I was in a relationship with a guy for 8 months. His personality was a bit difficult as he has a lot of problems in his life, especially with his parents. He is not on good terms with his dad, and they have a lot of family drama. As a consequence, it made him a negative person with a passive perception of life. Despite that, he was very nice with me and he kept telling me that I was the only ‘good’ thing in his life. I happily shared his problems and tried to lift the weight off his shoulders, and always tried to cheer him up and offer him all the emotional support he needed.
His parents already had a brief idea about us, but when he told his dad, and based on their not so harmonious relation, he totally refused the idea of him taking an official step with me. We were so hopeless and since he is still relatively young, he would need his father to support him financially. Despite all that, he always assured me that we will never leave each other and that he will do whatever he can to make “us” happen. And despite all the obstacles, I was willing to wait for as long as it takes him to convince his dad and solve all of his problems.
But in the day prior to my birthday, we had a ridiculous fight over something absurd. And though we had many fights before over some big issues, this time he decided to end everything. He didn’t call me on my birthday, and I never heard anything from him since then. You cannot imagine my depression and heartbreak over his sudden change and all of his broken promises. After all what we’ve been through and all the things I was ready to bear for him, everything ended and not even because of his father, it was a causeless break-up.
I’m still in a state of shock and I cannot find any reasonable explanation for what he did; he didn’t even have the courage to face me with the reasons of our break-up.
I just finished reading an amazing book by Dr. Mohamed Taha. The book is titled “Dangerous Relationships” and it certainly is. We, human beings, live in an intricate web of relationships that impact our emotional and mental well-being; your relationship with your mother starts in the womb and continues into adulthood, your relationship with your father, your relationship with your teachers from nursery until graduation, your relationship with peers –friends or passers-by – from early childhood into adulthood, your relationships with men, or women, or both, your relationship with your body, and your relationship with yourself – the many parts of the self.
Any human being is defined by these relationships. You are defined by the messages you have received from birth until adulthood by people who formed your core.The worst outcome of abuse is that the abused person identifies with the abuser to the extent of becoming just like him. Your boyfriend is also defined by such relationships. Based on how each person defines himself/herself, consciously or subconsciously, that person chooses his/her partners, plays certain roles, and drives his/her relationships. Dr. Taha called it a “prophecy”; I will call it a spell! You cast a spell on your relationships.
In your case, you derive your value and self-worth from being needed. You feel secure in a relationship when the other party is too weak to think and act without you. You enjoy playing the role of the saviour; hence, you choose someone who views himself as a victim. This is a very unhealthy relationship. Healthy relationships are not built around victims, saviours and aggressors. These are all sick and twisted relationships.
“You cannot play the role of the “saviour” forever, because it is so exhausting and draining.”
Your “victim”, wants to stay a victim forever, or until he gets professional help, and you cannot play the role of the “saviour” forever, because it is so exhausting and draining. It is also unhealthy because you invest so much into saving someone who might not want to be saved, and you expect total and utter loyalty and gratitude – the kind of gratitude you would expect from a dog you rescued off the streets.
Relationships do not work that way and, in your case, your boyfriend believes that he does not deserve to be happy. He thinks he does not deserve respect. He is so broken from inside that his shattered pieces will cut the skin of anyone who tries to hold him and soothe him. Simply he has no faith in life or in himself – and there is nothing you could do about that.
Be grateful that he walked away, and if he ever comes back, direct him towards psychotherapy. Do not get involved with someone who is a victim of abuse; be his friend not his lover. As for you, why do you need someone to depend on you emotionally that much? Why do you feel that you do not deserve, or will not keep, someone who is stable, strong and happy?
“The worst outcome of abuse is that the abused person identifies with the abuser to the extent of becoming just like him.”
On a different note, history has a way of repeating itself, and if you get married to a broken person who has been emotionally abused by his parents, without professional help, that person is most likely going to repeat the abusive behaviour with his kids. If his father denied him the feeling of self-worth, and self-respect, then he will do the exact same thing with his wife and kids. The worst outcome of abuse is that the abused person identifies with the abuser to the extent of becoming just like him.
“Choose someone who loves you for who you are not for what you do for him.”
Consider this a learning experience, food for thought, and something to sleep over. Allow this experience to help you grow into a person who is more aware of her needs and roles. Hopefully next time you will choose someone who loves you for who you are not for what you do for him – someone who sees you as a woman not a shock-absorber.