You’ve made your choice. You’re going to stay. You’ve worked on your relationship with or without your partner, and because of the kids, or your thought that there’s nobody better, or your fear of being alone, or for financial reasons (or whatever) you’re not leaving.
Now, I’m not going to talk about whether or not that’s a good decision because, frankly, I don’t know you or your situation. But I will say this: if you are living with someone who is physically or emotionally abusive, you need to re-think your decision. That situation can be extremely destructive…even dangerous.
So here you are with a partner who is not giving you what you want. What do you do? You get what you need from other sources. Say, you’re missing affection from your partner. He/she just isn’t the nurturing, affectionate kind. So instead of trying to squeeze it out of them, you find other sources…first and foremost, yourself. (See my post, The one good friend you need…Yourself!)
Some other sources you can tap into include: loving friends who hug you and tell you how wonderful you are; a dog that excitedly wags its tail just at the sight of you; a cat who snuggles and purrs every time you run your hand through it’s fur. Get love from a family member who appreciates you and your talents…cooking, keeping your house beautiful and clean, your watercolor paintings, your sharp mind, your wonderful sense of humor. In other words, your partner is not your only source for love and affection. There are others who can give to you.
A second piece of advice? Stop complaining. Complaining keeps you trapped in the same negative, deprived state. Accept them for who they are and appreciate what they do give you. And don’t say you’re not getting anything. If that were true, you wouldn’t be there in the first place.
It’s really our own responsibility to make ourselves happy. Sure, a relationship can enhance our lives, but it’s up to us to provide deep-down happiness for ourselves. You’ve heard the saying,”you are the only one who will never leave you so best be kind to yourself.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? So why not make a commitment to YOU today? That’s the ultimate commitment, and one you most certainly deserve. Try it, and let me know how you’re doing. I would love to hear.
Check out my book, The Affair: From Breakdown to Breakthrough, A Therapist’s Real-life Journey, for more great tips and insights about relationships. You can buy the Kindle version worldwide on all Amazon websites, such as amazon.com.