Relationships and love are two way streets.
Breathing isn’t an option.
Your heart beating isn’t an option.
Sleeping isn’t an option.
Being someone’s option if they claim you’re their priority isn’t a circumstance that you should tolerate.
I’m not saying that you have to be the center of the universe, however, your thoughts, feelings and presence shouldn’t ever be considered irrelevant, unnecessary or not that important.
Have you ever wondered why I often write about being an original person?
My Fatal Flaw
I am always me whether you meet me at the doctor’s office, work, church, amusement park or at my home. I am who I am and I don’t fake a version of myself. I put my nerdy self out there and hope that you’ll like or love her.
If I had to choose one thing about myself that is my fatal flaw, it would be this:
More than once, I did not heed the advice of Mark Twain when he said…
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” ~ Mark Twain ~
That’s right. I was the least important, the last one, the taken for granted, the short changed, the unappreciated and an afterthought.
Do you know who was to blame?
I allowed those people to take me for granted. I became the welcome mat. I worked my butt off without recognition or appreciation for my sacrifices, efforts and kindnesses.
It was wrong.
So very, very wrong of them to treat me that way and so very, very wrong of me to allow them to reject me.
Yes, it is rejection and selfishness.
Promises are made, promises are broken and my broken heart was not considered to be that big a deal. I was told to “get over it.”
When I was married (I won’t identify which marriage), my husband promised to “defend and protect” me by virtue of being my husband. I think it is an understood concept. At least, that was and is how I view that aspect of the “husband” role.
One day, the neighbor across the street knocked on the front door. I opened it and welcomed him into our home. Both my husband and I were standing by the door with him when he proceeded to express displeasure in something about me. I had not said or done anything wrong or untoward.
However, his whole reason for coming over to my house was to basically chew me up and spit me out. So he stood in my home and literally cussed me up one side and down the other. The neighbor man who was dating my sister at the time, called me vile names and all the while my husband stood next to me saying nothing.
Yes, you read that right. My husband said absolutely not one word.
The neighbor kept yelling. I was shaking from the onslaught of expletives directed at me. I tried to defend myself, but he kept telling me to, “Shut the *%& up.”
It all ended when he finally left my house.
I was so upset with the neighbor and disappointed with my husband. How could he stand idly by and let someone berate me in my home?
I never figured that one out. However, that same “You’re not that important to me, but I will use you when I need you,” type relationship is threaded throughout my life.
Being an unappreciated maid, chef, chauffeur, money earner and “pretty little thing to hang on your arm” was the role I played.
It was a role I accepted as my lot in life.
“Was” is the operative word.
When I am taken for granted, I feel that it is a very selfish action by the other person. Since my past is riddled with circumstances when I plopped down and became the unappreciated welcome mat, I’m now hyper aware when someone takes me for granted by making me last on the list.
Priorities In Relationships
When people are in relationships there are rules and standards that the couple agrees upon. Whether the couple says it or not, there is an expectation of reciprocation. Part of loving someone is being there physically, mentally and emotionally.
The person’s feelings are always taken into consideration.
It is a conscious choice.
“He will feel ______ if I say/do ______.”
“She expects ______ if I promise ______.”
For instance, if I promise to take my mother to the doctor for an appointment she made three months ago, I would not at the last minute call her up and say, “I can’t take you to the doctor because I want to go to the beach today and have a picnic with a friend to celebrate his new job.”
Going to the beach and having a picnic to celebrate with a friend is not wrong. However, to throw my mother to the wayside without thought of how she will feel or how much she needs me to take her to the doctor would be totally wrong and selfish of me. If I promise Mom something, what good will my word be in the future if I disappoint and hurt her because of my thoughtless actions now? Do you think Mom would view me as dependable after this exchange?
No, Mom would not feel that she couldn’t rely on me anymore. Not only would she be inconvenienced and miss her appointment, but she would be hurt that I thought so little of the promise I made to her. It would be an action that devalued our relationship and rejected her.
Well, that’s not the role I take in relationships. My role is the one where I am devalued and rejected. It is my fatal flaw and I don’t like it.
I’ve already decided that surely the third time married will be a charm or I am at least hoping it will be one where I can flourish, be accepted for my originality, defended, thought of with fondness when I’m not around him and loved whole-heartedly. I can’t be a welcome mat again.
I will never allow someone to be my priority if they treat me like an option.
Been there. Done that. Not doing it again.
I am not an option. You are not an option. We should never be treated like the last choice as if we are the least important.
I am important.
You are important.
We have the right to expect and enjoy being loved as a priority.
In my opinion, THAT’s quite simply part of loving someone!
“Action expresses priorities.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi ~