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We shared a two-bedroom apartment together with our two dogs and had unofficially but mutually agreed to share our lives together. Only, I was unhappy.
My unhappiness began to grow into resentment. Like every couple, we had been through our share of ups and downs and had plenty of arguments and bruised egos to show for it. This time was different and my decision to leave was sporadic — almost as if I had woke up one morning and my inner conscience said,Â “Kim, today you have to take control of your life.”
That was the day I walked my dog to the leasing office and handed over a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. I cried to my sister near the same oak tree that he and I carved our names when we moved there. I wiped my tears as my sister said, “Rest in your decision Kimberly, be sad, but don’t stay there… Pick yourself up and move forward.”
And, so I did.
My dog and I walked back to my apartment with dry eyes and a sense of peace that didn’t exist in a relationship where I constantly ignored my wants and needs to please the man I was with. Prior to that day, I was in a relationship where the things that made me happy were mocked and ridiculed.Â “Why should I take you on a date? No man really wants to go on a date,”Â he would say.Â “Why do you want to celebrate your birthday? You are near 30, grow up,”Â he laughed.
He never kissed me and blamed it on his lack of affection from his mother, but I needed to be kissed. He never told me that he loved me and said that I should know that, but I needed to hear it. It always saddened me to hear my desires mocked. I truly liked the idea of dating the man that I loved for the rest of my life. I truly loved my birthdays even if I was closing in on 30. I loved to be kissed and I needed affirmations. I was good at voicing my wants, but I wasn’t so good at moving towards them. Instead, I began to convince myself that they weren’t a big deal.Â “At least I have man that doesn’t cheat,”Â orÂ “He loves me, so I can do without those things.”
But one day I realized that just because Mr. Right Now isn’t as bad as the guys before him does not mean he isn’t bad. He didn’t cheat on me or curse me out like those other guys, but at the same time, he was not delivering love and affection to me in a way that I could recognize it. He failed at all of the things that I considered necessary in a relationship with a life partner. I decided that I didn’t want to waste another second unhappy in this relationship and I convinced myself that the end result would be: one, him evolving enough to open his heart to fulfill my needs or, two, I would find someone else that would be more than happy to have me. I would be happy either way.
He came home and I told him, “You have 30 days to pack your things and find another place to live. I love you but I’ve decided to love me more. You’ve made it very clear that you are happy with the way things are in the relationship. I’ve been feeling like a single woman with a roommate and, for me, that is not love. So… you have 30 days before the lease is up and my things will be gone by the end of the week.”
And they were.
I moved into a one bedroom apartment with one of the dogs. I found a new job so that I could cover my solo bills. I bought a car and for a while, I endured and ignored his anger voice mails and texts until he eventually stopped calling. Though they hurt and I missed him, I shifted my focus from him to me and began to reconnect with the things that I loved. Family. Friends. Fitness. Fun. I began to meditate and reconnect with my spirituality. I had even opened myself to the idea of starting to date. It was the happiest I had been a very long time. I was alone but not once did I feel lonely.
11 months, 47 voice 8mails, and about 100 missed calls later, I decided to take his call. The very first thing he said to me was, “Will you allow me to take you to dinner?”
That night he talked. I listened. I smiled. He kissed me. He said to me, “I didn’t know how to show you love. It made me uncomfortable to be vulnerable. When you left you took a piece of me with you and I can’t imagine a life without you.”
I exhaled and he continued, “I’m not perfect. I’ve never been in a relationship this deep but I do know that I want to be the man that you want me to be and over the past few months, I’ve figured out how to love myself and control my anger so that I can give you the love that you need. All I need is a little help.”
Read the rest of the story written by Kimberly Fleming on xoNecole.Com
Ladies, this is a prime example of an issue that I see many women face during ourÂ Loving FLR Leadership Coaching Program. Women believe placing their partner’s happiness above their own is the best way to show love when it is not. Men do not grow from women loving them more than they love themselves. In this situation, he was emotionally wounded and he took out his anger on her, berating her for requesting simple tokens of love and affection. She must have felt like a fool having to consider whether or not she was crazy for wanting to be kissed and adored by the man who claimed to love her. Once she woke up and decided that- wait a minute- a relationship is supposed to be about happiness– she was strong enough to leave Mr. Alright even though she had no one waiting in the wings to catch her fall.
She was willing to lose what she had in favor of what she believed she deserved. Too many women do not believe they can have what they want and worse yet, too many women believe that they don’t deserve it. They fall into the trap of believing that as women they should be servants of men. Someone has convinced us that the virtuous thing to do is be long-suffering and stand by our men no matter what. But this attitude does not allow us to experience the bliss that we deserve and it definitely does not help the man at all. This case is a perfect example.
If she had continued to place his happiness before her own, he would have continued to use her as an emotional punching bag. When she was willing to stand up for herself, he was forced to face his own inadequacies and pain and admit them to himself and then to her. He then had the choice to correct them, ultimately asking her to guide him in giving her the love that she required.
Setting standards for your interactions with men and requiring respect from men are basic principles of Loving Female Led Relationships. Never stay in a relationship hoping that a man will change. As long as you are there waiting for him to change, you are giving him permission NOT to change. You must walk away from any situation that does not satisfy your soul. The wrong man will try to convince you that you are wrong.Â The right man will make it right.Â
It is your responsibility as the leader of the relationship to set him on the right path. You are a leader, act like one, even if it hurts.