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What if Your Partner Says, “I Don’t Love You”….?

What if Your Partner Says, “I Don’t Love You”….?

I Don't Love You

He stood in front of me. He had brown eyes and an athletic body. It was six months since we had started our relationship. Now, he must say it. I waited for his words. I love you. I waited for these magical words. And then, he said, I like you, but I don’t love you. His words hurt me, deep in my heart. Part of me wanted to run away. My mind went crazy. It can’t be true, can it? How can he stay with me if he doesn’t love me? How can he have sex with me if he doesn’t love me? Another voice said, I just have to try harder. One day, he will love me.

Did you experience the same?

When he said that he liked me but wouldn’t love me, I was hurt, but it was the pain I knew. I stayed for the following nine years and found excuses. Poor guy, his ex-girlfriend has just left him. He doesn’t mean it this way. I secretly hoped that he would love me one day. He never did. I can’t remember how often he told me that he didn’t love me. Now, I know that I needed this experience to become aware of unconscious patterns that ruled my relationship. He was my first boyfriend. We had met shortly before my mother’s death. I was not yet an adult – and a product of a broken home.

How come that I stayed with him?

  • Repetition of the relationship with my father.
    The relationship with my father had always been conflictive. While one part of me rejected him, the other part yearned for my father’s love and appreciation. I tried hard to make him love me. And I did the same with my boyfriend. When I finally acknowledged that my father wasn’t able to give me the love I hoped for, I also left my boyfriend.
  • Negative beliefs I learned as a child.
    I considered myself of being unworthy of love. In a way, my boyfriend gave me the pain I expected. Who would ever love an abused child? I thought I didn’t deserve love. At this age, I was convinced that no man would ever love me. They were rooted in my identity. I never questioned their truth, and I had no idea that I had the power to change them.
  • Lack of knowledge about good relationships.
    I grew up in a manipulative and violent environment. Nobody had ever taught me how a good relationship looked like, and I didn’t know how to make a good choice. I was content that he wasn’t violent and didn’t beat me up. My childhood experiences shaped my reality. I didn’t know what to look for or ask for. I didn’t know that I could heal and change this. Sometimes, I wish they had taught me in school all I know now.

How come that you stay with him?

With all its pain, this relationship was a precious teacher in healing myself and defining a healthy and good vision of a relationship. It was an inner process that evolved over time.

What my most important learning was out of this relationship? A relationship needs two people who love each other. If my partner doesn’t love me, there is no reason to stay. I can’t make him love me, and it doesn’t make any sense to try. I can just be myself and show up as I am. Whether he loves me, is up to him.

What is your most important learning?

After this relationship, I defined a new rule for my romantic relationship: I leave my partner if he doesn’t love me. It doesn’t matter how much I love him. It doesn’t matter how he justifies it. I do this because I love myself. I do this because I deserve to be loved by a man.

How about you?

You liked this article? Then you also may like If love is painful.

Do You Really Know What You Are Worth?

Self Worth

My friend’s relationship was about one year old, and she did everything to support her partner with his business. She worked for him from early in the morning until late at night and neglected her own business. He did not appreciate what she did; instead he called her names. When she asked for a Sunday off because she felt exhausted, he called her lazy. Each time she called me she seemed more desperate, and her voice lost energy and life force. I got worried because she did not care for herself and allowed her partner to treat her badly. When I mentioned my concerns, she found many excuses for her partner and his lack of love and respect, he had a difficult childhood, at the beginning of our relationship, he was different, or she said that she was difficult and not easy to handle so he had to treat her badly. Deep inside, she did not see her worth and pleased her partner. She did not value her needs and forgot that she was the a valuable person who matters.

The pattern continued, and her struggle became greater. Months later, she phoned me. This time she said, I deserve that he loves and respects me! She was in tears, yet her voice was firm. I felt relieved. After this insight, they got separated, my friend asked for professional help and started to embrace her self-worth.

I also struggled many years with my self-worth. I grew up in a family environment that was driven by fear, guilt and shame, and, as an adult, I saw myself through a negative lens that told me that I was not good enough and that something was profoundly wrong with me. I allowed others to give me negative labels because I lacked critical awareness until I learned to differentiate and started a journey of self-discovery.

Through which lens do you look at yourself?

