After one too many heartbreaks early in my dating career, I vowed to myself that I’d always be the taker, never the giver in my future relationships. Fast-forward seven years and I’m now married to a wonderful man who treats me like gold and puts me on a pedestal. I thought it’d be great, but it’s the complete opposite.
- Passiveness isn’t sexy, confidence is. It’s funny, I know that a sensitive man is supposed to be a good thing, but sometimes I want a partner who isn’t afraid to challenge me; someone to call me on my crap and put up a fight when he doesn’t agree with me. I want someone who is as passionate as I am, about me and about everything else in life. Also, a passive man isn’t going to bend you over the counter when you’re washing dishes and let’s face it, sometimes that primal confidence is just what you need.
- I take him for granted. Instead of viewing the things he does for me as the thoughtful, individual tokens of love that they are, I see them as mundane and ordinary. All I want is a man to vacuum the rug… until that man is vacuuming the rug every day, and then it gets old. It’s boring. Then I begin to resent him instead of loving him, which is the opposite of the reaction I’m supposed to have. The things he used to do just because he loves me have become a daily task list, and I can’t accept anything less.
- It makes me feel guilty. I start having thoughts like I just did about the vacuum and I feel like a terrible person. How could I feel this way about my partner, the supposed love of my life? This is the man I married. How can I admire these qualities in him one day and despise them the next? I start to question myself, which makes me self-conscious and sad.
- I’m drowning in expectations. He actually thinks I’m perfect, which is paralyzing. And then I begin to think I’m perfect, which isn’t good for anyone’s ego. When I screw up, it hurts worse because he has set this unrealistically high bar for me. I have a persona that’s impossible to live up to, which means I’ll never feel fulfilled in our relationship.
- I want someone to love me for my flaws. You know, someone to recognize my faults and to embrace them. I think true love is when someone can love even the ugliest parts of you. I’m too afraid to even let him have a glimpse at that ugly side of myself. At the end of the day, I’m honestly afraid he would hate me and leave. And while I do a lot of complaining, I really don’t want him to leave.
- I can’t be myself. Some days it’s like he’s in love with a different person, with an on-screen, glamorous version of me instead of who I really am inside. He can never truly connect with me because he idealizes someone that I’m not. I’ll always feel distant from him because I don’t know if he’ll ever truly know me, which is heartbreaking.
- His self-worth suffers. He tends to put me above himself, which means he lacks the self-care every individual needs in a healthy relationship. Just like the old cliché says, you have to love yourself before you can love another. I know that sometimes I make him feel insufficient, but it starts with him and his lack of confidence.
- I’m lonely. I don’t have a partner, I have a servant. Yes, this sounds harsh, but it’s how it really feels. He’ll do anything for me, but at a certain point, anything is too much. We all want to care and be cared for, and sometimes I want to do those sweet things for him too. It just feels so out of character because he never lets me. It’s a vicious cycle that I haven’t been able to break. I end up feeling more alone with him than without him.
- I want us to walk on equal ground. I’ve learned that most successful relationships are between equals. I understand now that each partner should give and take the same so that both people can feel loved and confident, in and out of the relationship. I know that if we learn to view each other equally, the more respectful we’ll be of each other and the more our relationship will grow.