My idea for this blog post sparked while I was making tuna fish casserole for my family. I started cooking and found myself thinking about all of my friends who have asked me for relationship advice over the years, on whether to stay with the person they are with or to leave. I was boiling water for my noodles. Boiling water and waiting for a person to change are a lot alike. Boring and time consuming. The wisdom (and I use that term loosely) I’ve gathered in my years is as follows:
- Never underestimate a toddler.
- Never turn down a shot.
- Know when your love is wanted, and know when to leave.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy.
Especially because bending over to touch my toes these days is not considered easy. So leaving the person you love falls under the category of “hard things life throws at you.”
But here is the thing, it is easy. Don’t stay with someone who treats you like dirt and makes you devalue your self worth. I promise, you’ll find yourself happier in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not telling you this because I’m trying to be a righteous bitch. I’m telling you this because at one point in time, I was you. I hold a good record of being extremely nice and magnetizing assholes. Any of my ex boyfriends can vouch for me. I was the girl who gave my heart, soul, and everything else to someone who didn’t want it, but wasn’t a good enough person to leave me alone. I’ve been cheated on, emotionally abused, and dumbed myself down to try to make him stay. The entire relationship, I changed myself in the hopes that he would change the way he treated me. I waited too long. I can tell you from obvious experience, the only thing that waiting too long gets you, is hurt.
After that shit storm of a relationship, I made a promise to myself that I would never let someone treat me like that again. *Donald Trump voice* WRONG. You would think after the first emotional escapade I would have learned my lesson, but apparently I just wanted more. There I was again, answering every beck and call. This guy wasn’t as bad as the first one. He just used my time whenever it was convenient for him. And because he wasn’t publicly cheating on me, I dealt with his shit. Which now I know is just as bad. I played his game of catch and chase for a few months until he finally got bored of me and dipped out. And because I didn’t know when to leave, I was hurt. Again.
This time around the block, I looked in the mirror and stared at myself long and hard. I told myself, “Homegirl, no matter how much you like the next guy, KNOW WHEN TO LEAVE.” Getting a tattoo of that would have been easier. It was a hard concept to really accept, but I was done waiting for myself to get hurt again. It took a lot of balls, and a questionable amount of vodka to realize that I didn’t deserve anything less than the best.
Why should I keep giving my entire self to someone who only wants me when they’re bored? This realization didn’t happen over night. It took patience to learn who I really was. I’ve never been one to keep my mouth closed, but I’ve always been one who didn’t know when to leave. Being a waitress for so many years, I should have known that no one likes a person who doesn’t know when to go.
After talking to myself in the mirror, fate heard me give myself the advice I was so determined to follow. Little did I know, the next guy I was going to meet would become my husband.
My husband came crashing into my life unexpectedly and knocked me off my feet. Disclaimer: not literally, I can assure you we have a healthy marriage. He has treated me like a princess (I hate that metaphor, but credit is given where credit is due) and hasn’t stopped since day one. He doesn’t ignore my calls. He treats me with respect. He builds me up instead of tearing me down. He knows what I am worth. He is the epitome of the kind of person most people spend their whole life searching for. And he doesn’t cheat on me so that’s a plus and ten points to Gryffindor.
I honestly don’t think I would have met him if I wasn’t adamant about not wanting to deal with fuck boy games anymore. Or if I didn’t truly figure out who I was as a person. You need to find someone who knows what you are worth. More importantly, you need to know what you are worth. I can’t stress that enough. I urge anyone who may be reading this who is questioning their relationship, to think good and hard about what you’re willing to put up with. Find someone who is willing to love your flaws and your greats. Find someone who wants you to give them your all and who gives you their all.
Don’t be surprised when you do everything for someone, and they could care less. People are assholes. Don’t do what I did. Don’t hang on to the little glimpse of hope that they will change. Because you shouldn’t have to ask people, including yourself, to change. Chances are, if you’re even questioning it you should probably pack up and hit the road before you invest too much. When you find the right person you won’t have any questions. Don’t set yourself up to be hurt.
Don’t cram puzzle pieces where they don’t fit. Don’t stare at the boiling water for too long.
Like Drake said “know yourself, know your worth.”
Sarah Ruff is married to the man who made her realize it was time to stay. They live in southwest Michigan with their daughter. Sarah loves make up and has a thing for honesty. You can find her on Instagram at livenrealgood.