Friend, confidante, mentor, lover, the summer to your heart’s winter, your kryptonite, a faint glimmer in a dark night — you could think of a hundred romantic words and phrases to describe who he is in your life.
For the longest time, you romanticized the idea of him. You thought that he was the most pure-hearted man you’ve ever met; you put him on a pedestal and believed every single thing he said and made yourself like an angel so that you could at least live up to his expectations of being the perfect, submissive woman who followed everything he wanted. Like a doll in strings.
When you’re with someone who has expectations as high as the Mount Everest, you try your very best to scale the mountainous pressure he puts on your shoulders even though, at the back of your mind, you know that the climb isn’t worth it. You are blinded with your romanticized ideas of who he is, so you think that whatever he says or advises you is for your own good. After all, he cares for you, right? Or so he says.
Change your dress. Don’t flip your hair like that. Change your hair color. Don’t wear that lipstick.
It starts with the physical. He’ll tell you what to and what not to wear, even going to the extremes of making you change your outfit sometimes because it doesn’t suit his idea of who you should be. Of course, you’ll think that he’s just protecting you. After all, you do like to wear short dresses. But then the doubts and frustrations set in when he tells you to still change your clothes even though you’re wearing something that’s of reasonable length.
These commands then cascade to other physical things, like throwing away that lipstick you loved but he hated because he said that it made him look older next to you (yes, of course, his looks are of crucial importance that you’d have to comply with his lipstick requirements). Of course, you don’t mind these things because you’re so deaf to reason that you can’t even hear his ego screaming at your face.
You should know what to and what not to say in front of people. You will only tell these things – 1, 2, 3, 4 (a list of what you should actually say, like a script). You should think of me, my image, my reputation, my name (he didn’t even think of those things before he decided to pursue you and, say, touch you. So why the fuck is preserving his image your responsibility now?)
You should not be too friendly. You should be snobbish. You should put yourself on a higher level (what, so you could match his?) I should be the only person in your world for the next few years; it’s not madness — it’s healthy (no, that’s actually sick, if you think about it, but of course you shut your mouth and held back your tears).
And a barrage of a dozen and more unrealistic, unhealthy demands that are supposed to mold you into becoming a “better” person. After the physical “requirements” that you felt obliged to comply with, he gives you a list of things you’re either allowed or forbidden to do in order for you to fit his “vision” and his “plans”. He thinks that by changing you, he’s preparing a brighter future for you, but what he actually does is to just put you in jail while he’s enjoying the benefits of your so-called relationship.
Darling, let me burst your bubble and tell you that he’s not doing this for your own good or to make you a better person. He’s doing this for himself. He’s holding you by the neck because it’s his way of managing his own insecurities. He thinks that you’ll both be happier in the end if he’ll take the helm and control you because, in his eyes, he’s wiser and the one who’s always right; you’re just an emotionally immature child that he has to train.
Stop making yourself an instrument to feed his already inflated ego. A healthy relationship consists of two individuals who work on their flaws and accept their differences without the need to impose change on one another. It’s compromise — not control — that makes relationships work.
You may not realize this now, but you will be so much happier when you break free from his restrictions. To be fair, he may also not be aware of what he’s doing to you, the psychological and emotional distress that you’re going through just to keep up with his expectations, because that’s just who he is, and you can’t change that as well. All you can do is to take control of your own life without having the need to always seek his approval, just because you want to keep him.
Taking into consideration his demands and personality, the bitter truth is that he won’t stay with you. He has deep-seated issues that he has to settle within himself as well, and he knows this. You can’t be his ego doll forever, the one who’s always there patiently waiting for him to figure things out and be ready. Underneath this seemingly powerful man is a lost, lonely boy who tries to compensate for his own shortcomings and correct his past errors by changing or controlling the person he’s with. Don’t be caught in the crossfire of the war he’s waging within himself; you don’t deserve to be the casualty of the longstanding battle inside his heart. Let him deal with it on his own.
And as for you — change if you must. But do so for yourself and not for him.