Standards – Are Yours High Enough?

standards“You get what you put up with.” – Anonymous

My first post-divorce boyfriend wrote me a letter once. I was so thrilled because even though we hadn’t spoken in weeks and I couldn’t figure out why we were not speaking, here he was in paper and ink. He never bothered to tell me why we weren’t speaking…he just disappeared, but now, NOW he had written me a letter and all was right with the world!!! I felt like singing the Blues Clues “mail song” even though it hadn’t been invented yet. :) but I was SO HAPPY he had written me a letter. It said something like, “Don’t give up. Take things one day at a time. Some day we’ll be together. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

I ran to my therapist with this letter as proof that he really did love me. I was just months out of a horrible relationship but true love had come!!!! Wasn’t that special?

She read the letter and looked at my excited face. She tossed the letter on the table and said in a droll voice, “How original.”

The sound of my bubble bursting could be heard, I was sure, from several states away.

WHY WAS SHE SO CRUEL??? I hated her with every fiber of my being. How could she DO THIS TO ME????

My last relationship didn’t even ACKNOWLEDGE me, let alone take the time to a write a letter, albeit a short letter. Why wasn’t this good enough?

She said if I wanted it to be “good enough” it would be, but if I wanted to be with a man who loved me, really loved me, this was not good enough.

Just better than the last relationship is not good enough. Only consistent unconditional love is good enough.

If you put up with anything less, that is what you will get. It takes a while to learn to be loved like nobody’s business, but it starts by not putting up with what you don’t want. Yes, this is nice but it’s not nice enough…it’s not what I want or deserve.

Don’t say, “Well no one is perfect…” to excuse bad behavior or “Doesn’t every relationship have problems?” to excuse problems that NO, not every relationship has nor should it. STOP RATIONALIZING AND JUSTIFYING AND START INSISTING ON THE VERY BEST TREATMENT.

I walked out on a lot of “good enough” relationships that were not good enough for me. My friends sometimes thought I was nuts but I wanted someone who adored me. Some said my standards were too high. Others said it didn’t exist.

That was fine. I also decided that I would rather be alone than settle for less. I WAS NOT SETTLING for “good enough.” I wanted the best or none at all…and I held out and that is what I eventually found (after kissing a lot of TOADS, but still….I found it.)

DON’T lower your standards to fit what you have.

Change what you have to fit your standards and keep reaching for the sky.

And don’t settle for anything less.

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13 Responses to Standards – Are Yours High Enough?

  1. sarahsmile says:

    Read this wonderful passage in the novel “Casebook” by Mona Simpson and thought it was relevant.

    “Then what were feelings worth? Like currency, their value depended on a sound treasury, so love from a liar was pretty much worthless.”

    I lived with love from a liar for so many years and thought that was just how marriages wound up. Now I’m reevaluating my standards and won’t settle for “good enough” again. It’s both liberating and daunting to decide to live life as yourself and make decisions that are right for you. I’m getting closer every day.

    • Susan J. Elliott Susan J. Elliott says:

      Yes, love from a liar is pretty much worthless. I was in a marriage with a liar who failed to take responsibility for anything. His cheating was my fault, his hitting me was my fault. Everything was my fault. And when he did things that MIGHT have been his fault, he lied about it. Any “affection” or “care” was given when it served his purpose. All worthless. I really like that sentence.

  2. Marie83 Marie83 says:

    I think the reasons I kept going back to the ex was all rooted in a lack of standards and personal security. We first broke up 3 yrs ago and I think since that time I have always known that the issue keeping me stuck is my perception of me and my negativity but it was safer to stay in denial. I haven’t been nc for very long but I have been really getting honest with myself this week and journaled about what triggers me to contact him/get back in the relationship or just obsess. I believe that I have a fear of being alone – I worry that I will not find love again/ I will be bored and lonely and will be living without a meaningful connection/that men will not find me attractive enough to commit. I have a fear of him meeting someone else and loving them/treating them in the way he couldn’t love or treat me which would prove that I am the problem – that I am flawed/unbelievable and deserved it. I compare myself to other people who are in healthy relationships and again view my reality as further proof I am unlovable. Overall I am judging myself very harshly and absorbing all the blame for my ex’s behaviour whilst not taking responsibility for directing my own life. Rather than analysing why and trying to predict the future I should work on improving my own sense of self

    • Loveisallthereis says:

