Are you settling for less than you deserve?
In past relationships, when I wasn’t getting what I want from a man, I often couldn’t recognize myself. I’d become another woman, a lesser one, to accommodate what I thought my man was looking for.
Not only that, I put up with behaviors from a man I never dreamed I’d ever tolerate. At some time or other, we’ve all done this for love.
I recently worked with Joan. She’s 45 years old, once divorced and self-employed. She wanted me to help her get the man she’d been dating for 5 years to finally commit to marry her.
She was adamant that I understand how his life has been difficult all these years and for that reason he had been unable to make a commitment to her. He’s had problems keeping his construction business afloat and has to cater to a demanding “manic-depressive” ex-wife. He’s also upset and angry because his grown children seem distant and aloof.
She was crystal clear about what was going on his life, but what about her own? I asked Joan to focus on the things about him were a problem for her. Then I asked her to write down how she needed him to change so she could be happy and they could get married.
This is what she wrote, word for word:
- It is not okay that you keep me at arm’s length and string me along.
- You cheated on me.
- You still communicate with this woman.
- You seem to want me in your life yet you can’t make a commitment to me.
- You never invite me over to your house.
- When you’re out you won’t answer your phone.
- You treat me as your girlfriend but you don’t tell me you love me.
- The only time you tell me your true feelings is when you’re drunk.
When she finished the list Joan broke down in tears. By writing down the facts, and not diluting them with excuses, she suddenly got to see what she’d been living with all these years.
Without realizing it, over time, she was not getting what she wanted from her man. She had allowed herself to ignore her boundaries. Things she’d have thought of as unacceptable had become tolerable. She’d believed his justifications about work and family and had unknowingly made concessions for his behavior.
What Joan did is common, not only when we date but in marriage as well. Our closeness to the situation makes it impossible to see how we start to settle for less and lose ourselves in the other person.
If you’re suffering and not getting what you want in your relationship do what Joan did. Write out what you would need him to do differently.
Take a good look when you’re finished. See if you recognize yourself. Are you the same woman who entered into the relationship? More importantly, are you being the woman you want to be?
Read more dating advice from Virginia at www.ItsNeverTooLateToMarry.com and to get more love download your complimentary MP3 "Letting Love In."
This article was originally published at http://www.itsnevertoolatetomarry.com/when-youre-not-getting-what-you-want-from-a-man/. Reprinted with permission from the author.