You do everything in love.
You are often the architect, scaffolder, and caretaker of this home that you are both supposedly trying to build. But your partner always seems to be way too exhausted, way too injured, and therefore incapable of chipping in even half of the efforts that you are putting in.
Since you think of a relationship as something extremely precious for both of you and refer to you two as us instead of you and me, you often tell yourself that it does not matter who puts in the most effort. What matters is that the house is built by both of you in the end. So, you do not mind investing all your time, money, and energy crafting this relationship that you so badly want to work.
While the task of building this relationship mostly all on your own is extremely draining, you still find the energy to nurse the wounds of your partner with the hope that someday when he will be completely fine, he will be on the same wavelength as you in terms of efforts regarding this relationship. So, you do not complain. You do not argue that much nor punch the table when he tells you that he is not 100% sure about you because of the scars that his ex gave him. Nor do you cry as much in front of him when it gets exhausting hearing him tell you that he cannot show you off as much as his girlfriend because he is scared of this not working out one more time. You do not sigh when he does not want to hold your hand as much in front of a crowd. You do not say a thing when he tells you that someday he will love you just as much as you love him — at least, he hopes to do so, because he is cognisant of everything that you are doing for him.
But all of that hope, all of those small wounds knitting in your chest is always derailed into a much larger wound when he finally leaves and gives the next girl after you everything that you begged him for: the certainty, the commitment, the unhesitant couple pictures on social media, the holding of hands and casual affection in front of a crowd.
I know how you feel when you witness that. I know how much you cry into your pillow every night and wonder: Why was I never enough for you despite everything that I did for us? Where did I go wrong that you gave her everything I begged you for?
And the day you will muster the courage to finally confront him with this question, the answer will come unwaveringly to you.
He will tell you that it is not right to compare your relationship with him and his relationship with this new girl. He will tell you that every relationship is different. He will tell you to stop being overdramatic and delusional and that he really tried for you.
And then will come the convincing—the “It’s not you, it’s me” dialogue, the long speech on how perfect you are and how imperfect he was. Is. This will be followed by the “I really respect you” and your commendable way of loving phrase that you are so tired of hearing from every man who leaves you. Then will come the offer of being friends. He will try to convince you that every mature individual does the same after a split.
But now, this does not touch you. But now, his words have no power over you. His actions have destroyed the veil. You can now see very clearly.
You CANNOT be friends with the man that you loved and cured for the next girl that came after you.
It stings. It almost comes as ingratitude from him.
So now that you are here, stuck, reading this article, you need to focus on what’s next. If you want to break this cursed cycle, you must believe and practice everything I say next.
1. You are not responsible for fixing broken men.
Repeat this to yourself until you believe it. It’s not on you to do the fixing. It’s not your job to mend broken souls in a relationship that is meant to consist of two equals trying to be one. You have zero super power to do that. You are a normal girl trying to love and be loved. Accept it. You CANNOT fix that guy, no matter how badly you want him to want you back just as much.
2. No one can fix a broken man but himself.
The next time you think of being capable of changing a man or believing that the extremes of your love can convince him to heal and love you back, remind yourself that a broken man is just like a crawling snail with a broken shell. And just like how snails have the ability to mend its broken shell on its own, no one can fix a broken man but himself.
3. A man who keeps talking about his ex and the injuries his ex gave him is a red flag.
A man who is not over his ex is not the right one for you. The right thing to do after a break up is to wait until you are completely healed before approaching a new person. Being with a broken man and agreeing to the bullshit he offers you during the time that he is hurting and “trying” to love you at the same time will only turn you into a rebound that lasts for much more than just a night, where bodies will surely meet but hearts will not. And you do not want to be that person.
4. You deserve someone who is complete, not someone who offers you himself in pieces.
Just like how a broken vase cannot hold roses in place to keep them alive, a broken man cannot hold or provide you with everything that keeps a relationship alive. You deserve someone who will be as certain as you are about them in a relationship. You deserve someone who is happy with himself first and foremost before he can provide an extra magical touch of happiness to your life.
I know it is easier to write an article or throw advice at your face rather than to believe and practice that same advice, but you need to keep repeating these four things to yourself until you firmly believe them.
Again, I repeat: It is not your responsibility to fix broken men.