My Future Relationship Should Accept My Issues, Right?
I’m hoping you can settle a disagreement between my friend and I.
I’ll be the first to admit I have my issues; I come from an abusive background, and I’m sure it’s the reason why I have such a passionate temper and can be pretty insecure at times. But I’m also very loving, caring, and absolutely trustworthy.
I say somebody who loves me should love all of me, imperfections and all. She says I shouldn’t even be looking for a relationship till I’ve basically gone through years of psychotherapy and essentially become an angel.
Which one of us is right?
WATCH: HOW TO START MEDITATING SO YOU’LL HAVE AN AMAZING RELATIONSHIP
Let me start this answer with a story.
I was at my stepson’s hockey game one night and went to use the bathroom while they cleaned the ice between periods. All the stalls were taken and I waited for the next free one. A moment later one of the doors opened, and the hockey mom who stepped out looked shocked to see someone obviously waiting to go in after her.
“I didn’t do that!” she said hurriedly, before dashing out.
“That” turned out to be the liberal amount of pee all over the toilet seat, which got me thinking. (It’s amazing where a philosophical mind will find lessons.)
She may or may not have been personally responsible for the pee covering the seat. But she was responsible for leaving the pee on the seat. Could she have grabbed a wad of toilet paper and wiped it off, leaving a cleaner seat for the next person? Absolutely.
And when it comes to our own personal history, we have that choice too.
See, when someone’s behavior towards us has damaging effects, they’re in essence peeing on our seat. No doubt about that. Leaving a mess we can either leave for the next person to deal with or choose to resolve.
The unfortunate part about abuse is the cycle associated with it. “I didn’t do anything to you that was anywhere close to what happened to me!” are often the words an abusive parent will say to their kid down the road when the lasting effects begin to rise to the surface.
And while that may be true, that the amount of pee they left on your seat doesn’t meet the volume their parents left on theirs, the fact remains – someone made a mess on the seat and left it there for you to deal with. Now the question is, will you leave the pee they put on your seat where it sits, accusingly pointing a finger backward in time while claiming zero accountability towards the comfort of the next person coming along as they did? Or will you say, “The mess stops here”?
WATCH: 10 MINUTE MEDITATION – LOVE SIGNAL
Because here’s the thing; no one saw who went before you.
They don’t understand what percentage of the mess was left by someone else, and how much is yours on top of that previous mess. All they truly understand is their experience, and if their association is connected to you and you only, and that experience is a gross mess, then pointing a finger backward doesn’t change the fact that you’re the one who left a mess for them to deal with. Not only left a mess but didn’t care to even attempt to clean it up.
Great relationships don’t happen by accident. They take place between two people willing to work hard and take responsibility for what they’ve contributed to the whole. If all you’re doing is walking away from messes and blaming other people, it means half the equation isn’t pulling their weight when it comes to coming up with, and applying, solutions to problems.
Don’t be that person. I understand when history leaves a mess because it’s something I deal with every day. But we all have free will and therefore all have the ability to change the world into a better place for ourselves and others. Just because someone made a mess on you and planted seeds of anger and distrust, it doesn’t mean you need to carry that mess with you everywhere you go.
Grab some tissue, and wipe away.
Seek out therapy. Start meditating to reduce your stress, anxiety, fear, and anger responses. Take responsibility when you have an outburst and really pin down the reasons so you’ll be more aware of your triggers the next time. Learn how to say, “I’m sorry about that. I was feeling _______ and I vomited that on you instead of taking some time to better deal with my emotions.” And above all, if you’re seeking a relationship be honest about your history and how you’re working at overcoming, and cleaning, the messes left behind.
Here’s what you can do.
Grab a copy of No More Assholes if you’re single, or Fix That Shitif you’re in a relationship. These books help guide you towards achieving the peace of mind that feels amazing, and really teach you how to become efficient at cleaning up the fear and anxiety past experiences created. Anger is a by-product of hurt, so start healing your old wounds. And fear is basically not knowing if you can predict what’s around the corner, so use these books to help you gain some clarity.
Creating deeper peace of mind puts you in the position of being the emotional leader your relationship will need. Starting today means you’ll be ready when the right partner comes along, looking for a person they can hold up because she’s not dragging herself down. And you deserve them.
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Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favorite online book retailer) help her readers attract the love they’re looking for, regardless of their starting point . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.