The main premise was how the statement “I deserve more” was making her isolated and resentful in her marriage.
The phrase was haunting me, because I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have said that to my girlfriends, or my girlfriends have said so to me, over the past few years.
Sure, no one deserves to be treated badly. Most people don’t deserve half of the negative things that end up happening to them, for that matter.
Like many of you, when things don’t go my way, I vent. I’ll vent to my husband, my best friends, my parents, my sister, my co-workers…basically, if I feel close to you, you’ve probably heard me vent once or twice. Nine times out of ten, the response is something along the lines of “You really shouldn’t have to put up with that,” or “I can’t believe X did that/happened to YOU!”.
The message is always consistent and always the same: You deserve more.
Most people, whose opinion I value, respond to my venting with those phrases. I would bet that your people respond the same way to you, as well.
And I respond (fairly adamantly). “Absolutely! I should NOT have to put up with that,” or “I can’t believe X did that to ME either!”.
Not too long ago, my husband and I had a come-t0-Jesus moment and these same statements I had been telling myself he was repeating to me. We found out that we had both been thinking that about each other. I was shocked. And it was destroying us.
In Allison Vesterfelt’s blog, she ends up sharing a similar situation. This had me thinking: this has to be a universal issue.
If I care about you, and you share a story of something negative that happened to you, I will tell you that you didn’t deserve that. It’s because I care, and I really truly do believe that. With that being said, I’m trying to be more careful about how I say that.
Repeating this statement, or those like it, only really creates (and feeds) a resentful idea. This idea can literally destroy relationships. As much as I love my friends, I also value the relationships they have with others. I would never want to offer them a life commandment (i.e. “You deserve more.”) and for that commandment to be what drives them away from their partner.
Yes, I want the best for those I love. And what’s mostly best is for all of us to build up the relationships we have; not to destroy them and walk away just because we believe we deserve in an unattainable “more”.
So, to again share the ideas of Allison Vesterfelt, I want to challenge all of us to change the way we face these situations and change the way we respond to each other. Instead of constantly telling each other how much more we deserve or telling ourselves that same thing, we need to start asking our loved ones “Are there ways you wish I treated you differently?“.
Be warned! You will hear things you don’t want to hear. Your first reaction will be defense mode. So, perhaps let me send you off with this disclaimer: don’t ask the question unless you can handle the answers.
I believe that we all want what is best for ourselves and those we love. This (almost always) means that we create expectations for our relationships that are borderline absurd. We expect to be served love on a silver spoon, and anything less than our ideal relationship means we aren’t being treated “how we deserve to be treated”.
Perhaps this goes without saying, but we need to remember that we are all in this human experience, and we are all imperfect.
When we can stop feeling entitled to a higher level of being treated, when in fact we are being treated on a healthy standard, we can stop fighting for our partner to treat us “better” and start fighting together to make the relationship better for each other.
It was as easy as refusing to constantly think I deserved more, and to start changing the dynamic in my relationship with my husband. Simply by changing the way I thought about my partner completely changed the direction our relationship was headed.
I would highly recommend reading Allison Vesterfelt’s take on this. Click HERE to read her full blog.
Have you been feeling as though you deserve more? Has this, in turn, made you unable to appreciate your partner? Maybe it is time to stop making statements and start asking better questions.