The beauty of those of being treated poorly in relationships is the power and self-respect you gain through your hard knocks.
A common yet understandable error unempowered and oppressed people make is to question themselves and justify poor treatment by others. It’s beautiful to have a compassionate heart, but when it comes to your inner circle, and especially your romantic partner, you must be unapologetic about your standards and not let your compassion for others get the better of you. In other words, don’t feed your pearls to swine.
The right person uplifts you and treats you with the respect you deserve. If you find yourself questioning whether he loves you despite his hurtful behavior, then you’ve answered your own question: NO! He does not love you and it’s not because you are unlovable; it’s because his capacity to love is impaired.
The majority of people do not intend to harm others. However, many do cause harm, not because it’s their intention, but because they are too stuck in their own suffering to consider the needs of others. They are not in a state of love, so they cannot possibly love you.
When someone you are romantically involved with does not show you tender care and empathy, it’s because they live in such a narrow psychological world that all they can manage to do is greedily protect themselves. This means taking as if there were famine, and not sharing because to do so threatens their continued existence, or so they believe.
They do not love themselves, for when you love yourself, you inherently love others and life itself. Those who love themselves know that all of humanity is connected; that not caring for others is cutting of one’s nose to spite their face.
You will know that you’ve found a good guy who loves himself and can therefore love you when he never does these 10 things:
1. Puts destructive habits before you.
Addiction blocks a person’s ability to love. Period. If the addiction is to substances, their love is even further diminished because it alters their mental and physical states. Very few things in life are guaranteed, but you cannot ever be deeply loved by a person with addiction because they will always put their object of addiction before you. Addiction is inherently narcissistic and self-destructive.
2. Threatens you physically, emotionally or verbally.
This one seems obvious, but those of us who have been threatened and/or abused know the insidious power of the abusive cycle. Not only does it lower your self-worth, but chemically, the lows that come with abuse are so severe that the feel-good oxytocin released into the bloodstream when the abuser “loves” you again becomes addictive to you. But this pattern is not love any more than a heroin habit is love. Nor should you go through such dramatic chemical and emotional swings. Real love is grounded, trustworthy, and stable.
3. Pressures you to do things for him that you don’t feel comfortable doing.
A classic sign of self-centeredness, a person who pressures you into doing things for him that you are not comfortable doing has no regard for you. You are an object to him, to be used for his own power source.
If you are an empath and giver by nature, you must especially watch out for this trap. You feel good by giving, he feels good by taking – it’s the perfect storm that leads to destruction and classic dysfunctional relationships. It has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with low self-worth and a search for identity through another person.
4. Repeatedly fails to keep his word or lies to you.
The Four Agreements brought the importance of this reality to light. It’s been said that it’s better to live in a tent if you must than to live in a mansion with a man you can’t trust. Your romantic relationship is one of the most intimate relationships in your lives, and what allows it to be intimate is trust. Without trust, there is no relationship. Trust is the very foundation of your relational home. If he does not keep his word, you are not safe with him.
5. Ignores or neglects you.
Someone who really loves you knows how special you are. He shows you care and attention because he truly cherishes you. People who are neglectful are not available for love – to themselves or anyone else. They are stuck at a very young level of emotional development and no matter how fantastic you are or what you do, he’s simply not capable of giving you the care you deserve, and he never will be.
6. Speaks in a manner that is rude, crude, or disrespectful.
You need for the person you’re with to be a real mensch (Yiddish for a person of integrity and honor). Someone who speaks rudely in general and especially in your presence does not honor you, themselves, or anyone else.
We teach people how to treat us. Putting up with disrespectful talk tells them their words are acceptable. Even something as common as a man using the word “girl” to describe a grown woman is patronizing, demeaning, and sexually twisted. We don’t call grown men “boys” because it would insult their maturity and masculinity.
When you have an unpleasant bodily reaction to the words someone uses, there is usually a very good reason for it. It’s because they are unloving.
7. Shows or acts on an interest in pursuing other women.
It’s healthy, normal, and natural to feel attracted to other people whether or not you are in a relationship. To act on this attraction is something different altogether. Commitment is a sign of love and devotion. If someone is not committed to you, they do not really love you.
If you have a sick child, you are required to take time off of work and self-interest in order to care for that child. Abandoning your parental duties because other things are more appealing to you would mean that you don’t truly love your child. The same is true in romance.
8. Acts like your needs are a burden or inconvenience in his life.
One of the most self-oppressive things you can do in relationships is to pretend that you don’t have any needs. We all have a need to be loved, appreciated, and cared for on emotional and physical levels. If you suffered neglect or abuse as a child, you likely subconsciously believe that you are a burden, but it’s NOT TRUE! You deserve a mate who is capable of treating you like a precious gem worthy of the best.
9. Criticizes, disparages, or belittles you.
Generally speaking, criticism beats a spirit down. Most people criticize themselves enough. The last person we need to hear more negative feedback from is our partner. There is a difference between a person who offers helpful suggestions and one who criticizes. The latter causes you to feel badly about yourself. Don’t tolerate it. Not for one second.
10. Makes the focus about him, constantly demanding your time, energy, and attention.
A healthy, loving partner appreciates your love, but does not demand it for his own ego gratification. Anything that’s imbalanced, including relationships, is subject to disease. Relationships are a two-way street about each person sharing with each other. You’ll have an intuitive sense when someone is sucking your energy. Pay attention to that inner knowing because it will only get worse.
Heather Hans, LCSW, MBA is a Public Speaker, Psychotherapist, Intuitive Coach, Law of Attraction Practitioner, Holistic Healer, and author of The Heart of Self-Love. To inquire about booking Heather to speak at your event, visit her website.