Why is it that most people know someone in a troubled relationship that won't leave?
I, unfortunately, know too many women in this situation. They fight too much for the relationship, trudging on with a huge burden on their backs, unsatisfied, but yet believing (consciously or subconsciously) that their partner will someday change.
The answer seems obvious, but most of the time they don't change. I'm not trying to simplify this; I've been studying it for quite some time and I know, because I've been there too, that it's not easy to pack up and leave, whether it's emotionally or physically or both.
The reasons behind this phenomenon are complex, but the idea remains the same: some women just love too much. We don't know how to give up, resign, stop fighting. We believe, because we've put so much into this relationship, that someday we'll see interest on what we've invested. We subconsciously enjoy the challenge, idealize our partners, and are convinced by our minds and our man, that there is hope.
But sometimes, there isn't. Sometimes in life and relationships we have to know when to stop fighting. As the Argentine psychologist and writer Walter Riso says, if we aren't being loved how we deserve, what does it matter if our partner loves us? Why sacrifice ourselves and lower our self-value if the other person doesn't appreciate it? Why fight for someone who doesn't want to fight with us?
I, for one, have gotten tired of coaching friends. A lot of the time I direct them to two books that have helped me, along with therapy, to become a woman who is strong, independent, and values herself. They are Women Who Love too Much, by Robin Norwood, and Manual Para no Morir de Amor by Walter Riso. I can see a situation like this from afar, and it hurts me to see my friends go through these situations, desperately hoping their partner will change, and trying to help them do so.
It's not easy to change one's way of being, especially because most women aren't totally conscious of this type of behavior that leads to many a co-dependent relationship. There are many socio-cultural, psychological, and biological factors that come into play here, and others that keep us in these vicious cycles. In the end, it's this kind of woman who suffers; if this sounds familiar, do yourself a favor: Ask yourself if you are really being loved the way you want and deserve. Obviously, no relationship is perfect and all take work. But sometimes, we need to learn how to recognize when to stop fighting.
Looking for another therapeutic activity? Make these chewy-gooey cookies! They are simple-as-can-be, with no need to refrigerate the dough or let the butter reach room temperature on its own (it's melted!).
2 cups All-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325F with rack in the middle. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment or silicone baking mats.
In a mixing bowl, stir the flour, baking soda and salt together to combine well; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together* the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in vanilla, egg and egg yolk until smooth and creamy. Mix in the dry ingredients until just blended. Stir the chocolate chips in.
Use a cookie scoop to plop mounds on the baking sheet, I put 6 on each half sheet pan. Make sure to leave enough space between the cookies, they might spread a little!
Bake for 11-14 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown and edges start to harden yet centers are still soft. Do not over-bake. Once you take them out of the oven, leave on the baking sheet a few minutes longer to harden them up a little; they keep cooking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Note: Usually I use my handy-dandy KitchenAid stand mixer to make cookies and the like. However, due to the fact it's been held up in customs for 3 WEEKS (ugh), I've been making things by hand! I've found that making these cookies by hand has helped them not to spread as much, and the melted butter surprisingly had the same effect. They are thick and chewy, just how I like 'em!