Lessons learned from ending a serious relationship.
I have never been broken up with. I have always been the one to leave—because I don’t want to be left.
My abandonment issues have plagued every relationship I have had. From the people I was choosing to be with to how I became codependent in each relationship. I would people-please—over and over again.
Then I would become fed up with the treatment I was receiving and didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. In my mind, I was showing up 100 percent for these people—doing all I could to make them happy.
But I was doing so at the cost of my own happiness. I finally was able to recognize this after some serious therapy.
Learning the survival methods I depended on was eye-opening. It all made sense to me. I was terrible at drawing boundaries and sticking to them. I was always putting someone else before me.
Because of my trauma and abandonment issues, I thought putting someone first was how I could show someone I loved them—sacrifice was the ultimate gesture of love. But it’s the ultimate killer of a potentially healthy relationship.
Here is what else I’ve learned:
1. No one is going to draw and keep our boundaries; it has to be done ourselves.
2. No one is going to read our minds and know what we need unless we speak up.
(Even then, it might take some serious work to communicate our needs.)
It felt so unnatural to me at first when I started asking for the things I needed. I felt selfish. I felt like I was asking for more than I deserved.
But once again, through therapy, I learned that it is not selfish to ask for what we need or recognize our worth.
We deserve to receive the things we need.
3. Not everyone is going to be the right person for us.
If someone can’t show up for us in a relationship, maybe they aren’t ready for that commitment.
4. Communication, trust, and friendship are major in a healthy, happy relationship.
If we can’t be honest and open with our partners, who can we be honest and open with?
The things I have learned have brought me so much peace. I now know what it takes to have a healthy relationship.
And that is something to really look forward to.