How people in unbalanced relationships waste their lives

It happens to everyone: we have had good times with our partner, we have shared many things, but not always everything goes as it should and we are at the point where the relationship feels bad. When a relationship is unbalanced (in terms of love, devotion, attention, commitment, respect), we have to decide whether to remain faithful to an unbalanced (i.e. unrequited) love or to ourselves. This is the choice we are called to make, this is our responsibility.

Each of us has different characteristics in the way we relate to others.
Tracing the factors that may have determined these differences remains an extremely complex operation. These characteristics, which each person has inherited, are always the result of how we were brought up by our parents or the people who first took care of us. All this happens at a time when the mental structures have not yet taken a definite form and every aspect of the personality is in the process of being constructed.

Loving as we have been loved
From the very first moments of life, the child can acquire negative experiences that are not always easy to digest. For the sake of argument, let us add a dimension to the unconscious and imagine it as a digestive system. Every day of life the unconscious is fed with good and bad experiences, which it more or less manages to digest and shape. A well-fed unconscious will be healthy and fit, free from all consequences.

To make the concept clearer, if we accidentally swallow a piece of glass, it will not be able to break down into any active ingredients, it will stay there and will not be able to dissolve in any way. As the years go by, that piece of glass will remain intact in our unconscious, maintaining its original form, i.e. as a foreign body. Well, this foreign object is our trauma. Raw and unprocessed. In the best case this foreign body becomes a cause of disharmony, in the worst case it causes more tangible consequences that take the form of an inner wound that will always remain open in some way.

What is the ‘inner motive’ that leads us to sacrifice our own needs and put our partner’s needs first?
It is as if the trait of doing more than others responds to an unconscious personal need. An example might be the need to always be in a position of ‘credit’ and never in a position of ‘debt’.

It is difficult for many people to feel that they owe the other person something. On the contrary, it is much more comfortable to be on the side of the giver rather than the receiver. To reflect on the deep motivations that inspire this kind of relationship with the other means to go back to one’s own personal history; to reflect on the emotions, needs, fears that are involved in this kind of relationship.

This is difficult to explain in words because it is unique and different for each person, just as the life experiences that have built up a certain attitude to the world are unique and different.

What happens when you grow up?
You become insecure, inadequate, unworthy of love. It is a permanent state, even if it is dysfunctional, almost as if it were a kind of second skin sewn on us, which leads us to adopt the most disparate behaviours in order to satisfy our partner’s every need and thus avoid the risk of abandonment and further suffering. One is devoted to the other, sacrificing oneself for him/her and taking care of his/her well-being in every way, in order to compensate for the emotional and affective deficiencies, despite the absence, devaluation and lack of recognition of the other.

How to waste life in an unbalanced relationship
Loving a person requires reciprocity, care and compromise. Of course, it is inevitable to be dependent on the person we love, especially when they are part of our lives in such an physical contact and special way. It is legitimate to care about everything they do, say and think.

However, it is necessary to be in harmony with our emotions if we value our emotional health. Giving everything to others to the point of being empty turns us into a kind of small satellite that revolves around a planet without ever changing its orbit. In essence, we enter the orbit of emotional dependency.

When we become aware of this, we can change course and embark on a new path …. the one that leads to self-awareness, the will to stand out and feel valued and worthy of respect and attention. If you find yourself in an unbalanced relationship, let me explain how you are wasting something precious: your life.

You put your partner’s wishes before your own
It is very common to get into an unhealthy relationship without realising it, a relationship in which you put the other person’s wishes and whims before your own. The problem is that you do this out of free will and love, because you think it is the right thing to do. In reality, you are just begging for love from a person who is not like you.

Know that the day will come when you will feel truly frustrated because you will realise that you have never been appreciated, that you have never been recognised. You will open your eyes and see the reality that you have been trying to hide at all costs: that you have been a puppet in the hands of someone who wanted to take advantage of your weaknesses.

You think that you can only be happy if you have someone by your side.
Your partner is not the key to your happiness. You cannot put his needs and interests before your family, your work, your interests… …. Is this true? Absolutely not. You risk becoming emotionally dependent and forgetting yourself… and for what? To focus on the other person. The day will come when all this will do more to destroy you emotionally than to make you happy.

You will find it hard to say no
To say no is to deny. And denial is something unthinkable when you are in love. How can you deny the person you love? How can you choose something different from what your partner says? One is afraid of upsetting, disturbing or annoying the loved one, and therefore many people put aside the necessary assertiveness, i.e. defending and expressing what one feels, believes or needs.

If your partner does not love you, you feel like a nobody.
It may sound exaggerated, but people in unbalanced relationships experience love in excess. If they do not receive daily tokens of affection, if they do not feel loved or, even more, if they do not have a partner, they consider themselves the unhappiest people in the world. People who cannot imagine living without a partner or companion. These people need to be loved in order to feel good about themselves. If they do not feel validated by a person at their side, they suffer great unhappiness.

You start to control everything
Emotional dependence is an obsession, and obsessions require control, fuel distrust and jealousy. Have you ever wanted to control the other person? So you virtually ‘chase’ them with phone calls, messages, emails, chats and so on, because you just can’t help yourself. You are manifesting an unjustified obsession with control, an attitude that is not good for a relationship.

Don’t get used to the crumbs!
Don’t get used to unrequited love with the idea that it can’t be more, because you can have so much more. But that is mostly up to you, your choices, your actions and how much you think you deserve. If you are still reading this article, maybe you really want to renegotiate your life choices.

How do you avoid falling into unbalanced relationships?
I like to think that each of us has two enormous doses of love to give. The first dose is for ourselves, it is ours by right. The second dose can be given to others.

I am not going to ask you to stop loving those who do not love you, that would be foolish. But I can invite you to give yourself the love you have denied yourself. I can invite you to invest more energy in yourself, in the wonderful person that you are. I could tell you to take up a new hobby or rediscover forgotten passions, I could tell you to call an old friend, spend time in nature…

These are all constructive activities, but only you know what you enjoy and what makes you feel good: choose to do something for yourself every day, whether it’s a small gesture or an activity that takes hours, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you begin to give yourself the attention that you were once denied, the recognition that you have deserved all your life; what matters is that you begin to give yourself that first dose of love. You deserve it.