Like most people, you may have been conditioned to believe that relationships require compromise. And maybe you’ve heard a blackmailing statement that goes with it “If you loved me, you would’ve done XYZ for me.” …And even smart people fall for the trap.
I had a client, who was a successful entrepreneur, let’s call him Steve. Steve dated a woman he was smitten by and was falling in love with. She seemed to reciprocate. After a couple of months dating, Steve discovered that she was still communicating with her ex and even visited him in another city. When confronted, his girlfriend admitted to having feelings for her ex.
Steve was crushed, but out of fear of losing this woman, he kept the relationship going. In his mind, he started to justify her behavior by saying that maybe it was too soon to request exclusivity. Steve was secretly hoping that he can prove to be better than that other guy. And he turned into a pleaser.
Since being a pleaser wasn’t Steve’s nature, he grew resentment towards the whole situation. As the result, he occasionally took his anger out on his girlfriend. Every time he was short with her or said mean things, he was ashamed of his behavior and felt guilty. His frustration with himself grew. The woman he was trying so hard to please was losing respect for him and was accumulating her own grudges. Their relationship was falling apart.
Steve’s business suffered too, because his emotional turmoil was debilitating and impeded his performance. Despite being smart, Steve couldn’t get out of this vicious cycle of pain, and didn’t know how to restore his confidence and get out of mess.
I advised Steve to honor himself and to communicate to his girlfriend openly his frustrations and desires. After we did emotional clearing, he built up the courage to reinstate his integrity, even if it meant losing the woman he was in love with.
He spoke to his girlfriend and admitted that he cannot be in a relationship with her while she is emotionally attached to another guy. They both cried and parted ways. As hard as it was, Steve felt it was the right thing to do.
A few months passed. He was coping with the pain of loss by working. And his business was gaining momentum. Then he received a phone call from her. When they met, she reported that all was finished with her ex and she no longer had feelings for him. And she asked Steve to give her another chance. They’ve been happy together for a few years now.
A compromise of personal integrity leads to a loss of self-respect.
When self-respect is shaken, your partner won’t respect you either. Without mutual respect and admiration, a relationship deteriorates.
Do not compromise your integrity for anything or anyone! Not even your children, not even your life! People believe they have many things to lose: money, job, loved ones, health… All of our possessions including our physical bodies are temporary. And you truly own only one thing – who you are. And if you lose yourself, you’re left with nothing, and you have nothing to give.
Women admire men of integrity. Character is irresistibly attractive and so rare. Stay true to yourself, and you’ll discover that fears perish in the face of courage. Obstacles fall in the face of determination. Faith opens the doors of opportunities. And authenticity wins the hearts.