Humans need love. Humans need intimacy. We want to feel wanted- we need to feel needed- we crave those ecstatic hours where we feel total connected to our romantic partners. You should not be waiting, aching, strung along for those far between moments where you feel wanted. You should not be questioning if your partner adores you or not. You should not be starving for intimacy- you should be swimming in it. You should always know that you are cherished.
You should not be feel belittled by your partner. You should not question if they take you seriously. You should not have to wonder whether they could support you in a crisis. You should not question if they really want the best for you.
But so many unhealthy and unhappy relationships that are technically “not abusive” are accepted as “good enough”. Unhealthy relationships exist on a continuum- and there are many dysfunctional, unfulfilling, and unequal relationships that do not fall into the classic definition of “intimate partner violence”, but can still have devastating effects on our minds and bodies.
A relationship can not be “abusive” and still be full of contempt and resentment. Your partner can be a good person, and your relationships might still be unfulfilling. How long will you let this go on before you acknowledge it as a real problem? We need to raise our expectations. Don’t accept it as a “good enough” relationship- just because you are not being abused. “Not abusive” is not enough.
A truly healthy relationship, one that is worth staying in and worth working on, should make you feel good most of the time. If you feel constantly unappreciated, if you find youself trying to suppress your sense of bitterness- then something is wrong.
The passive acceptance of unhealthy, unhappy, unfulfilling relationships is crushing to our souls. I think for many people it is scarier to admit that their relationship is hurting them than to stay in a dynamic they have grown used to. Because if you admit there is a problem, there is the chance that there will be nothing you can do to change that problem, and then you have come face to face with a pain that is no longer deniable.
So you are not being abused. And you know that if your partner hit you it would be wrong. You know if your partner cheated on you it would be wrong. And you know if your partner tried to control you with wild excuses of jealousy it would be wrong. And your relationship isn’t like that. But your relationship is lackluster- there is contempt, and there is complacency.
Is it worth staying because it is easier? Because it is something you have grown used to? What if the fulfillment you deserve to feel is somewhere else, with someone else?
It might be worth taking a chance to find out- even if it means shifting where you are now.
We don’t have to sell ourselves short. It’s not enough for a relationship to not be abusive. Our relationships should truly satisfy us. They should make us feel bright- passionate- ecstatic. There is an ocean of sweetness out there, there is an abundance of intimacy available to us- don’t settle for someone who wants to string you along in scarcity, doling out their love like a single drop at a time.