Sweet girl, I know it looks like he loves you. And maybe, in some kind of way, he believes he does. Perhaps you make him feels things others haven’t. Perhaps in his mind, you make him really happy. Perhaps on his best days, he thinks he only wants you for the rest of his life. I know you live for those days- the ones where it feels like it is just you and him, and the outside world just disappears. The days he holds your hand and you share laughter and kisses on a couch and you think “nothing in the world could be better than this.” I know you live for those moments because my god, it seems so obvious that he loves you.
But then, there are the other days. The ones where you express the way you are feeling about a particular issue, and he belittles you, making you feel inferior as he expresses his own opinion. The days where you are trying to have a conversation with him, but his eyes and his mind are focused somewhere else. The days where you notice a flirty text appear on his phone yet again, and when you express your concern about it, he dismisses you- as if you are somehow the bad guy to assume he would ever be unfaithful to you. The days where he asks you to do something that makes you uncomfortable, and you tell him no, he makes you feel guilty or continues to push you to change your mind until you cave in. Those days seem to appear more often than you want to admit, but you push them down. You try to block them out of your mind, hoping that tomorrow is one of the good ones, one of the days where you know he loves you.
Darling, listen to me- if he doesn’t respect you, he doesn’t love you.
To respect someone is to listen to their opinions and see them as valid, even if you disagree. It’s to listen when a person says no, and to accept that. It’s to take into account a person’s feelings in your own thoughts and actions, and choosing to not do the things things that will hurt them. It’s choosing to listen when you don’t always want to. It’s choosing to stay faithful to the person you’ve openly committed to, because you promised that you would.
Yet all too often, in the search for love, we allow other things to slip on the backburner.
We are told that love is compromise, and it truly is. Yet we tend to compromise the wrong things because we are so hopeful that this person right in front of us is the right one.
So we take it in stride and we bite our tongues when they make us feel less than we really are. We consistently lay ourselves down and set aside red flags because they love us, or at least it appears that way. In some hollow, every-now-and-again, when it’s convenient kind of way.
But let me tell you, that is not love. You deserve his respect just as much as you deserve his love, if not even more so. You are such an incredible woman- filled with dreams and kindness and power beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. You are more than worthy of respect, especially if you are so devoted to him and would do just about anything for him- and I know you would. You don’t deserve to only feel loved and respected on a handful of days, only to have to build yourself back up after he’s torn you down on all the others. My god, you beautiful girl, you are worth so much more than that. You are worth mountains being moved and rivers being crossed just to be with you. You are worth loyalty and attention and compassion, worth devotion that exceeds anything you’ve ever known.
So don’t sacrifice yourself, your self-worth, your sanity, and your respect, all in the name of holding onto someone who seems to love you only sometimes.
Know you are worth his respect, just as much as you are worth love. Please stop believing you have to sacrifice one to get the other. Know that there is a difference between someone who truly loves you, and someone who only appears to.
Please, start respecting yourself enough to know the difference.