We neglect our boundaries and we get hurt when we stop requiring our lovers to treat us with the kindness and respect we require even from strangers.
(Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash)
Dr T J Jordan
When we feel hurt by something our lovers say or do, we often have tolerated breaches of decent, respectful behavior because we love them. But love ought not serve as an occasion to ignore the requirements of kindness and caring.
We accept from our lovers behavior that we would not tolerate from friends, relatives, colleagues, or strangers. And extreme tolerance sometimes turns us into victims of emotional abuse and neglect.
There is such a thing as tolerating too much. There is a point at which acceptance becomes toxic.
Not everything our lovers say or do is excusable or acceptable. This refers to both what they have done and what they have neglected to do.
The Crucial Question
In our attempts to provide love that is as unconditional as possible, we can lose sight of ourselves to a hurtful extent. We have difficulty seeing where the point of unacceptable behavior begins.
When we make a habit of constantly monitoring our brains for negative responses, we eventually burn out. We are not built to be so vigilant without risking relationship fatigue.
We can help ourselves see what we would do better not to accept by asking ourselves the simple question:
If this were not my lover but someone else instead, how would I react to the behavior?
The chances are that when we need to ask this question, we have already found the behavior objectionable. It offends us and even hurts us.
The general rule is:
If we would not accept this behavior from someone else, it’s certainly out of line for a lover!
In spite of the fact that we experience pain, anxiety, and other uncomfortable reactions, we often stuff down our responses instead of paying attention to them. We have somehow been taught to sacrifice ourselves on the alter of relationships. We fear loss of love and loss of intimate sex.