Fine Print: Are You Settling For Less Than You Deserve?

It occurred to me some years ago that I was not getting what I wanted out of relationships. It took me awhile to figure out why that was. 

Light bulb moment: It's because I wasn't demanding more from them. I was settling for less because I didn't feel that I deserved more. 



I chose people to be in my life who didn't end up treating me very well. And I really can't put the blame on them.

You see, I was also the culprit in my own fate.

There are those of you out there, right this minute, who are living now much like I was living then. 

As you are reading this, you know in your heart that you are accepting far less than you deserve

And so my caveat to you today is this: You deserve to be loved and cherished. 


I stayed in unhealthy situations. I cried myself to sleep many nights. I wondered why I couldn't be in a relationship that was healthy.

I realize now that it was up to me and me alone to change what I was accepting from others.


I expected scraps. And that is what I got.

I let a lot of years pass like that. Too many. I let precious time slip through my fingers. 

But you can learn from my experience. 

If you are in a situation where you are being treated like a door mat, or worse, then my advice to you is this: You still have time to make it right. That time is now.

You need to look deep within yourself and resolve to change your current situation sooner rather than later. 

You don't deserve to be taken advantage of. You don't deserve to live in fear. 


Don't let the years pass while you ponder how or when will be the best time to get up and move on. 

Don't tell yourself: "I'll make these changes when the time is right." 

The time will never be right. Because it is too easy to be passive about change. It is easier to stay in a stagnant or even an abusive relationship because it is what you are accustomed to. 


You deserve to be happy. Please don't settle for less because the thought of being alone is too frightening.


***



20 comments

  1. Replies
    1. And I wish I had figured this out years ago!

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  2. I love Brave Girls Club. So inspiring, as was this post.

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    1. Ironically I had not come across Brave Girls until I stumbled upon this.

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  3. It's amazing how many of us strong women stay in a situation that's not healthy - I did it for far too long, and I'm so glad to NOT be in that place in my life now. Great post, Brenda!

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    1. It's because women are innately nurturers. But we forget to nurture ourselves. And that's where it all goes to hell in a hand basket.

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  4. Beautiful post. I've always said I'm sure you have saved lives and liberated some women.

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    1. Well, I don't know about that. But I hope so.

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  5. Great post Brenda! So much clarity comes from time and healing.
    So thankful that you share these thoughts with us all.
    Jemma

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    1. We just have to listen to that little voice inside of us. It is our most basic instinct.

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  6. Good parenting helps to build a child's self esteem from the beginning. Those of us, who didn't have that, struggle pitifully along.
    It is good to recognize, and think thru, that
    we are worthy to be loved and cherished, and treated nicely, And be given, what we are willing to give.

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    1. I think you're quite right. If we are never given the tools as children, if we are not taught about love, then how are we to know how to recognize it in its true form?

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  7. Thank you for the inspiring message. May I copy it and give it to my two teenage foster daughters?

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    1. Of course. I hope it shines a light down the road for them.

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  8. This is a beautiful post Brenda...Looking back on 20 years I can see that I somehow got lost along the way..everything was what he wanted and there was not much left of my hopes and dreams..I am starting to find my way back to all the things I used to enjoy doing..I am finding that those things are still there inside me..just waiting to be free again..There were many times I wanted to leave but just couldn't get past the idea that I would be alone again..He left I don't recall how many times in 20 years but I always let him come back because the loneliness got to me..This time something is different inside me..This time I feel a release inside me..a freedom from all the worry and heartache..I don't want him back..I want that freedom to search for me and I realize that will never happen if he is here..Also thanks to you and the other women here..we can give strength to each other by sharing our stories together..Thank you Brenda for giving us a place to do it..

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  9. You are correct, and so is Victorianna Rose -- we settle for less than we deserve, and the behavior can have its roots in childhood. My first marriage was to a man who had a need to feel superior and did so by making negative comments about me and belittling my interests. I then had a series of dating relationships with men who treated me that same way. I would keep finding myself thinking, "He loves me, so what he says about me must be true." Finally I got miserable enough to seek counseling to figure out why I kept getting into such relationships. Then I got mad at myself because I kept "wasting" my counseling sessions by talking about something my parents had just said or done that caused me to feel hurt and belittled. It took awhile for me to figure out that I wasn't wasting those sessions. The focus on my parents was accurate because they were the first ones in my life to treat me with the negativity and belittling. They were a tag-team of superiority. They both had very challenging childhoods in dysfunctional families, and they really wanted to give me and my siblings a better life. I know they loved us. But they seemed to resent us for having that better life! I don't think they could let go of their own pain from childhood. As a child, I figured their negativity and superiority was just how parents are. I had no clue that their behavior was extreme, and that it formed the basis for how I learned to interact with others, not just in romantic relationships, but with women friends and in work settings as well. I basically was a person who wasn't capable of living based on what was right for me. I just reacted to situations based on what I thought would keep the other person from getting angry or displeased with me. That approach becomes like the old act on the Ed Sullivan show where the performer tries to keep 10 plates spinning on poles. Pretty soon, everything comes crashing down because you get exhausted from the effort. It's been almost as exhausting learning how to interact with people in a way that is healthier for me and focuses on being honest about what is truly best for me, rather than on what I think will make someone like me. But it is a better kind of exhaustion that allows me to sleep better at night. Thanks Brenda, for providing this really insightful topic for us to comment on.

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    1. very well said JKaye. Life is like a juggling act and we need to find the balance.

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  10. I am preparing my home to sell and move to Colorado....taking my sons with me because I too have put my life on hold for everyone in my family. Will hopefully start over with a better job..which I don't have yet...and a healthier way of life. I have often wondered why so many of us give up on ourselves...nature..up bringing..fear? My prayers and thoughts go out to all who need to start fresh and make with big smiles on their faces.

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  11. I am preparing my home to sell and move to Colorado....taking my sons with me because I too have put my life on hold for everyone in my family. Will hopefully start over with a better job..which I don't have yet...and a healthier way of life. I have often wondered why so many of us give up on ourselves...nature..up bringing..fear? My prayers and thoughts go out to all who need to start fresh and make with big smiles on their faces.

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