If you are tangled up in a confusing relationship, one effective strategy to gain a solid footing (and eventually a voice) is to write things down. It doesn’t matter if you are a good writer or not. Your purpose isn’t to win a Pulitzer prize. Here are three important things you can record on paper (or on your computer) that will be tremendously helpful to you over time.
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Can you have a healthy relationship where there is lying, covering up, pretending, overlooking, and ignoring? Does that foster intimacy? Of course not. Healthy relationships are grown in the soil of vulnerability and safety. When two people are open and honest, they can get close and experience authentic acceptance and love. Anything less is dysfunctional in some way.
Someone who is truly sorry will not make excuses, blame you or something else, rationalize their behavior, or justify what they did. If a person is doing any of those things, they are not sorry. Period.
Reconciliation is not a requirement. It’s the desired outcome, but it can only truly take place when four things have happened.
We want to believe we live in an advanced civilization—one that has risen above the base prejudice of our unenlightened ancestors. Human beings have a bent to marginalize other people. We want to be the best Sneetches on the beaches, after all.
There is one key component of every single emotionally destructive relationship. If this one thing is present in your relationship, you are being emotionally abused. Period.