Recovery Road: Compromise to Love

I read this article today about having expectations of people outside of ourselves. If they don’t do things the way we feel they should, we automatically feel like they’re not doing enough.

Love addiction reacts to life stresses like drugs, a means to escape. Relationships become the main source of pleasure, and when they aren’t the main source of pleasure, it feels like things have to be shaken up. Any feeling outside of the pleasure feels very uncomfortable, and there’s this “my way or the highway” attitude towards anything not agreed with. I know too well the cycle of trying to avoid pain and fill a void. Certain behavior is so familiar and second nature, that habitually it doesn’t seem like a problem.

I know my expectations can be high, and when I self-reflect I know I can be a handful. As a child I internalized negative emotions. I felt like I had to compromise myself to have peace, and not feel left out. This mindset has followed me in regards to my intimate relationships. Compromising myself without ever being asked to do so, thinking that’s the way I had to function to get what I wanted, and not to upset or lose people from my life.What’s problematic about that is it becomes “normalized”, the behavior that causes discomfort is now normal, because the pattern is based on Highs and Lows.

Even with getting to know and forming bonds with partners, I’m understanding how my past is showing up through my adult relationships. And how they remind me of a past I’m not too fond with, creating this urge to control the direction of the relationship. In these relationships I always seemed to take on the relationship as a distraction. When you’re not feeling good about yourself, or circumstances, you look outside yourself to find that. And being a love addict you look for that in other people.

My codependency became evident with putting expectations on my partner, when it was really about me giving away my power. Someone can love me as much as they can, based on how they love, but my sacrifice doesn’t mean they will love the way I love, or change to suit how I want them to express that love.

When we compromise ourselves, and then blame other people for the outcome, it’s redirecting responsible for ourselves. I’m understanding I have to stand up for myself more and set better boundaries. I don’t have to sacrifice, or compromise myself to be with someone. I’ve learned that if someone loves you they want the best for you, and if they can’t handle you giving the best to yourself, or wanting to be your healthiest self, they’re not the person for you.

I’m learning to love myself in such away that, I don’t feel the need to explain that love, standing behind my decisions, and having faith in my higher power to take care of things. To stop running scared to the arms of someone else, and thinking they will fix whatever is wrong. It’s not fair behavior for myself or the other person.

I need to have more patience with myself, and understand how unhealthy relationship patterns show up. Breaking the pattern of feeling like I have to compromise myself in order to love someone properly, and not knowing how to love someone without compromising myself. I’ve noticed my resentment from this constant pattern of behavior, and I don’t want to be that person for myself or the people that I love. 

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