What Relationships Are NOT!

by Annie Kaszina on August 28, 2012

Whoever it was that coined the phrase: “Relationships are hard work” ought, IMHO, to have been shot. 

Why? 

Because, doubtless, they were absolutely right about their own relationship. My parents used to chant that mantra, and I can quite see why.  They were both extremely hard work – a sort of emotional salt mine – in their own way. 

Most likely, the Relationship Groanies in your adult life were quite right about your relationship, too.  You probably said enough to them for them to sense that you were in an emotionally abusive relationship.  

Do you think they were happy to share their negativity about relationships with you? 

You bet they were! 

A problem shared is a problem legitimized.  If their relationship is hard work, and your relationship is hard work, and everyone else’s relationship is hard work, then that’s okay, isn’t it?  You’re all in the same little rowing boat, bobbing up and down and on the same stormy seas.  It’s the human condition.  It’s the best you can hope for.  All you can do is make sure that fragile little boat doesn’t capsize, and hold out for better weather.  

You’re reading this because you’ve been clinging to the oars, baling water out furiously, and holding out for that better weather… And it’s not just not coming.  

Nor will it.   

I could labor the point and say, if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing, one day, not too far from now, you’ll drift into the Bermuda triangle never to be seen again…  

But would I do that?  Hardly. 

The fact is these tiresome apologists for bad relationships know no better.  They’re in denial, and they’re encouraging you to stay in denial.  Their way is the only way.

That’s… 

 of course.

There’s a very simple, little known Law of the Universe that I’d like to bring to your attention: 

When you settle for bad stuff, you’re actually inviting more bad stuff into your life.  

Of course, you’re not doing it consciously, but you’re doing it, nonetheless. 

When you said to yourself that “relationships are hard work”, you’re actually sanctioning the hell that is your emotionally abusive relationship.  You’re conditioning yourself to accept more of the same.  

Your unlovely, emotionally abusive partner is an absolute whiz at ensuring that relationships – with him – are hard work.  

But here’s the thing: sure, he’s not a one-off; there are, quite literally, millions of men who are just as unpleasant to be around as he is.  That’s not really surprising when you stop to remember that emotionally abusive men are all clones.  

abusive men clones with hymn sheet

I’ve no way of knowing whether abusive men were all body-snatched at some point in their life, and whether they’re really inhabitants of Planet Zog.  Besides, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.  

What does matter is that abusive men are all clones, dead-ringers for one another.  

A few days ago, I was doing a VIP Day with a client I barely knew.  To illustrate a point, I repeated a few of my wasband’s best lines.  Her mouth fell open in surprise.  “That’s what my husband says”, she gasped.  Her husband is an alcoholic, mine was not.  Her husband is very irresponsible financially, mine was not.  Her husband is a Brit from a broken home, mine was an Australian with two parents who stuck to each other  – and him – like Superglue.  

And they both sang from exactly the same hymn sheet.  

Planet Zog?  Not Planet Zog? 

Who cares? 

You’re important.  Their curiously warped arrested emotional development is not.  

When tiresome people tell you: “You have to work hard at relationships” what they’re really saying is this: “It’s never going to be easy being around someone who is still not emotionally potty-trained… but that’s LifeThat’s how Life is for everybody.  Deal with it.” 

Funny how they don’t know what they don’t know, isn’t it? 

There are millions of emotionally abusive men out there, who are more or less interchangeable, and seriously hard work to be around.  

And there are other people, too.  There are men who are kind, caring, and considerate.  Men who, naturally, give and receive appreciation.  Men who take responsibility for themselves, and deal with their own emotional baggage. 

Do you think it would be hard work being in a relationship with a man like that?  

Let me rephrase that, to make it easier to answer:

“Do you think – if you could get over your own feelings of unworthiness – it would be hard work being in a relationship with a man who truly believed in the best in you?” 

Of course it wouldn’t.  

The trouble is, you’d got so caught up in your relationship, you didn’t even believe anything else was possible. 

We’ll be looking into that in more detail next week. 

This week I’d like to set you some homework: think about all the people who’ve ever told you: “relationships are (a lot of) hard work”.  How happy were they? 

Until next week.  Have fun!!

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