I’ve been married for ten years to a great guy I get along with great, and thankfully the relationship lessons I learn these days are pretty smooth ones, revolving mostly around making couple time and cutting some slack since we’re both tired parents of two young kids who wear us the off out. Lessons learned in/after previous relationships though didn’t always come so easily. My hardest-learned relationship lesson was probably…
the same thing I hope LW1 in today’s column is learning: how the other person feels is pretty irrelevant if he is making ME feel like shit or if I am unhappy in the relationship. I really recognized a younger version of myself in that letter – not in every relationship I was in before meeting Drew, but in a couple. I’d feel so unsatisfied, but instead of chalking up the dissatisfaction to a mismatch or to the guy not treating me well and ending the relationship, I’d reason if I could only figure out what guy was feeling – as if the apathy didn’t make it obvious — then I could make a better informed decision as to whether or not to continue the relationship. As is MY feelings weren’t enough! Ughhhh.
Eventually, something clicked and I stopped the madness. I remember ending a casual relationship with a guy who was giving all the signals that he didn’t want anything serious, and I felt so proud that I finally internalized the lesson and put it into practice: If I’m not getting what I want out of a relationship even after expressing what I want, then I need to MOA and not wait around hoping the guy will eventually make his feelings and intentions clear. That was a hard-learned lesson, but I finally got it. A few weeks later I met Drew and the rest is history.
How about you? What have been your hardest-learned lessons?