She tried not to look at what was happening. She’d told herself it would be easier if she didn’t. But the pull of checking on Facebook was too strong.
“Snap out of it!” He shouted at her.
“We should be there.” She responded.
“You can’t guilt trip me. They’re your friends, I was only invited because of you, so why should I bother!”
“Because they’re my friends and we were invited together.”
“They’re not bothered. Anyway. I didn’t say you couldn’t go!”
“No. But based on last time, it’s not worth the hassle when I get back. And why should I keep lying to cover you?”
“I didn’t ask you to lie for me!”
“Not directly. But in your attitude after saying we would.”
“Oh shut up! Stop banging on about it. You should have just left me alone, it’s clear where you’d rather be.”
Maybe I have a romanticised view of relationships, but…. any man who expects you to lie for him, and who tries to separate you from your friends…really?! Is he really the kind of man who makes you feel safe?
Being in the kind of relationship where I was constantly having to make excuses to my family and friends, trying to find new ways of saying, “he’s not coming” without offending or insulting anyone, was exhausting. Not to mention disrespectful and yet another example of learning to walk on eggshells.
A woman’s (or man’s) integrity and character is what she is known by, so having to kowtow to another person’s character, in order to meet unspoken expectations and demands puts pressure on who you are. It’s all very well and good others saying you should stand by who you are, but having been there, I know it is not so easy.
Having to negotiate around a controlling person whose fluid rules are never fully known because they constantly change; tiptoing to avoid walking on eggshells without being hurt – emotionally or physically – this is a reality which most people will never understand.
But eventually, a time comes when even you realise you have a decision to make. You can’t walk on eggshells forever. And you can’t bury your character to appease someone else forever. I know. You think you’ll try. And you think that in time you won’t need to, because he will change. If only you just bide your time, and keep things as smooth as possible, if you just bite your tongue and do things his way, in time, he will change. In time, you’ll be able to sweep away those eggshells and walk normally.
For as long as you push down your character, for as long as you do everything you can to “keep the peace”, and even if you rise up now and again to do anything you can to make him see things from your perspective, nothing will change. Because it isn’t you who needs to make it change. It is him, the other person.
Maybe I have a romanticised view of relationships, but as far as I can see, real love is about both partners giving, and both partners taking. Real love is about encouraging each person to grow in your integrity, not feel coerced into hiding who you are behind fear, intimidation and grief.
Who are you? And who are you in your relationship? Are you a different person? You should be better than who you were! Or do you find yourself compromising on who you are?
One day, just like I did, you will have to make a decision on what you will allow to continue to be acceptable to you.