Open Your Eyes by Debra Sutton

One cannot constantly put their own needs and feelings aside to make another person happy. And a person who constantly expects you to do this is not expressing real love. Someone who truly loves you will care about your happiness, you will not be asked to sacrifice yourself over and over again. Being that yes person all the time even when we don’t feel like saying yes will leave a person empty. And the person who is always expecting to have their way at another’s expense will never appreciate the sacrifice. It may feel like we are showing our love by always sacrificing our own needs, but actually this is far from the truth. Some people give with expectation and when others don’t meet those expectations they grow resentful. And the person on the receiving end also grows resentful, they are resentful of the expectation. It’s a lose lose situation for both parties. I have seen this in relationships throughout my life. It can occur in relationships between parents and their children, siblings, spouses, and friends.  

In a true loving relationship with mutual love and respect there is care for the other person the word NO does not come with retribution and retaliation. And in return when we truly want to give from our heart we are not keeping score of all we do and all the sacrifices we have made. I’ve actually seen some people who keep list. This is not giving or self sacrificing. This is giving with expectation. The giver may be giving as a form of control. They feel like they are owed. And I have to say the one who owes will never be able to satisfy the debt. The taker is always going to have their hand out, their problems never end. We can cripple a person by enabling them. When you don’t allow a person to face the consequences for their own actions they never have the experience of learning from their mistakes. There needs to be balance and mutual respect. Parents want to help their children. And it’s good to help out in an emergency or time of need. It is when it becomes habitual that we need to step back, take a look at the situation, and ask ourselves if we are harming or helping. 

I’m writing about this because. I was the self sacrificing wife. I always put my own needs aside. Some of this was done for the sake of peace. When my ex husband wanted something he would wear me down until he got it. He would threaten divorce, truly this manipulation tactic did not work on me. I would say get a divorce. It was the daily wearing and tearing me down, the arguments went on for weeks when he did not get his way. I’m talking about money here my own money he wanted me to buy him a John boat and then a few years later a Z28 Camaro. I honestly did not want to buy him these things but I gave in. Did my sacrifice make him love me, appreciate me, or ever once consider me? Absolutely not. Did I expect a little consideration. I did! It is true when they say money can’t buy love, but it did give me a little more time in the marriage, as he told me near the end that he did stay to go through my money. I gave up a lot in the 22 year marriage, so much so I did not even recognize myself at the end. This was a guy who was never satisfied. He experienced temporary satisfaction from something new. It wore off real quick. Then he needed something else. His mother did a lot for him. She always bailed him out of trouble. And at the time I was grateful he did not have to face any consequences. Honestly his habitual need for her help was a vicious cycle. She stayed upset and angry, and so did he. I was there in the mix of it all. He was the focus of both his mother and my life for so many years. It was all about him. She expected some appreciation or a little help around the house. In turn he resented her for expecting. It went around and around in a vicious circle. We had our own little three ring circus going on. No one was ever happy or content horrible things were said to each other, there was a lot of pain and hurt feelings. I was always trying to prove my worth or value in the relationship. I suppose that means I kept score. And I wanted something in return for all I invested in the relationship. People don’t value you when you give up everything for them. The truth is I did not believe I was valuable or worthy. No one respects that. People are going to treat you with the same value and respect you give yourself. I think it’s normal to want reciprocity in a relationship. When one person is doing all the giving and the other is taking, taking, taking, never giving anything in return things are out of balance. We need balance, boundaries, and self respect. Okay my ex husband is Gay and he could never give me the things I needed and wanted in a relationship, still he could have treated me with the care and respect you would give someone who spent years loving and caring for you. It was not in him to at least have shown me the care you would show a fellow human being. You have heard the saying “When you find you have to constantly prove your worth to someone you have already forgotten your value.” The truth is I did not know my own value.

I write about this in hindsight. I know my value and worth today. This whole experience opened my eyes to the behaviors and manipulations of others. And it also opened my eyes to things about myself. Today I have peace and contentment. I am no longer jumping through hoops trying to prove my worth to someone who does not value me. Today I would not have a person in my life who does not show me respect. Once your eyes are open to the truth you can never go back to the way things were before. 


2 thoughts on “Open Your Eyes by Debra Sutton

  1. Hi Debra.
    Yes, I can totally relate to a lot of this. I would even write a journal listing all of the things that I had done on certain days – to show that I was contributing enough to the family. Because he did more of the running around for the business, I had to prove I was also pulling my weight.

    And regarding realising your own worth, recently, I had a telephone conversation with a man I am working with on a political campaign – his colleague had put his name on a long legal document I had prepared, as though he was the co-author when I had written all of it. It was going to a famous lawyer in the UK and he obviously wanted her to think that he had co-written it. I was saying to his pal ‘Hey. I know my worth and my value,’ as the other guy was trying to belittle me and ignore my contributions, whilst also stealing my credit. Stealing credit is one of by betes noires. My GEX did it all the time and so I’m not in the mood to take it off anyone else now. Have you seen the film ‘Big Eyes?’ That is such a great study of how a man steals a woman’s credit and how it makes the woman feel. I recommend it to anyone whose partner or ex has done this to you. I think it is something which narcissists like to do.

    I can also relate to the ‘sacrificing your own needs.’ I was always the one carrying the bags and looking after the ‘phones whilst others had the fun. The worst though was when we went on holiday to France and I went with only one condition – that my gex and I would be able to go alone for coffee each morning (I’m not the kind of person who can be around people I don’t know for 24-7 and I also have a caffeine addiction that must be fed each morning). As long as I could have my coffee I didn’t care what happened.

    Before the holiday and when we arrived I repeatedly told him to make this clear to his French friends, but he didn’t and instead completely ignored my one condition for going on a holiday I didn’t want to go on – and was only going on because he wanted me (as cover I now realise) and my son and nephew also really wanted me to go. So I sacrifice myself by going for this week away I really don’t want to go on, and my one little condition isn’t met. Instead, he tried to make out I was a really difficult person and really ungrateful! What a f**king twister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Ros, we sound so much alike, no more self sacrificing for me. I am happy to hear you are no longer willing to do this. So glad you stood up for yourself with the guy who wanted to put his name on what your wrote. Yes I did see the movie Big Eyes and it is based on a true story. The woman in the story so much like us. I was happy to see her finally stand up for herself.


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