The first blow is half the battle. Old English Proverb
Have you ever been in a relationship where there was an undercurrent of tension and fear of disagreeing? You’ll know it if you find yourself giving in and going along with things you really don’t want to. You’ll also know it by the many times you hold back from saying what you really think or how you really feel. Basically, on some level, you know if you cause any ripple whatsoever, the relationship will be compromised. On the surface, everyone is pretending nothing is wrong and that the relationship is strong. Underneath, the relationship is rotten in the middle. It’s rotten because it’s based on pretending, avoiding the issues, and never-ever saying anything that could possibly be perceived as negative. This type of false relationship can go on for years and years seemingly great. When one party of the relationship begins to speak up, say how they feel, and dare to rock the boat a bit then one of two things can happen. Either way there will be discomfort. However, in a relationship with love and respect at it’s root, then the relationship will get stronger, mutually respectful, and more real. While feelings may be hurt initially, both parties will benefit from the process. On the other hand, if the relationship is based on serving the needs of one party at the expense of the other (or some other unhealthy version of “let’s pretend”), then there will be very negative consequences (emotional abuse, character assassination, victim-mentality, hurt all the way around, and a deterioration of the relationship that will not recoup). The unhealthy relationship will implode from the inside out. This type of relationship can be restored but only if the party who rocked the boat is willing to get back in place and follow the script (play along, shut up, and keep your place). Beware, this type of relationship is not worth trying to save and will only continue to harm you mentally, physically, and emotionally if you are the one who is subjugating your own mental health for the sake of the relationship. Rest assured, any strong, healthy relationship not only can survive testing, disagreements, and hard-to-hear honesty but will become stronger in the process. If you, by accident or intent, triggered a negative reaction in a relationship simply by asserting yourself and taking care of your own wellbeing, you are better off without the relationship in question. The sooner you realize which of your relationships are rotten on the inside, the better. Life is simply too short to waste on one sided, emotionally depleting, and self-deprecating “relationships”. Save yourself!