This question comes up a lot in the messages I receive from people. They’ve come out of a breakup and typically, their ex was the one who maybe cheated or was engaging in behaviour that was disrespectful in some way. The person messaging me is the one who seemed to make all the compromises, sacrifices and bended their boundaries big time to try and make the relationship work.
The breakup happens and the person who acted in ways that hurt the other has now descended into victim mentality, wants to give up, even if the other person was willing to forgive and fight for the relationship.
“What gives? Why won’t that person fight for me when I was willing to let go and forgive to save this relationship?!”
Although logically and intellectually we know that this kind of emotional dynamic isn’t one that will end well, on an emotional level it still hurts to know our ex doesn’t want to fight for us. It seems unfair and like we’ve completely lost control. We want to be the one who walks away with our crown in place and head held high but it feels like the only way we can feel valued is if our ex says ‘I want to fight for you, I’ll do anything it takes.’
When what they say is the opposite, or if they seem defeated, want to walk away and decline our offer of forgiveness, it hurts.
What you always need to come back to is if the trust has gone on some level, no amount of ‘fighting’ will be able to erase that. Whilst relationships take work, communication and compromise, the need to ‘fight’ for a relationship is a huge red flag in itself. I think the idea of it has been glamorised in films, romantic novels and TV but in reality, there are too many people in the world out there who you can find a much more harmonious relationship with. It won’t be like a fight. It might not feel it now because you had so much pinned on that person and that relationship but that doesn’t mean you should need to fight to make it work, if it’s already broken.
After a breakup, we also don’t have a clear perspective of the difference between what we want and what is good for us. They are two different things. When we’re so emotionally attached to someone, we think we might want to forgive and forget because we’re reacting from a place of heightened emotion. We’ll do anything to keep that person even if it means going way against our values and boundaries. The only way to see what is good for us on a soul level, is to create that emotional distance.
The remains of a relationship can’t be rebuilt on quicksand. If you’re not both in it with all your heart after both taking time to reflect and get perspective in a healthy way, your only choice is to walk.
If the person who has cheated or done wrong in some way has lost the will to continue the relationship - whether they’re in denial or even if they do regret their behaviour, this is your green light to exit once and for all. That’s all you need to know.
Although it’s devastating when this happens and of course, our confidence can plummet because it feels so personal, you have to keep looking at the long-term, bigger picture.
Whilst you are in those raw times of hurt, sadness and feeling like you deserve more, have things like journaling, EFT (tapping), a support network and doing things that make you feel grounded and nurtured in place. But always be thinking of the future you who will be thriving when this period ends. Know that although it feels sh** now, you walked away from something with grace and dignity; knowing what is best for your highest self, even if you had to suffer the hurt in the short-term.
Not fighting for someone or a relationship isn’t about fairness and it’s not about thinking we deserve it if we’ve put all the effort in. It’s awful when we’re cheated on and it’s natural to take it personally but when we look at it like a transaction e.g. I was the one cheated on, I’m willing to forgive so therefore I deserve to be fought for, it becomes more about our ego and needing that person to validate us rather than stepping out into the unknown and learning how to validate ourselves.
That is what you truly deserve - to set yourself free to live your life in alignment with your values and when you feel ready, find someone who you won’t have to fight for, who won’t engage in behaviour that compromises your boundaries. To be with someone that, you know, it feels a lot easier with and who you feel loved by and valued by 100% of the time!
Walking away from something and someone that isn’t right will give you so much more self-worth than trying to be fought for by someone whose heart just isn’t in it. Or in a relationship dynamic that is broken and one-sided.
When your ex doesn’t give you what you feel you need, it’s the best lesson you can enrol in when it comes to confidence and self-love. Because you can learn how to give that to yourself. And that makes you truly unstoppable.