Are you in a romantic relationship in which you are doing all or most of the work to keep the relationship alive?  Does his demeaning behavior toward you have you thinking that you are undesirable and you should be grateful that he is with you?  Does he put down your dreams or your opinions?

Are you working your fanny off to bring home the money to support the household, but he can’t seem to get or keep a job?  Do you have children with this man or from a previous relationship and even though you live together, he barely lifts a finger to help?

Is he irritable, demanding, overbearing, controlling, irrational or jealous?  Are you afraid to glance out the car window when you are driving somewhere together because if a man happens to be standing there, you will be accused of looking at him too long?  Does your partner seem to think nothing of staring at other women or flirting with a waitress when you are around?  Are “girls’ night out” excursions simply out of the question because there is no way he would allow you to go, but it’s okay if he meets his friends at a bar?

Sadly, there are many more examples I could give of the ways relationships can be dysfunctional.  Here is the raw, unveiled truth:

Even if you are experiencing only ONE of the scenarios above, you are SETTLING!

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you grew up, what you have done, how ashamed you are of yourself or how bad of a person you think you are.  If you want to be in a romantic relationship, you DESERVE to be in one with someone who treats you with love, kindness and respect.  Yes, I said YOU DESERVE IT!

Somewhere in your past, you received a message that you are somehow less than most other people.  You constantly compare yourself to others and you fall short of what you think you should be.  The message that you are flawed in some way, is simply a LIE that someone told you either verbally or by their actions.  You believed it because you trusted that person and you thought they only wanted the best for you.  You had no way of knowing that someone told them that LIE too when they were little and they believed it for the same reason you believed the LIE when it was told to you.

Now, you have a choice.  Either go on with your life believing the LIE and SETTLING for an unfulfilling, stressful, unhappy life.  One side note, if you continue to live your life as if the LIE is truth, you will pass the LIE on to your children which sets them up to go through their lives feeling that they are worthless and don’t deserve to be treated well.  OR, you can STOP SETTLING right now… TODAY!

You can break the cycle of SETTLING for less for yourself and future generations.  The first step is to stop LYING to yourself about the relationship and about him.  Friends and family members have been trying to tell you that the relationship is not good for you or that they are concerned for your safety or that you deserve better.  But, you’ve been ignoring their advice, maybe even getting angry with them and telling them they are wrong or avoiding them altogether.  Yet somewhere, deep inside, there is a small persistent voice telling you that they are right… the relationship is toxic.

Once you are able to admit the truth to yourself, the next step is to seek support from loving, emotionally stable and supportive family members and friends who can help and encourage you.  Your first thought may be that you are embarrassed about the situation and you don’t want to admit the truth to others.  This is why I emphasize the person or persons you go to must be emotionally healthy and supportive of you.  If anyone you approach for support criticizes or makes you feel ashamed in anyway, walk away from them as fast as you can and do not discuss your situation any further with that person.

It is critical that you only share your situation with people who will not judge you, but will give you love, compassion and support while you sort through what to you want to do next. 

If you don’t have friends you trust or family members who are supportive of you, seek out free support groups like Al-Anon (alcohol does not have to be a factor for Al-Anon to be helpful) or find a CoDA meeting to attend.  If you have the financial means, seek help from a coach or counselor.  If money is an issue, contact a local women’s shelter or find out if your community has a public health clinic where you can get advice or counseling at no charge or on a sliding scale.

The Relationship Road ahead of you is wide open.  Your life can be whatever you want it to be; but first, you have to START BELIEVING you are WORTHY of a happy, healthy relationship.  When that happens, you will no longer SETTLE for less than the best in your relationships.

The following affirmation may help you begin the journey to self-love and acceptance.  Repeat it to yourself daily or whenever you are experiencing doubt or fear.  Whenever possible, say it to yourself while looking at yourself in a mirror.

I am a unique and valuable woman.  I am enough and I am loved.



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