In the fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast, Belle (Beauty) uses patience, love and kindness to break an evil spell and transform The Beast back to a handsome, gentle prince.
When a woman stays in a relationship with a man who acts like a beast towards her, I wonder if there is a bit of “fairy tale thinking” going on in her head. The fairy tale thoughts she might have, sound something like this…
- I’ll be nicer to him and show him more attention and affection, then he’ll stop being so irritable and distant.
- It’s my fault he is ill-tempered. I like to talk about things that are important to me, and I know that makes him angry. I’ll keep my thoughts and opinions to myself, then everything will be okay.
- I’ll tell him to go drinking with his buddies and I’ll stay home alone. He’ll be nicer to me then.
- He doesn’t like to go to my parents’ house for family gatherings, so I’ll just go by myself… again.
- Even though we have been dating for a couple of years, and he hasn’t introduced me to his family or friends, I’m sure he’s going to ask me to marry him. I just have to be patient.
In the midst of all these thoughts, deep down inside, you know that something is amiss. If you have to stop being yourself, in order for your partner to be respectful and loving towards you, there is something wrong. If he won’t spend time with your family and they have done nothing to hurt him, you might be settling for less than you deserve. If you have been dating for awhile and he keeps your relationship a secret from his family and friends, it may be time for “Sleeping Beauty” to awaken.
I can tell you from my own experience, and from working with my coaching clients, if you spend all your time and energy trying to make him happy, you will lose yourself in the process. Eventually, you will forget what you like and what you don’t like. You will forget how to think for yourself and you will lose touch with your spirit. You will stop speaking up and your self-confidence will suffer. Then, in order to feel better about your situation, you will convince yourself that life is not so bad this way. You will tell yourself it could be worse… But, my question to you is… What if life could be better?
Here’s the truth, your partner (aka the prince), is not the one under an evil spell, it’s you. The spell is that you have been led to believe that you don’t deserve love, kindness and respect. The good news is, you don’t have to wait for a kiss to break the spell. All you have to do is begin to focus your attention on yourself instead of him. Rediscover what makes you happy. What makes you feel alive? What one, little thing, can you do today, that will bring you joy? Is it going for a walk in nature? Taking a bubble bath? Having coffee with a friend or taking a class? Is it reading, writing, drawing or painting? Try to do something every day that lifts your spirit and gives you hope. You will also need to build supportive relationships outside of your romantic relationship. These are the people who will provide the moral support you are going to need to make a positive change in your life.
As you awaken yourself from the spell you are under, the answers you are looking for, will begin to appear… Now, that’s magic!