Whoever came up with the idea that love is pain was not in a healthy relationship.
So many women are under the assumption that in order to fully accept someone, you must find your partner’s unacceptable behavior acceptable. You’ll find them making excuses, relishing in the good times and justifying horrible behavior because they don’t want to be one of “those girls” who always complains about her significant other.
At a young age, we're taught to expect pain from people who love us. We’re taught that the boy who ignores us is the one who secretly has feelings for us.
One little girl, aged 4, was hit so hard in the face by a boy in her class that she needed stitches. She was told by a male hospital worker that that boy must like her. It's no wonder we begin to believe that it must be real love if it hurts.
We shame women for complaining by telling them that if they speak out, they are always nagging and ungrateful. As a result, women begin to lower their expectations.
Our “relationship goals” have been reduced to good morning texts because we're afraid of coming off as needy. We ridicule high-maintenance women and proudly declare that we are different, that we have needs so few you won’t even notice us.
The problem with that is women were not made for a man’s convenience. You're not a burden if you expect to be cared for. It is not easy to be in a relationship because of conflicting needs, not because you have needs.
When you get into a relationship, you recognize that you are responsible for helping your partner feel good about it. If you are hurt, your partner does not get to decide if you are not.
Your feelings are valid, and you are not responsible for staying when your pain is dismissed because a relationship is not one-sided. At no point does being loyal mean allowing someone to be comfortable disrespecting you.
In the age of men declaring that “hoes aren’t loyal,” they selfishly misidentify the loyal ones as those who put up with anything they do. While a relationship calls for putting the other person before yourself, it only works if he does the same.
Loyalty means staying when the times change and are almost unbearable, not when he is. It is not a service where women must fulfill their own needs and must also fulfill all of their boyfriends' needs.
If he does not recognize that, you should leave. Because first and foremost, you should be loyal to yourself.
A relationship Twitter account summed it up perfectly when it said,
Men think if you mistreat a woman and she still stays with you, she’s wife material. No, she has low self-esteem, and you’re a piece of sh*t.
A man cannot say that a woman is not loyal when she leaves because he has made it impossible for her to stay. Through it all, the most important thing to remember is you deserve good love. And real love feels good.
You'll find that you don’t have to reduce yourself or fear being left. The big things to you that are little things to other people should always be discussed, and doing so actually creates a healthier relationship.
In a study examining the habits of couples, John Gottman discovered that long-term couples often fought about little things.
In "The Mathematics of Love," mathematician Hannah Fry examines Gottman's work, and she notes she "would have imagined that the best relationships would have a high negativity threshold, meaning they'd be focused on compromise and would bring up an issue only if it was 'a really big deal.' But, in fact, the opposite is true."
The most successful relationships are the ones with a really low negativity threshold. In those relationships, couples allow each other to complain, and work together to constantly repair the tiny issues between them. In such a case, couples don't bottle up their feelings, and little things don't end up being blown completely out of proportion.
While there is pain in the relationship, it quickly goes to rest. A true relationship is filled with love, and both partners stay despite intervals of pain.
Oprah Winfrey detailed in her book "What I Know for Sure" what she learned from real love:
I’ve seen so many women give themselves up for men who clearly don't give two hoots about them. I’ve seen so many women settle for crumbs. But now I know that a relationship built on real love feels good. It should bring you joy — not just some of the time, but most of the time. It should never require losing your voice, your self-respect or your dignity. And whether you’re 25 or 65, it should involve bringing all of who you are to the table — and walking away with even more.
If your partner is not able to provide you what you need, then you need to leave.