Self-worth is an important ingredient for living a fulfilled life and having healthy relationships. It enables you to be yourself and show up in your relationships. The level of self-worth you are experiencing is influenced by your experiences with your family, your romantic partners, your friends and your work environment. If you grew up in a family that supported you and your development of yourself and that allowed to express your emotions, you are likely to experience a higher level of self-worth. However, if you experienced highly judging and criticizing environments that loaded many expectations on yourself, it is likely that you have a lower sense of self-worth. Another major influence on your self-worth comes from the messages from the media culture.

Do you think that you have to be perfect? Do you think that you are not good enough? Do you think that you are a failure? Do you have to be the perfect wife or husband? Do you want to be perfect? These thoughts contribute to a lower sense of self-worth and it is likely that they are not true. They are just a lens how you look at yourself.

How about looking at you through a different lens?

You are enough the way you are right now. Everybody is different and unique, and you are worthy of love for who you are. The more you are able to show who you are, the better you can connect to other people. You are not supposed to please others or to fulfill the expectations others impose on you, but to contribute to this world by being yourself. You are important for this world. Nobody is perfect, and you are good enough with all your imperfections. You will never make it right for everybody, but you can make it good for yourself. If you currently experience a low sense of self-worth, you do not have to stay in this place. You have a choice: release shame and guilt, show up and re-connect with your self-worth today. You cannot change your past, and you can create a better future with patience and persistence. This way, you enable yourself to live a fulfilled life and to have great relationships.

Do you want to try on this lens?

Do You Know the Secret for Fulfilling Relationships?

Have you ever wondered what is the greatest secret that leads to fulfilling relationships?

I have asked myself this question about a thousands times until I found the answer: The greatest secret that leads to fulfilling relationships is having self-esteem. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Actually, it wasn’t that simple for me because I never established it as a child but I developed is an adult. I have experienced profound changes in my relationships when I raised my self-esteem, and you can do the same. Read this story:

Many years ago, I was observing people how they talked to one another. I did not dare to join them because of my low self-esteem. I thought that I could not share anything interesting so I stayed distant and silent. In that time, I did not honor my worth and had many negative believes about myself. This limited my life and my way to relate to others. Until I found out that self-esteem was something I could develop and improve by myself. So I started to transform my negative thoughts with persistence and patience. I stopped to focus on my failures, but on what I had learned and I started to acknowledge my positive sides. I stopped wanting to be perfect and started to be kind to myself. Gradually, I began to love and to honor who I was, with my good and bad sides. I changed from a rigid and judging perspective towards myself into a loving and compassionate one.

Raising self-esteem is important for your life. It allows you to experience a higher degree of positive feelings and to have better and more fulfilling relationships with your partner and friends It makes you independent of the approval of others. Let’s face it, the people you love will not always have the same opinion as you have. Not every friend will understand the decisions you make or the things you do. Or people might even judge you that you are wrong. Does it mean that you are wrong? No, you just have different opinions.
Self-esteem also protects you from staying in abusive or unhealthy relationship. It allows you to set healthy boundaries and to say no. Furthermore, it improves your efficiency in achieving your goals.
With a healthy self-esteem you can be who you really are, you can say your opinion and speak your truth and still feel respect and compassion towards others, even if they have a different opinion.
Some people have already developed a healthy self-esteem during their childhood. Others not. I assure you, everyone can develop it. Start your journey today and develop self-esteem by following this advice:

You are unique and wonderful!

I admit, many years of my life I compared myself with other women and always felt horrible. My hair was never as beautiful as theirs, not to mention my figure and my height. I looked into the mirror and felt horrible. Then, I got angry with myself and I decided to stop comparing and focus on what I have. I remembered that my mother always liked my eyes. So I started to like my eyes. Over time, I became more and more content with my exterior image, even though it is not at all perfect. Stop comparing yourself with others! Focus on the features that make you special because that is what you are – unique and special. Look at yourself in a compassionate way. Look into the mirror and tell yourself every morning, I am beautiful, I love me, I am loveable. I know that you are.

Establish a loving and compassionate inner dialog!

