I’ve heard this one so many times,
“He’s been unfaithful to every woman he has ever been with. But I know for a fact that it’s different with me.”
I read this one in an article about open relationships. One lady gave this reason as to why she allows her relationship to be “open” even though she didn’t want it to be. She said it wasn’t because she wanted more variety or sexual adventure in her life. She said,
“I feel like he’ll probably cheat anyway and at least this way I’m controlling it.”
Yet she stays in the relationship. I’ll make a guess as to why (and I don’t really know why). She has trust and vulnerability issues and since she’s already invested in this not trustworthy relationship it is easier to stay than it is to vulnerably try again in a new relationship. For those of you reading this also with trust issues is that also your guess as to why–because you have those same issues?
Have you also thought that even though you have chosen a significant other who has a history of unfaithfulness that you would be the exception? Here is the trick you are playing with yourself.
You have your reasons as to why you are afraid to be vulnerable but that also means that your defense mechanism is keeping a distance. Yes, you still desire closeness and a real relationship but your defense mechanism to protect you is distance. So you get with someone who gives you closeness and a relationship but can’t be trusted. And of course, he/she lets you down. This validates your lifelong behavior of keeping a distance and gives you another reason why you should not grow and change. Once again your discerner (my word for the many things that lead you to make a decision) led you to choose someone so you could have someone and still validate you protecting your heart and not vulnerably expose your true self into a relationship.
Then there is this other possibility. This is the one that keeps you in the relationship trying and contorting and trying and lying to yourself. What if he/she is the one and he/she does change, doesn’t cheat on you, becomes that one you knew for a fact would be different with you? Then you have received the affirmation you have been craving for all your life (like maybe even from a parent)–the affirmation that you are “special” and worth being with and that you are really loved. Because this significant other has changed for you, you have been healed from a lifetime of rejection.
You are placing a lot of wishes and “what ifs” into a relationship that is more than likely only going to reaffirm these unspoken fears that you are unloveable and not wanted. And more importantly, you are putting an unhealthy you into this relationship. This “one” cannot be your lifelong validation.
This trick is you are trying to keep control. You couldn’t control the pain that caused you to feel unloveable in the first place but you think you can control your own relationships so you won’t feel that pain again. Yet there can be no love without vulnerability. You can’t be you without vulnerability. You just become this contorted self squeezing the life and beauty out of you to protect your wounded self.
You are more beautiful than this. Hey handsome dude, I see your handsomeness and I see your worthiness. How about trying to match with someone who also sees that and values that?
Yes, there is some fear in this. Vulnerability has this risk. You may have your heart broken by someone who is healthy. Your now healthier discerner led you to a healthy relationship and it still might not end in a love for a lifetime. This is true. But what does that have to do with you? A bad match does not define you. This just didn’t work out. Vulnerability is the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome. You are worth seeing.
How do you do this? You start this journey of healing on this broken road of faith. There is much for you to read about that here at Bravester. Here are some suggested starting points:
Boundaries Are Attractive—As in They Really Do Attract Others – This is a 4-part series, must read all.
Women, It’s Okay to Have a Little Vanity (You Too, Guys)
Behaviors That Should Not Be Excused for Too Long in the Beginning of a Relationship
Mistakes Are Experiences
When Guilt is Really Sadness
Fear Does Not Protect You
Living in Vulnerability—This is Basic (Yet So Scary)
How Can I Live Bravely with Safety?
Every Guy You Date is Going to be the Wrong One Until He is the One
A Poem of Growth – Where Are You With This Hole in Your Life?
Brokeness is the Door to Our Father’s Heart
Be brave. Find your healing. Find your healing not in this relationship and not in your next relationship. Be loved for who you are. You are enough.