Ladies, don't mute yourself. You probably know what I'm talking about already, but in case it needs clarification, I'm talking about bending to his every whim, accepting any criticism he throws your way and changing yourself to better fit his idea of desirable. If I sound like a raging feminist feel free to stop reading, but this isn't about gender issues. I've seen men who've put themselves on mute too, but it's usually the women who I see bending over backwards to accommodate a cruel, unreasonable lover.
I call it 'putting yourself on mute' because whilst you're present in the relationship, you're not an equal member of it; seen but not heard. You know you're on mute when the meanest comment lobbed your way only prompts a resigned 'okay' and a brief cry on your own at home, before you return to this man, convinced everything is fine, only to have him toss a similar remark at you a few days later. Relationships should be supportive, not hyper critical and mean spirited. A certain amount of criticism is necessary, yes. A boyfriend of years gone by once rightly told me to stop being self centred and over reactive and he was right; his calling me on my bullshit allowed the relationship to last another year! But if the grievances are only ever one sided, then there's something wrong.
The rallying cry so often tossed around by single ladies, 'You can't change me! Love me for what I am!' as in your face as it can be, has some hard truth to it. We're all flawed, so accepting some criticism is fine, but putting yourself on mute is never a good idea, because it gives the other person carte blanche to do and say as they please. You'd think that a girl treated like dirt would just walk away, but we women are nothing if not adept at rationalizing things, so it's all too easy to convince ourselves that the problem lies with us, not him, no matter how horrid his behaviour has been. Most men aren't so vile as to take advantage of a submissive woman, but some will put you through a personal hell of constantly trying to live up to their standards and never succeeding. A friend who recently ditched one such man inspired me to write this blog, but it took her three years' worth of emotional abuse before she realized that 'F**k it, any relationship in which I have to be someone other than me, isn't a relationship at all.'
If you really think that a relationship is worth preserving, call them on their bullshit. They'll either compromise and the relationship will fix itself, or they'll stay adamant and keep trying to shoehorn you into their idea of perfection, at which point you walk away for good. Whatever you do, don't stay mute. Say how you feel or risk wasting your time on someone who doesn't deserve it.
Comments will be approved before showing up.