Let me start off by telling you that all fights in a relationship boil down to two very universal things: Trust & Respect; or rather, the lack thereof. It is never just about an unreplied text or a third person or even a misunderstanding. If we were to examine the origin of an argument, you will surely find that, at the root of it all is someone who doesn’t extend those rights to their partner, which in reality should be a-given in a relationship.
Now, at most times the fights are small and immature and hence, can be ignored or forgiven or adjusted to. However, there are certain red flags which must be taken notice of and acted on right away.
Allow me to tell you how a relationship without trust and respect pans out. There are certain people, toxic people, who thrive on the pain and sufferings of others; who like to inflict their very own brand of torment and torture; who enjoy the agony of their partners. Yes! These are whom we call narcissists and sadists. They are essentially bullies who can be defeated only when stood up to. So as I was saying, being in a relationship where your partner doesn’t trust and respect you can be extremely tormenting. It starts out by small, seemingly innocent requests like “Call me when you reach home” or “Can I have your account password. You can have mine as well!”. Then it gradually turns more into demands than requests like “I don’t like your friend, could you not entertain him so much” or “Hang out with me more often please” or “Don’t wear short clothes!”. At the end it becomes straight-out accusations like “You don’t consider me as a priority at all. I know where I stand in your life” and “I know who you talk to at nights when you tell me that you’ve slept off”. At the beginning they seem doable and you give in because you think “Hey! Why not? He is just a bit protective!” or “He just wants to spend more time with me”. However, before you even realize it you are cutting people out of your life, ignoring most since meeting your partner should be your priority and texting him about your location and surrounding every minute of the day. I mean, it’s more scrutiny than what you would go through had you been a convicted drug dealer at an airport. It isn’t anymore just “Could you”s or “Please don’t”s. It becomes “You can never talk to him” and “Send me a photo of where you are” or even confronting your friends and acquaintances about their relationship with you. They continually demand proofs and get angry when you don’t give into their ridiculous demands. They get angry and they turn the tables on you anytime things aren’t the way they want them to be. You suddenly face a lot of accusations and suspicions on your behavior. These accusations blow out into immature arguments which seem like they can be forgiven. At first they disguise it as care and protectiveness for you since they love you show much. Then it turns into something more ugly: the concept of ownership; that they have certain rights over you since and I quote “You are mine!”. Yes, this is how it starts out and progresses.
Their entire lives revolve around you and they expect the same in return. They isolate you, one person at a time. Their need is your need for them. Heard of the Stockholm syndrome? That could be used to describe how a person feels when they are confronted by accusations and their character doubted by the one person who should stand by them against the world. Rather than leaving, you set out trying to prove yourself and your faithfulness to someone who is never going to believe you, not because there is some lacking on your part, but because that’s simply who they are as a person (untrusting and suspicious). You start questioning your own worth and start believing that they are the best that you could ever get, that in fact, you are really lucky to have them in your life. You form a sense of dependency on them. You become a captive for their approval and happiness. You lower your self-respect to keep your partner happy. You start thinking “Anything to avoid these fights!” and that it’s just a text or just one person. But let me tell you something, it never stops at cutting out one person or leaving a few texts. The demands go on increasing till they ask everything of you; till they leave you a mere shadow of who you used to be.
“The hostages experience a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They are in denial that this is the person who put them in that situation. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live.”
… and here’s the worst of it all: Everyone and anyone can fall a victim to this kind of relationship. It doesn’t matter how strong or level-headed you might be. In fact, I have a theory that strong and practical people fall for this more often than others since they have a natural instinct to provide, save and nurture. See, these kinds of relationships mostly always start out by your partner needing some kind of saving. They play it out by showing that they have been burnt by the world and hence they can’t trust and they make you feel like if you try hard enough, you could save them. Then, once you are in the middle of it all, there seems no likely escape. You stay and keep drowning and every time you try to leave, they claim that they cannot live without you and you get pulled right back by one anchor “Love”. However, boys and girls, please beware that it isn’t love. Love doesn’t accuse and doubt, love doesn’t lie and get angry and love doesn’t play games. No! Love Trusts and most important of all Love Respects. I say “respect”, because to me trust has always inseparably been bound by respect. The two are mutually dependent. There can never be respect where there is no trust. There can never be honour among thieves (of trust). Then, you hit rock bottom where you accept your fate with this person. You start starving for the tiny bits of affection and hope they throw your way. It’s always on-cloud-no.9-happy one day and i-don’t-want-to-be-with-you sad the next.
Then, one day they do something because of which you are jerked back into consciousness and you realize that this time you cannot forgive them; that you’ve had enough and now you need to leave. And though, what they did hurt you beyond comprehension, it is the best thing that could have happened to you, since it made you see the reality of the situation. It takes everything in you to break away and if you are lucky you find people along the way who help you see your self-worth and you will forever be grateful to them.
In retrospect, it does teach you a lot of things about yourself as well. It teaches you to be a little more stingy with your forgiveness and shows you how to recognize the big bad wolf in disguise. Like the fairy-tale, hopefully, even after being swallowed by the wolf you could come out alive at the end.
Yes! Like I said in the beginning, it all comes down to trust and respect and if there isn’t any, let me give you a word of advice: Run like the sky is falling!