I gave up dating
No further.” The lack of belief in yourself feeds into an insidious self-perpetuating cycle.
It’s hard to stand up for yourself when you believe that you have very little of value to offer in the first place – something that is reinforced by the way that people walk over you and take advantage of you.
One of the most common signs of a predatory, abusive personality is the testing of boundaries: trying to push someone further and further out of their comfort zone, using a cycle of rewards and punishments in order to manipulate someone into being willing to knuckle under.
I’ve received many letters from women who had boyfriends who consistently tried to push the envelope of what they were comfortable with – demanding nude pictures, trying to bully them into sex they didn’t want to have (especially girls who were not ready to have sex yet) or into sexual practices they didn’t like.
I had few boundaries to speak of and even less self-esteem…
Taking a stand – saying that you will not tolerate or put up with certain attitudes or behavior – means being willing to accept the responsibility of that choice and thus shouldering the consequences.This can be intimidating, especially when you’re not the most secure person to begin with.A major reason why I put up with being treated so badly in my relationships was because I was conflict averse; I didn’t have a strong foundation to work from and dreaded any fight for fear of causing more drama which would inevitably be my fault and lead to further fights down the line.As a result, I became the sort of person who was very good at finding excuses for why things had gone wrong – it wasn’t Why would I do this?
Because I didn’t want to acknowledge my part: I was choosing to continue a relationship with someone who made me miserable.
After the honeymoon period, where I was just astounded that I was having sex, our relationship became a matter of constant fighting, jealousy, guilt trips and having to justify myself on an almost daily basis.