The Happier Life Guide: Lesson 2 The “Two Strikes, You’re Out” Relationship Rule
Ask around, and you’ll find that relationships account for a large bit of the total stress and unhappiness in people’s lives. Friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, family members, and coworkers can seriously get on your nerves and even do things that emotionally or physically hurt you. This article will focus on the “Two Strikes, You’re Out” relationship rule that I feel is a good tool for dealing with selfish and hurtful people. This tool may not be the best for use on spouses, family members, or coworkers, but for all other relationships, it should work. It’s a preventative measure.
Growing up, I saw my mom struggling with her drugged up, womanizing, physically abusive boyfriend, and although I was only 8 or 9 years old, I always wondered why she let him treat her like that. She knew he was cheating on her, and he didn’t respect her, but she let him continue to stay in her house anyway. It didn’t make any sense to me then, and it still doesn’t now. Since then, she’s done the same thing with one other man, and my younger sister is currently in a relationship with a horrible and disgusting guy who doesn’t respect her either. What’s up with that? Maybe they each got in too deep with those guys, and fell in love them with the passage of time. My mom actually thought about marrying both of the jerks I just mentioned. That would have been a HUGE mistake! This is why I created the “Two Strikes, You’re Out” relationship rule.
Many men and women feel like they must have a lover, or life isn’t complete. I know our society and pop culture tells us this, but what’s the point in having a lover or significant other, or even just a friend, if they treat you like garbage? There are billions of people on this planet, and with the Internet, you have access to millions of them. You don’t have to settle for the first jerk that comes along.
Keep yourself from growing too attached to nutcases and dangerous people by noticing the signs of a budding abusive relationship:
-Does the person put you down? Do they call you names like “stupid,” “fat,” “ugly,” or “worthless”? Do they tell you that no one else could ever love you? Do they feed your own negative self-image? Do they purposefully say things that make you feel bad about yourself? Do they criticize you to make themselves feel better or look better? Do they tell you you’ll never amount to anything? Do they shoot down your dreams without being kind about it? Do they often talk to you in a condescending tone? Do they think it’s funny or “good for you” when you get hurt or upset? Does it seem like nothing you do is ever good enough for them?
-Is the person two-faced? Do you know for a fact that they talk bad about you behind your back? Do they spread lies about you? Do they have another lover or are they into illegal things that they haven’t told you about? Do they act all lovey-dovey in public, but become an evil monster when you are alone? On the same note, do they treat you well when you’re alone, but refuse to be seen with you in public?
-Does the person hit or physically harm you? This is very serious, as many people have been KILLED by abusive partners! I personally think this is a one-strike, you’re out offense, but if you want to give the person a second chance, go ahead. If they hit you again, get as far away from them as you can as quickly as you can. Get a restraining order or move to another city if you have to. Whether they’re your friend or lover, it will only get worse if you stay with them. It doesn’t matter if the person hitting you is a man or a woman, it just shouldn’t be done. Even if the two of you are in a heated argument, there’s no reason for them to hit you, and no reason for you to hit them. I think throwing something at another person in anger also counts as physical abuse, even if they don’t intend to hit you with the projectile, if it does strike you, you could be seriously hurt.
-Does the person get drunk or high often, and are they belligerent when they are under the influence? This is often a sign of some serious psychological anguish. These people may be just fine and sweet when they’re sober, and very dangerous or hurtful when they’re drunk or high. They have a lot of things they need to work through, and odds are you can’t help them. As time goes on, their behavior will grow more and more dangerous.
I’ve seen all of these signs in my own family and experiences, so I know what I’m talking about here. Many men and women feel that their love or friendship can fix someone that treats them badly. The truth is, if you warn them and talk to them about their problems the first time they do any of the things mentioned above, and their behavior does not improve, or they don’t make a concerted effort to change (such as counseling or something), you may as well just end your relationship with them. After the second strike, you should realize that their problems are too big for you to help them with, and that you should get away NOW. If you wait any longer than that, you run the risk of growing more attached them, making it even more painful for you to leave when things start getting really bad. If they’re your boyfriend or girlfriend and show these signs, it’s even more important that you leave them as soon as possible, or you may end up marrying them later and having kids, who would then be subjected to the horrors of your partner’s dangerous behavior.
There are billions of people in the world, and you deserve someone who will treat you with respect and dignity, whether they’re a friend, lover, or spouse. It may seem selfish to just up and leave an abusive person who has psychological problems, but in the long run, it’s better for you and the other person. Or at least it’s better for you, and that’s what really matters.
My mother’s two abusive ex-boyfriends one in his forties, and one in his thirties still haven’t “grown up”. They’re both still substance abusers, and emotionally hurtful, although I know for a fact that she tried to help them overcome their problems time and time again. With her last ex especially, she catered to him, giving him all her love. She even talked to him about his problem and helped him when he was sick from drinking all night. He still doesn’t appreciate it. I’m really glad she left the both of them. She’s been feeling so much better since she left her last ex-boyfriend, and I really see a change in her mood. She’s much more upbeat about everything, and she’s not depressed anymore. It would have been easier for her to leave him, and she would have saved herself a lot of pain, if she would have used the “Two Strikes, You’re Out” relationship rule. I hope you learn from her example, and those around you, and kick those losers out of your life!
Less losers means more happiness!