Stephen Chbosky once said, ‘We accept the love we think we deserve.’

I disagree with this statement. What if the love we end up accepting is not the one we deserve? What if we deserve much better?

People are always talking about relationship equality. However, what most people don’t understand is that relationships can never be equal. One person always holds the reigns and the weight is slightly heavier on that side. And trust me, it’s always one person, never two.

Most relationships are also abusive. And I’m not just talking about physical abuse. I’m talking about the abuse as one whole; physical, mental, emotional and all other kinds of abuses one suffers in an offensive relationship. I’m talking about the abuse you face in a relationship when your partner takes you for granted. I’m talking about the abuse you face when you get treated like an option. I’m talking about the relationship where you give all your time to your partner and still get treated like crap. I’m talking about the abuse where the older sibling feels like it’s his right to torture the younger one. I’m talking about the abuse where a father infringes his child.

I’m talking about the pain – emotional, physical and mental.

Here’s the question; why do we choose to remain in such relationships? When we know all too well that the relationship has no future, when we know it has to end someday, when we know it’s not going to get better but even worse. So, why?

1. We Cannot Stop Hoping

We can’t stop hoping that someday, they might notice all the pain, tears, heartbreak and sorrow they put us through. We keep on hoping that they’re not as ignorant to our dilemmas as they seem. We pray that they’ll change one day and realize how much heartache they’re causing to the person who loves them unconditionally. We hope that maybe one day, they might come back to us. We hope that maybe they’d realize how deeply we feel for them. We keep on hoping that sooner or later, they might change. We just never stop hoping.

2. We Love Them

We love them, even if they don’t love us. We keep on looking back at the times when they made us fall in love with them; the times when they made us love them irrevocably and endlessly and made our hearts skip a beat. We’re bounded by the rosy glasses we wear and hence, fail to notice the emotionless and endless pain they’re causing us.

We fail to realize that if they really loved us, they would never be this heartless. They would never leave us to cry ourselves to sleep. We fail to notice how they unloved us in just a few moments. We’re just so so busy in loving them that we forget it’s not the same person we fell in love with. It’s just the memory of them that we can’t seem to let go of.

3. We Are Afraid

Most of us choose to stay in abusive relationships because we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what would happen if we decided to speak up. We’re afraid that if we took a stand, we’d end up losing them. Scared that they might not want us anymore, we choose to remain silent. What we don’t realize is that they’ve let go of us a long long time ago. We’re afraid of imagined parallels and invisible futures. We’re actually afraid of losing them because we’ve become so used to living with them, the torture included, that we’re not sure if we could adjust to living in a free world.

4. We Still Care

It’s all too simple; we still care deeply about the person who’s hurting us. We love and care about them so much that we often become blind. We care about them so much that we lose ourselves in the relationship. So much so that we become oblivious to the pain we feel from the wounds they’ve given us. We care about their feelings all the time, while they keep on hurting us. We choose to overlook the inevitability of our abrasions to care about the possibilities of theirs.

It’s never only emotional. And it’s never just physical. Ask the physically hurt woman how damaged she is and words would never be enough to quantify her hurt. Or ask the emotionally hurt man how much pain he’s going through, and you’ll find no unit to measure it. Do not inquire from them why they don’t simply leave. No matter how simple it might seem, it’s never simple. And no matter how abused they are, they’ll never ever see their own wound-ridden bodies; never in time, at least.

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