This post is the second in a two-part series. To see the first one, click here.
Lies We Mistake for Love – continued…
6. You believe you have to earn love
Love should not depend on what you can do for another person. However, if you’ve been in a relationship with an emotional predator, you already know they believe the opposite.
If your relationships have consisted of your doing everything you could for your partner at the expense of your own happiness, it’s highly likely that you are codependent. This isn’t a condition we are born with. We usually learn codependent behaviors as children and carry them with us into our adult lives where they manifest in the form of one-sided, draining relationships. Codependents are natural magnets for Narcissists and other emotional predators.
True love consists of two people who are respectful and considerate of one another. Anything that’s shared between two people in the form of money, gifts, time spent, and affection should be the result of mutual feelings of fondness and adoration. If your partner makes you earn these things, it’s not love. Not only will it result in lower self-esteem on your part, it can lead to physical diseases. Learn to take care of your own needs first. If your partner doesn’t support you in that, it’s time to let them go.
7. You believe loving people involves “fixing” them and/or bailing them out
This is a common misbelief for empaths and codependents. In reality, feeling the need to fix people only perpetuates attracting more “broken” people into your life. There’s a fine line between being supportive of someone who genuinely needs help, and being someone who gets taken advantage of. Some people don’t really want to be helped, but they’re sure not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Narcissists are constantly on the prowl for empaths and codependents for this very reason. If you’re an empath, it’s important to learn grounding techniques in order to retain your energy for more beneficial things. If you suspect you might be codependent, it’s time to realize that most of your “help” is actually enabling the Narcissist to continue their destructive behaviors and moreover, they have no intention of changing.
8. You believe relationships are supposed to be hard work and involve emotional pain
As a certified Law of Attraction practitioner, I can tell you that this belief will undoubtedly bring you difficult and painful relationships.
There is no relationship that is 100% challenge-free. However, having the core belief that relationships are supposed to be painful is not only unhealthy, it’s untrue. If you’ve held this belief during your adulthood, it’s time to get out of your unfulfilling relationships (romantic or otherwise) and practice self-love, meditation, and positivity. It won’t guarantee you a perfect life, but it will raise your self-esteem so you will have a healthy outlook on love and life in general.
9. You believe love involves being an investigator
Nothing kills relationships more than always being on high alert with your partner, especially if they’ve not given you a reason to suspect them. This may be hard to do if you’ve had a past relationship with a Narcissist or other disordered personality type, but unless you can find ways to reign in your fears (which might be unfounded) you’ll find yourself alone again.
This is why it’s important to not jump into a new relationship right after ending one with a Narcissist. The whole experience of having been abused by one leaves us naturally suspicious of every little thing a new partner might do or say. The reasons for this are mainly because Narcissists are pathological liars, and also because our self-esteem is in the gutter from emotional abuse.
If, on the other hand, you do find a new partner is talking to someone else on the side, politely end it. If the relationship starts off that way, what does that say for the future?
10. You believe in unconditional love and unending forgiveness
Many people mistake unconditional love for accepting abuse and disrespect from their partner. This also comes into play inside of religion where we are told that we should forgive others, for example, as Jesus forgave us…and to turn the other cheek.
Unconditional love does not mean you should accept abuse, infidelity, or disrespect. Unconditional love and forgiveness assumes that the other person realizes an error and does what it takes to ensure it won’t happen again. Allowing a Narcissist to continue their destructive behaviors with no consequences is being an enabler, which will guarantee nothing but more pain and misery for you. They will never, under any circumstances, feel sorry for their actions or choose to change. The best thing to do is turn that love and forgiveness onto yourself and leave your abuser at the earliest opportunity.
As far as religion is concerned, God doesn’t want us to enable our partner or spouse to continue having adulterous affairs and endure their being evil in general. In fact, it rather makes us co-conspirators. If your partner is a serial cheater and/or is abusive with no signs of stopping, it’s time to leave.
photo by Mari Mitchell-Porter
How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs about Love
The first thing to understand is that our thoughts are just…thoughts. And thoughts can be changed. Instead of believing that love involves sacrificing your own happiness, change that belief into knowing that love involves elements of stability, contentment, and mutual respect.
The next thing is to work on loving yourself first. We can’t expect others to love us if we don’t love ourselves. In fact, not loving ourselves often drives others away.
If you’re a woman who has had difficulties setting boundaries, which led to accepting abusive behavior, a great book to read is Setting Boundaries® for Women by Allison Bottke. If you need help with self-love, anything by Louise Hay and Cheryl Richardson is wonderful…however, some books I’d recommend if you are looking more for instructional books in creating an exceptional life:
Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears
The Power of Intention
The Gift of Fear
“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”
― C. JoyBell C.