ARE you involved in a relationship but the truth is you are giving 100 per cent but your partner is giving less than 50 per cent? Do you cook, wash and clean for him, and on his birthday you bake his favourite chocolate cake, plus you buy him a top-of-the line cellphone with money from your savings? Do you bail him out from time to time by offering him large sums of money to fix his car or pay back a loan to the bank which threatens to auction his house after months of unpaid payments? In other words, are you always there for him?
But is he never there when you need him? Is he always busy and can never find time for you? Is your relationship one where he never takes you out, never shows affection (even during sex), never offers to pay a bill for you, never buys you a gift, and never ever uses the words, ‘I love you’?
Thing is, you’re well aware that this is a dysfunctional relationship and even though your parents and friends ask you what you see in this ‘cruff’ you still continue seeing him. Oftentimes the typical response is, ‘No matter how hard I try I just can’t walk away from the relationship. I really do love him’.
If you can identify with such a situation it is time you wake up from your slumber and realise that this is a recipe for emotional and psychological distress.
Consider the following:
1. No relationship can be successfully sustained on an ‘I give, you take; you take, I give’ basis. If only one party is giving, then soon the giver is going to be tired of giving all the time when there is no reciprocal action.
2. Living in denial and burying your head in the sand when the situation is staring you in the face is a silly thing to do. Sooner than later you will be made to confront the reality.
3. Pay attention to the warning signs. Don’t ignore these behaviour patterns you may have seen in the initial stages of the relationship. Some people may have seen the tendencies before marriage and proceeded with the feeling that he will change after the ring is put on. This is wishful thinking.
4. To remain in an unfulfilling relationship is akin to a death warrant. Your personal happiness is imperative. Every human being requires love and attention and if you are in a relationship, that is the least you can expect from your partner.
5. Let your feelings be known. Let your partner know your level of unhappiness and share with him some of the things that would please you.
6. To say, ‘A so him stay, so me we just live wid it’, is a defeatist approach and will let your man of the hook and so he will never try and improve. Challenge him to make the adjustments.
7. Some men by virtue of their socialisation don’t openly express affection so you have to teach them how to be emotional. Gently lead and guide them along the way. Please do not compare your present spouse to your former boyfriend who was super affectionate.
If you are in a relationship and you have tried all of the above and there is still no change, the appropriate questions would be, ‘Is this worth my time and effort’ and ‘is it really worth it?’