In life we want to believe that those who really love us would never knowingly or intentionally push us around, take advantage or treat us badly. However, sometimes those that love us the most are the ones who will test our limits and boundaries the most. In the end of my relationship with a man who still says he loves me I always thought that some things were assumed and did not need to be stated out loud. In that assumption I believed that this man who says he loves me would never take advantage of my love for him. I had put him on a pedestal and created in my mind this upstanding, high character, Godly man that would never allow me to be hurt or used, he was supposed to love and protect me right? After our break-up we reconnected one evening and he treated me all the ways I had been missing and this treatment was consistent each time we saw each other ending in a special weekend getaway we had planned before our break-up. It wasn’t until I finally opened my mouth and asked his intentions in the reconnection was it clear that he was allowing me to believe we were working on things when he had no intention. In that moment I realized something very valuable, something I had always heard but never truly felt in a particular moment in my life until that very moment…people will treat you the way you allow them to.
I went to bed that night feeling a mixture of feelings that included hurt, frustration, confusion and mostly being mad at myself, but one thing I knew for sure was, it was not going to continue and would never happen again. I allowed myself to re-engage without stating my boundaries and after a bit of thought I realized that I was disrespecting myself by not having more clear boundaries. I gave this man I had loved for over 4 years the benefit of the doubt by allowing myself to go there again without gaining clarity first and he took advantage of that. So okay I forgive myself, this time shame on him for allowing it to happen. He knew how I felt and took all my listed desires in a letter I had given him and actually did those things as if he were wanting to show me he could be that man for me, which was even more misleading. What was the point of doing everything I wanted in the relationship if you have no intention of continuing the relationship? First time shame on him, but no excuses moving forward. It is time for me to set clear boundaries for myself and others, even when it is hard.
Looking back at the situation I have to be very honest, I wanted that time with him and he wanted it to and neither one of us really wanted to state a boundary because it meant giving up things we both still desired in the relationship. This is common after a break-up or divorce because there is a sense of comfort in being with that familiar person, but it only leads to more confusion, frustration and heartache. If it continues it can lead to a lot of resentment as well. I had to make the hard decision to just walk away and not contact him again. I love him and feel he brought many good things into my life, but I cannot and will not give all the benefits of me as his lady without him claiming me as his lady and himself as my man. What we were doing was not just friendship and to call it that was unfair of him. With setting this boundary it opened my eyes to other areas where I have not been clear and respected my desires for the kind of woman I want to be and the life I want to live. I began to take inventory of how I treat myself and the relationships I have in my life. Are the choices I am making a healthy reflection of the type of person I want to be? The honest answer is, not always.
I have decided to set some harder boundaries in my life because I feel there are certain things that do not reflect the kind of person I want to be. I have decided to go the month of November without any alcohol and if I notice a big change in how I feel I may decide to exclude alcohol from my life permanently. I have never been a heavy drinker anyway and often, after an evening out with friends, I feel sick, tired and a bit depressed the next day. I don’t smoke, do any drugs or even take any medications. Ideally, I would love to be free of any toxins in my body and I think alcohol and sugar would be a good place to start. I have also allowed myself in the past to engage in friendships with people who are not the best influence or not encouraging me to live in a way that I want to live. We all want to believe that we are grown-up enough not to let others affect who we are but if we hang out with people whose morals, values and character do not match up with our own, over time that mentality can start to seep in and affect our views and choices. So I realize that it may be necessary to spend less time with certain people and maybe even remove some altogether. When setting goals you must consider what boundaries you are going to set in order to help you have clear guidelines when it comes to navigating the path to those goals. If that means spending less time with your friends who like to drink and party in order to get healthy then that is what you need to do. If that means setting higher standards for yourself with dating then be clear on what you expect and clear to others and don’t compromise on those boundaries. Once you start setting boundaries and respecting yourself you will naturally attract others who will do the same.
With love, health, & happiness,