If The Feelings Are Mutual, The Effort Will Be Equal

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If The Feelings Are Mutual The Effort Will Be Equal

How do you justify staying with someone who makes you feel like sh*t?

We need to have a come-to-Jesus, pretend-I'm-your-mama, smack-you-upside-the-head-and-then-hug-you talk. Why are so many of you in such terrible relationships? I look at you, and I just don't get it.

You're beautiful, you're funny, you're smart, you rock a business suit like nobody's business. You're killing the mom bun, managing the household most of the time, wrangling kids and practices and dinners and fundraisers.

You're in school, you're working 12-hour shifts, you're balancing work and parenthood, and mostly you're keeping all those balls in the air like a boss.


That's amazing! You don't give yourself enough credit. Some of you made small humans — you grew them and birthed them and fed them, and now they are on their way to becoming excellent people. Some of you don't have kids yet, or don't ever want them, and you're doing all sorts of incredible sh*t out there in the world.

We are all important in our own ways. But I look around and so many of you are with people who don't treat you with even an OUNCE of the respect you deserve. If I had a dollar for every time one of you tells me about some garbage move your man has pulled, I would be sitting on a beach somewhere with a drink in my hand instead of punching at this keyboard with exasperated fingers.

Listen, I know you love him. You have time invested in him, a huge stock of emotional energy that you've been building on since you first decided this was going somewhere.

Maybe you have a couple of kids together, a mortgage in both your names, cars and a boat and just an exhausting amount of communal property. The logistics of splitting up seems far too much work to even begin to contemplate, and there are still some good days, right?

But honey, the good days should be the rule, not the exception.


You have to stop putting so much in when you're getting so little back in return. It's a little bit like throwing wishes into the wind and watching as they get sucked into an enormous black hole at the edge of the horizon.

You have to be so careful around someone like that because it's so easy to find your feet lifting off the ground, your whole self flying through space towards oblivion. Before you know it, all the special stuff that makes you YOU is winked out of existence.

I'm very much not on board with you allowing yourself to be winked out.

Let me lay some white hot truth on you: if the feelings are mutual, the effort will be equal. I'm gonna say that again for those in the back: If the feelings are mutual, the effort will be equal. 


Because, look, it's not just a "guy thing." It's not that men are fundamentally incapable of doing laundry, or making dinner, or cleaning a toilet. It's not that that men are unable to change a diaper, let you sleep in once every couple of weeks, take the garbage out without being asked, or pick up the slack when you don't feel good.

It's not some sort of scientific fact that men can't relate to you emotionally, that they can't be good friends and good lovers, that they can't get moody and hysterical and bratty, too. There are millions of men the world over doing all those things and more right now.

So what excuse can you give me for the guy in front of you who would rather play a video game than hold his baby? What lie are you telling yourself about the guy you sleep beside every night? What mental gymnastics are you doing to justify staying with someone who makes you feel like the human equivalent of a compost pile?


If he loves you like he says he loves you — if he loves you like you love him — then he should be giving your relationship at least as much as you are. He should be doing small things that make you happy and apologizing for the small things that sometimes make you sad. He should be reaching out instead of holding back.

He should be kissing you rather than expecting you to kiss his ass. He should be contributing to an equal partnership, not pulling imagined rank, not trying to captain you like a ship.

If he loves you, he should be committed to showing you that every single day, the same way you do, in a hundred different ways. You don't have to settle for any less than that, and you cannot base your future on hoping he might change. Wishes in the wind, friend, wishes in the wind.

Decide what you can live with and look at where he is, who he is, at this very moment. If you can't love THAT person wholly, completely, without any expectation of change? Then get your things together and go. Don't waste precious time trying to mold him into something more manageable.

Contrary to popular belief, love isn't always enough. You need equal footing for a strong foundation, otherwise your house will always shake down to nothing in a storm.



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