People like to focus on their partner’s shortcomings:
He was abusive!
She was a narcissist!
He was controlling!
She was a drug addict!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ok. But what about you?
What kind of person forms deep, emotional entanglements with wounded or emotionally unstable people?
You guessed it! People who need to take responsibility for their own dysfunctional behaviors if they ever wanna have a healthy relationship.
How Dare You?!
The problem here is that people get so offended by the insinuation that their shit don’t smell like grandma’s fresh-baked apple pie. Like their childhood was a nourishing wonderland of joy, love, and understanding that produced the flawless human being you see before you today.
Many people often feel a deep loyalty to their parents, whether consciously or unconsciously, regardless of literally anything their parents did or did not do.
“My mom was an emotionally unavailable, verbally abusive, prescription pill addict… but don’t you dare say anything bad about my momma! She did a fine job raising five children all on her own.”
That’s a very heartwarming story, but at some point we need to acknowledge the dysfunctional family of elephants in the room.
I get it – we live in a superficial and judgmental culture where everyone wants to appear like they’ve got it all figured out. But we can’t get our shit together until we stop pretending like our shit has already been gotten together.
Have some humility for fuck’s sake.
The Hard Truth
If you continue to find yourself in relationships with people who are unwell, it is undoubtedly because you yourself are unwell in some way.
It may be that your partners are outwardly sick, and you are inwardly sick, or vice versa. Perhaps they are alcoholic and you are codependent. Maybe you are anxious and they are avoidant.
Everyone carries their pain differently, but everyone carries their pain.
Let us learn to acknowledge our wounds, fears, and unmet needs. We must grow in self-awareness and personal responsibility so we can openly discuss healing and create a safe space for others to join the conversation. Let us stop pretending that everything is “fine” all the time.
Then, maybe people will stop killing themselves or turning to drugs when they start to suspect that life is way harder for them than it is for everyone else.
Life is fucking hard, and everything is not fine.
But I believe self-discovery through overcoming adversity is simply what it means to be human. Is that not the hero’s journey, ubiquitous throughout millennia of humanity’s greatest literary works?
If we want to date well, or relationship well, we have to be well.
Simple as that.
The journey of becoming well is different for everyone, and that’s ok. But the idea that a healthy relationship is simply a matter of “finding a good one” is completely asinine. Let that shit go and start investing in your own mental health and emotional maturity.