I often had a very destructive inner dialog. I told myself sentences like I will never make it, You are not good enough or Others are better than you. With these demotivating words, I made myself feeling bad and did not even try to achieve what I wanted. I observed my inner dialog and consciously changed any negative tendencies. Now I am telling myself things like I will achieve it, I give my best.
Observe your thoughts and transform any negative inner dialog into a positive one. Become your own motivator and start to talk to yourself in a loving and compassionate way.

Concentrate on your learning!

Everyone has made mistakes – at least I have made a lot in my life. The important point is what you have learned from your mistakes. Take two papers. On the first paper, write down the mistakes that are still bothering you. On the second paper, write down everything that you have learned from your mistakes. Now, say, Thank you to the first paper and pull it into pieces, burn it in a safe place or throw it away. Keep the second paper with what you have learned and read it frequently.

Set achievable goals and respect your own rhythm!

When you set yourself goals do not carry it to the excess! Set a realistic time frame for your goals so that you are able to achieve them. Ask yourself when you set your goals, What would be the kindest action towards myself. Get into action to achieve your goals and celebrate each time when you have achieved it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet the timeline. Just set a new date and move on.

Improving self-esteem is a life-long task.
You are work in progress and can enhance yourself and your relationships each day. I invite you to start your journey to improving your self-esteem today. Learn to love and respect yourself, and you will see how your exterior world will change, too. Use the energy of spring to fall in love with the wonderful person you are right now!

I love to read your comments below!

You want to learn more? Read this article about self-worth.

What If A Separation Is Not The End…?

Are you currently struggling with a separation? 

We as human beings have a need for love and most of us dream of a loving and intimate relationship. At least, I always did. However, my relationships ended with break-ups. In the beginning, I considered them as a sign of failure and blamed myself. Now I know that I needed these relationships and their endings. They motivated me to heal and change myself so that I was prepared for the relationship I want. Why did I need this preparation? I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and I only knew manipulative relationship patterns. Furthermore, I had learned misleading concepts about love, e.g. I considered pleasing my partner while neglecting my needs as loving behavior. The negative patterns of my childhood were deeply anchored in my subconscious, and I repeated them in my romantic relationships. With each break-up, I became aware of some of these patterns until they were finally healed. If your dream of a healthy relationship has not yet become true, it does not mean that it is not meant for you. It is only a sign that you should do some healing work before it can become true. If you don’t change anything, it is likely that you have the same outcome as before. Here are three easy changes that served me well:

Focus on what you want

I am sure that you have learned a lot about all the things that you don’t want to have in your relationship. At least, I had a long list in my mind. However, I didn’t define what I really wanted, and I attracted all that I did not want because I focused on it. Change your focus today and stop thinking about what you do not want. Instead, focus your thoughts on what you want and describe the relationship of your dreams. To prepare this, you may take a paper and draw two columns. On one side, write down all things you don’t want in your relationship, on the other side, turn it around into something you want. Allow yourself to dream big!

Commit to what you want

If you have defined what you want, you now have to take the next step: look at your description and define all the points that are show-stopper. Show-stoppers are these topics that are so important to you that you can’t live without them. Just to give you a personal example: I love cats – I have three of them – and I need a partner who also loves animals and appreciates living together with them. A partner who is allergic to cats is simply not possible. If you are clear about your show-stoppers, use them to make a conscious choice whether you want a relationship with a person. The clue is that you have to have the courage to say “no” to somebody who does not meet your show-stopper criteria.

Improve your self-compassion and self-esteem

You are the most important person in your life, independent from your (ex-)partner, your family or your friends. The relationship with yourself is the longest and most important relationship you will ever have in your life. The more you respect and value yourself, the more you will attract respectful and loving relationships into your life. A good level of self-esteem is the basis for a healthy relationship because it allows you to be honest and authentic. In a relationship, you should love your partner while you love yourself. This will also support you in setting healthy boundaries and in respecting your needs.

To increase your self-esteem, stop judging yourself and stop comparing yourself with others. You are unique and special. Instead, be aware of the qualities you have. What is making you special? Explore your strengths and be aware of them. Don’t criticize yourself, instead look at yourself through the eyes of loving grandparents who loves you and wants the best for you, What would they say about you? What advice would they give you? What would they wish you?
Failures are part of your growth process, and I am sure that you can make a valuable learning out of them. If there are parts of you that you do not appreciate, think about how you can change them so that you like them more. Explore them, they are there for a reason, and they want to tell you something. Ask yourself, What is the kindest thing I can do for myself in this situation?, and then act accordingly. Always keep in mind that you can’t change the past, but you can grow and become the person you want to be.

