Have you ever underestimated someone? Thought they were whackadoodle? Thought they were immature or naive or childish? Then realized years later that they were the one that was right all along? And you were the one that was naive?
Well, I have. And boy, when you discover that you’re the dumb one, it will shake you up.
I always thought I knew what was up. And he always thought he knew what was up. I thought he was an over-reactor. He knew what was up. I was so engrained in the situation that I’d become immune to it. Playing my role without even know I was being played.
I doubt I could have seen it 6 months ago. Nicole has helped open my eyes on a few things and I’m sure that softened me up for it. It’s really made me question everything I believed (not religiously, but relationally) before. Did you know that in a relationship, love isn’t conditional? Yeah, I didn’t know that. Did you know that it takes two to tango? It’s never just one person causing the problems. I didn’t know that either.
Yes, in my head, a relationship could fail 100% because of one person with the other party completely innocent.
But I should also say that a relationship might fail because of one person being an ass and the other person’s only contribution is learning to live with it or letting it continue (call it Stockholm syndrome if you will). But that doesn’t mean they are innocent. A person who lets their partner treat them like crap non-stop and does nothing about it is enabling it to continue. They aren’t without blame. They could walk away, insist on boundaries, or change their own behavior to respond in kind. That’s especially important if there are kids involved.
My point is, even if someone starts our being the victim in a relationship, at some point they accept some of the responsibility simply because they allowed the abuse (psychological, physical, or emotional) to continue and/or happen to their kids as well.
That’s not to say I don’t understand. I spent several years just trying to get through the day without getting yelled at over something stupid or irrational. As a result I just kept my head down, avoiding conflict whenever possible, and caving to every obnoxious whim just to get her to be nice for a while. Now I have to accept that I had culpability. I enabled that behavior. I didn’t set boundaries or insist that she treat me with respect and kindness. I certainly never insisted that she show any concern for what I needed or wanted. And she didn’t give a crap about either.
I honestly don’t think that there was anything I could have done to fix it – but I accept the responsibility for being a doormat. I have ZERO regrets about getting divorced, because that allowed me to meet my soulmate and my daughter. I can honestly say that divorce facilitated the most important, most wonderful thing that’s ever happened in my life.
Love is not conditional, as I always believed. Real love keeps NO record of wrongs, it is always faithful, never selfish.