The biggest mistake a lot of women make is they stick around way too long in their relationships. Many people absolutely dread the idea of breaking up and moving on, instead they prefer to hang on like the proverbial dog with a bone.

Often we get stuck thinking, no one else will want us, or we convince ourselves that we won’t feel the same way about someone else, or perhaps we are financially dependent, but the price we pay for being involved with someone who continually mistreats us, is our self-esteem.

If someone is being disrespectful or they’re blowing hot and cold with you – that means that they are not committed to the relationship – flat out. They are showing you with their actions that they are not willing to put in the effort to keep you. They may like the idea that you are hanging around and are there for them whenever they want, but they are not interested in, or capable of giving you the relationship that you want. If you leave they may put in a little more effort to get you back, but eventually things will go back to the status quo.

I often think of the song by Percy Sledge, “When a man loves a woman can’t keep his mind on nothing else, Spends his very last dime tryin’ to hold on to what he needs. He’d give up all his comfort, sleep out in the rain, If she said that’s the way it ought to be.” That’s a little extreme, but we all know women who have men in their lives that absolutely adore them and will go to great lengths to keep them happy. So why are we so willing to sell ourselves short?

All too often we get thinking that being with someone, regardless of how miserable we feel, is better than being alone.

When our emotions are involved our judgment often gets cloudy. When someone is mistreating you or showing you a lack of respect you know it, but we usually end up making excuses. But here’s the reality, if you are being disrespected it’s an indication of their lack of interest. Many women excuse the behavior telling themselves, “Well he’s got problems, he wouldn’t behave like that if his ex-wife or his boss wasn’t so difficult,” or whatever other lame excuse comes to mind.

Its mind boggling to think of the lengths people will go in the name of love. It sounds like such a romantic notion, but time and time again that love is one sided or incredibly dysfunctional. Many women believe that the more you suffer for your guy the more it shows them just how much you love them, but what is actually being registered in their minds is, “Can’t she see that I don’t care, she mustn’t think much of herself if she’s putting up with all my shit,” and you enter into ‘being taken for granted country.’ In our minds we are thinking, “no one else loves you as much as I do, or no one else is going to put up with this, so you should appreciate me,” and we get angry and upset when we get mistreated again. All the while they keep thinking,” My behavior must be ok with her, because she’s still here.”

“Putting up with being mistreated doesn’t prove how much you love someone, what it proves is how little you love yourself.”

Let’s put this into perspective, if you had a guy in your life, who allowed you to walk all over him again and again, what would you be thinking and feeling? Would you suddenly get an epiphany that this is the one for you? Or would you think this guy is a doormat and has some major self-esteem issues? The truth is you wouldn’t have any respect for someone who continued to lay down so you could keep kicking them, so don’t expect the men in your life to think any differently when you show them that you don’t respect yourself.

A Broken Down is A Broken Down

One day my girlfriends and I were sitting on the outside patio of a restaurant people watching. A cute guy walked by and one of my friends commented on it. My other friend said, “Oh that’s James. You don’t want him, he’s a broken down.” After our laughter subsided, we asked her to explain and she continued to tell us that he’s the type of guy that can’t keep a job, or a relationship, he lives in his mother’s basement and he has a drinking problem.

You can usually tell a broken down when you see them, but sometimes it’s a little more difficult. Broken downs are those attractive, charming users and manipulators, with some serious emotional baggage. They usually have trouble keeping employment, or money in the bank. They are often dependent on others for their keep- their mothers or other women. They may have many different children with many different women – none of which they are supporting financially. They are angry most of the time. They are incredibly irresponsible. They may have substance abuse problems and they suffer from Peter Pan syndrome.

Broken downs are not capable of having healthy relationships, because well…they’re broken. If you are supporting a guy, paying all the bills and doing all the work, while he sits and loafs around day after day, you need to rethink your situation and start asking yourself – what am I getting out of this really? No one’s penis is that magical that you can’t live without it, so if sex is your only answer, you’ve got some serious decisions to make.

If you are wondering whether or not to stay in your relationship answer the following questions:

Am I miserable more than I am happy?
Am I being consistently disrespected?
Am I putting in all or most of the effort?
Am I constantly expecting to be let down?
Are my needs and wants usually ignored or not even considered?
Is everything always all about him?
Does he often act like he just doesn’t care?
When I need something can I always count on being disappointed?

If you’ve answered predominantly yes – run don’t walk. You need to start asking yourself why you are settling for so little and hurting yourself in the process. Being alone and celibate is a much better trade off than having someone blow hot and cold and be down-right disrespectful to you. When you allow someone to mistreat you, you are subconsciously reaffirming your belief that you aren’t good enough and you aren’t worthy of being loved and treated with respect. In order to get healthy you need to change the script that you keep telling yourself and break those self-destructive behaviours. And you do that by stepping away from something or someone that is not serving you, so that you can look at it objectively.

Once you do, you will see that ‘just having someone there’ isn’t worth the emotional rollercoaster and turmoil you’ve been putting up with. There is an incredible amount of freedom, peace and serenity that comes with being free from the drama, being completely emotionally and financially independent of people that just aren’t worth your time.

“I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all,” – Lady Antebellum

What? I cringe every time I hear that song. What a horrific message to send out there. I’d rather feel good all time – either with someone or all by myself – thank you very much. When you start putting your happiness and your needs first you’ll make better relationship decisions and the broken downs in your life will no longer hold any interest for you.

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Written by Savannah Grey
Savannah Grey is a Freelance Writer, a Hypnotherapist, Consultant, Sports Fanatic, and Philosopher and has a degree in Psychology. She is the founder of www.esteemology.com, a website dedicated to educating and healing survivors of abusive relationships.