In relationships, there’s that person who will take on the martyr role. Apologizing for their partner’s mistakes, being the one who’s more understanding because they’re afraid if they tell their partner the truth their partner will ditch them or get majorly offended. But now, from my own experience I’ve learned, sometimes it’s ok to hurt people. Not in a malicious way, but to offend because one knows it’s only by hurting the other person that they’ll be able to move on. Sometimes it’s necessary.
There’s a time I’d approach relationships with the ‘I’d rather be the one who gets hurt than the one who hurts’ mentality, but what did that teach me? That sometimes there comes a person who doesn’t have your best interests at heart and they’ll kick you down so hard that it will take all of your strength to pick yourself up.
There’s this guy I was seeing. Every now and then he would mention how he felt inadequate because he wasn’t making much money. He always gave me the impression he thought I was high maintenance. Funny thing is I never even asked for anything from him. My extended family has always made money seem like a very big issue and that made my sisters and I grow feeling disadvantaged. From that I learned to never put anyone in that awful situation. He was no exception. I fathomed it was his own insecurities that made him feel inadequate.
He would often ask what someone like me saw in someone like him and I’d have to repeat the ‘it’s the heart that matters’ conversation, telling him what I found attractive about him…and that would quell his doubts…until the next time. It was getting old. At some point I started reflecting on where I expected that relationship to head. To my dismay, I realized I didn’t really love him. I was always happy telling my girlfriends about him, but I wasn’t in love with him. I was only in love with the idea of being in love.
I wanted to break up with him on so many occasions, but I’d pity him, afraid I would break his heart; I was afraid he would think I was breaking up with him because he wasn’t loaded. Whenever he did something wrong and I pointed it out he would deflect it, blaming it on me. He would play the needy, spoiled brat, taking me on unnecessary guilt trips. It was exhausting. But whenever I thought of breaking it off, the nagging thought would surface, hindering me from freeing myself from the strenuous relationship.
I was certain I didn’t want to be in that relationship, but the fear of hurting him would keep me going. Six months down the line, a part of me wanted it to work because I was getting attached to him. You know, the ‘can’t-live-without-him when apart and can’t-live-with him when together’ phase.
There were things about him I genuinely liked that gave me hope that maybe it could work, even though I knew at the time I wasn’t particularly in love with him. I didn’t envision a future with him but somehow the fear of hurting him made me stay.
One day, he just went MIA. Couldn’t reach him on phone and since it was a long distance relationship there wasn’t much I could do to track him down at the time. I knew I didn’t love him but it hurt an awful lot. I had thought it would be easier if he was the one who broke up with me first so that way I wouldn’t be the one dishing the pain, but I realized I was wrong. He didn’t even have the guts to break up with me appropriately. He just switched his phone off and assumed I would get the drift.
That made me question my resolve; did I really want to be the one left hurting because I was afraid of hurting someone else? Had I left when I contemplated it, I would have saved myself so much anguish. Chances are I would have hurt him, but since my instincts had forewarned me it wasn’t going to work, I figured I should just have left. I was afraid I would hurt him, but when he decided to leave he just did it like a coward; creeping out, paying little attention to how I’d feel.
I learned, sometimes we may have other people’s interests at heart, but it turns out not everyone is kind. For that reason, if one is in a relationship or a situation where they feel they’ll hurt someone if they followed their hearts; it may sound selfish but sometimes it’s better to hurt that person and get out of the mess when it’s still early because if prolonged, the situation could mutate into something so painful that will leave one grappling with sanity; because sometimes the sacrifice isn’t worth it.