn into a thousand pieces. You keep on trying, because you don’t want to lose the other person. It hurts too much and it’s not working out. There is no equality in the relationship and none of you dare to say that it might be better to split up. Until one of you does dare to make a decision. You receive a text and read the words: “Let’s stay away from each other for a while”. A few sentences later, the pattern repeats itself. Anger and sadness fill your entire body. “Where is the equality in this relationship?!”, you wonder. At the end of the conversation, it seems like this person still isn’t ready to let you go after all. “We are meant to get back in touch in the future”, the other person says. You can’t imagine this happening. How can we be meant to get back together if the fundament of our relationship has been completely shattered?
You feel angry and sad, but also realise: we’re better off this way.