I know you’re thinking that if only you said something more and did things differently, they wouldn’t treat you the way they did. If only you could go back in time and try harder, they probably would have stayed. Maybe you’re wondering whether you loved them enough in the first place—maybe you didn’t, and it made it easy for them to walk away. You’re thinking it’s not entirely their fault that they haven’t been good to you; maybe you did something to instigate their behavior. If only you would’ve been the person they wanted you to be, maybe things would’ve worked out differently.
If this is clouding your mind, I need you to hear this. Maybe you could have said or done things differently, but that wouldn’t change their unhealthy behavior towards you. It would only delay it from manifesting in your relationship. Sometimes, we’ve done all that we could, and in hindsight it might not seem like a lot. In hindsight, several other paths that you could’ve taken come to light. However, believe me when I say, if you have loved someone in the best way you know how to and they didn’t receive or respond to your love with the same kindness, that is not on you.
You have a brave heart that’s willing to give and take on more than its share. And that is why you want to take on their burden as well. But you need to remember that it’s not your responsibility to carry their burden of not being able to love you well. Whether or not they ever realize it, you have to stop breaking under this weight.
People love us in the way they know how to. It does not make them bad people for not being able to love us in the way that we need.
As humans, we are wired to fix things and do anything we can to make things right, to make the other person comfortable and feel loved in the relationship, even if it’s costing us every ounce of our sanity. And when you know that you’ve done that and they still don’t value what you’re bringing to the relationship, there is nothing more you can do or say that will change anything.
You are not responsible for the way another person treats you. It is not your fault if they don’t respect you, if they don’t treat you kindly, if they’re being manipulative or abusive. You cannot change or better someone’s behavior. That is up to them. They get to decide if this is the kind of human they want to be. They decide if they want to inflict pain on someone who loves them. Nothing you do contributes to them choosing to be that person.
So, if you feel like you’ve done or said something that has caused someone to behave badly with you, let me remind you that there are people out there who would never make you feel this way. Even if you did something that bothers them, they would still treat you with dignity and respect. They may not love you anymore, but they will certainly treat you well. Because they know love. And even if love ceases to exist between two people, it always exists within each of us.
If you loved someone with all that you have, at maximum capacity, and they didn’t love you well enough, know that they first need to be on the journey to understand and value love. They need to see it within themselves and hold it within themselves and then carry it around for others. You happened to meet them very early on in this journey, and they probably weren’t ready to meet you where you are. Bid them farewell, but don’t forget to hand over their belongings for them to carry as they set out on their own journey or else you’ll be shouldering baggage that wasn’t meant to be yours in the first place.