Which action do you want to take today?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post The greatest secret for a fulfilling relationship.

Can She Really Make It?

Once upon a time, there was a little cat who travelled around the world. She had sparkling eyes and was full of positive energy. She stayed in amazing countries, made new friends, and her dream was to help others from the depth of her heart. After years of travelling, she came back home and stayed with the other cats of her tribe, still inspired by the many cultures she got to know and the many languages she spoke. She wanted to share her wisdom.

One day, she received the opportunity to talk in front of hundreds of other cats and to help them. She was thrilled, yet also fearful. Would I be able to make it well? Will I be really able to help others? What if I fail? were the doubtful thoughts that ran in her head. Insecure about her capabilities, she asked her aunt for advice. Her aunt was a huge gray cat that was always a bit discontent about her own life, but did not want to change anything. When the little cat came to her, she sat majestically in her padded chair. The little cat asked her, “Dear aunt, I have a question. I received an offer to hold a speech in front of hundreds of cats. Do you think that I will be able to do this?” Her aunt looked at her, disapprovingly and thought, she has not deserved this opportunity; I never have received an opportunity like this, while she said aloud: “Well, I don’t think that you will be able to make it. I don’t see you as a public speaker.” The little cat’s smile disappeared and all her courage went away. How should I be able to do it if my aunt does not believe in me? I should give up. With her head down, she left her aunt and wondered through the streets without destination. She looked around, and saw some kitten playing. As always, they beckoned her over, but she just shrug her head from one side to the other. She wasn’t in the mood to play because she was too disappointed. She felt worthless, just like being nothing. During the next days, she withdrew more and more from her friends and family. She looked around and everything had changed. The leaves of the trees had lost their fresh green and the flowers their colors, everything was gray. She was convinced that she could never realize her dream.

One afternoon, she wondered around and sat down under a majestic old tree with huge branches and roots to take a rest. Suddenly, there was a bright rainbow colored fairy in front of her face. She asked the little cat, “Why are you so sad?” The little cat told her the story. The fairy listened to her mindfully. When the little cat had finished, she said: “This comment wasn’t fair. You have so much light and love to give. Forget about what others say about you, believe in you. Don’t worry, you will do it well and you will make it better each day. Speak from the heart, be who you are.” The little cat was still disbelieving, “But my aunt said that I would not be able to do it. She knows me well.” And the fairy continued, “Never let other people define what you are capable of doing. It is normal to have fear if you start a new adventure. Don’t allow your fears to guide you. If the universe offers you an opportunity like this, you are perfectly well prepared for it. Just take the first step, and you’ll find your way. Each time, you will make it better. And always remember, if you need help, I’ll always sit at your shoulder.” And she softly touched the little cat on her left shoulder and disappeared. The little cat decided to give it a try. She had nothing to lose, but all to win.

One week later, she went on the stage and walked towards the speaker’s desk. She could hardly breathe. Then, she looked up and saw into the eyes of hundreds of cats. Oh, my god, I’ll never make this. What will they think about me? Her hands started to shake. “Don’t worry about what they think about you. Believe in you. Just tell your story.” The fairy whispered into her ear. The little cat took a deep breath and started. She could hear her voice trembling. No, I won’t give up; I have something valuable to share, she told herself silently, and she continued. Suddenly, she had forgotten about the other cats and just told her story as she always wanted to tell it. When she had finished, she didn’t dare to look up. She had given her best, but was it good enough?

There was silence in the room. Then, she heard a voice from the back, “Thank you”, and another “Thank you” from the front row, suddenly, many “Thank you”  echoed in the room. She looked up and saw that the other cats were standing and applauding her. She had tears in her eyes and did not know what to do. Then she saw the little fairy sitting at a lamp by her left side. She had a big smile on her face and made little jumps out of joy. The little cat smiled at her and said, “Thank you. Without you, I never would have made it.” The fairy twinkled, “That’s why I am here.”

That day, the little cat started to believe in herself, and she knew that the little fairy would help her whenever she had doubts.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you have impossible dreams? Find out how to realize them.