      Marie… thank you for writing what you did… the BH I last was swirling around with, told me he wanted to “just be friends” and that he could not commit to what I “deserve” on the 7th of this month. Since that day I had not looked on his FB or contacted him. The other day I slipped and it was a HUGE mistake. I saw his page, saw that he had taken down the tags of the photos that had me in them or “us” and that there was a new name/face commenting on his profile picture calling him “handsome” and several other female comments which he of course “like”ed. I related to what you wrote about ” I have a fear of him meeting someone else and loving them/treating them in the way he couldn’t love or treat me which would prove that I am the problem” and I have this fear in part because it is EXACTLY what happened with my ex back in 2010 when I broke it off with him because he said he was not ready for “something serious”. I found out that not only did he immediately enter into another relationship but he did so with a woman who was lingering around the whole time we were together when he insisted she was “just a friend”. I am starting to see that my part in these last two relationships was >>> FANTASY and SELF-ABANDON. I believe that as an adult, I can never be abandoned by someone else but I sure did abandon myself/my wants/my inner voice when I decided to stay in a r/s with a man who told me that he was recently broken up/ recently divorced and was not “looking for anything serious”. I also learned the hard lesson of breaking no-contact which INCLUDES looking online because if I had not done that, I would not have found out that the guy from 2010 was even still with that woman today !!!! It really leads me to feel like I was not “enough” sometimes but then I remind myself that with narcissistic types, they will stick around as long as they are given constant adoration and affirmation. Once I started asking for what I NEEDED, I became a “pressure” to the xN and he no longer saw me as a “positive” part of his life. I am sure that the woman he is with now (just like the x-wife of the recent guy) were either narcissists themselves or totally codependent and never “rocked the boat”. If it is true that we teach people how to treat us, I put up with a lot in both relationships, but at least this more recent one was only a few months rather than three years. And with the more recent guy… I ignored red flags there too…. I could see that he was really big on getting kudos from the female admirers on his social media but any time that I would post something on his wall that indicated that we were in a “special” relationship, he did not seem to “like” that. SO… what have I learned about me? That I chase after men who in the beginning treat me really well because I am a loyal, attentive and fun person. And that is what makes me perfect prey for narcissists and BH’s in general. And once the party is over, once the perfect mirroring shows a crack, I become a burden to them and they turn cold… then I chase or try harder. Its a sick cycle. I am taking time away to turn inward and do the work necessary on ME, so I do not choose this pattern again.

      • Marie83 Marie83 says:

        @love is all there is – I too have been stung by the urge to look at his fb in the past – it took me a long long time to remove him even as a friend as I was so consumed about being the good girl and not wanting him to think badly of me! I still care of his opinion of me and if he txts and I don’t reply I feel panicky and guilt ridden even though he doesn’t think of me at all! This frustrates me but I am just trying to focus on the future now. Moving forward if I find myself in a new relationship (way way) in the future I will base behaviour soley on actions rather that my assumptions of why they did this and essentially rationalising bad behaviour. A true measure to me of when I am truly ‘over’ the ex and have healed is if I no longer care if the ex is treating someone else with the love, care and respect he wasn’t willing to give me – so what if he is the perfect guy with someone else – it is not a reflection on me or my worth

        • Susan J. Elliott Susan J. Elliott says:

          Sometimes it IS a reflection of you–in a good way. It’s that they’ve learned something by losing someone special. If you walked out the door because he did this and that or refused to do this and that, and now he’s doing or not doing this and that, it could be because he decided he doesn’t want to lose another person over his stupidity.

          • Marie83 Marie83 says:

            Thanks Susan,
            I had never thought of it like that before – I guess because I have always been viewing it more as him choosing someone else because they are ‘better’ than me

        • Loveisallthereis says:

          Marie83…. i totally hear you on the “good girl and not wanting him to think badly of me”. I dealt with it by just deactivating my page all together because I did not want to make the decision to “un-friend” or “block” him at that point. It still hurts too much to even think of seeing his pictures and when I looked the other day, I feel it sent a strong message through my body that I am still grieving and often, when I am on social media I just end up comparing myself to others and getting swept up in the other-focused inertia of FB so I figured it was time to take a needed break from “other”s and focus on me.

          • mchinela says:

            I deleted my FB for that exact reason and never looked back.. FB is fake book , fantasy book in my eyes.. everyone portrays themselves in a light they feel is special or different then to who they truely are.. it doesnt help especially when you are healing..

          • Marie83 Marie83 says:

            I agree what you say about facebook – one of my friends is desperate to get married and whilst my lack of self love was only really apparent when I met the BH (it was there before but I usually opted out of the relationships and didn’t get obsessed) hers is a very distinct pattern with guys who are all the same albeit with slightly different packaging – anyway she gets really upset when she sees the lovey dovey couples posts and start to feel that she will be ‘forever alone’ – one day I went to the supermarket and saw one of these couples having a blazing row, later that day the facebook status was ‘had a wonderful day with my amazing boyfriend’ – shows that you shouldn’t believe all that you read

      • mchinela says:

        MY ex to always had someone there lingering (his ex!) who was “just a friend” oh bs they say its just a friend but a true respecting man doesnt have female friends they need to defend.. If i am with a guy I dont have male friends w hich I need to passionately defend my friendship with because those people need not cause issues … I also felt like you and others in this post mentioned about “what if he is treating her better/ or he has changed”
        in my case Ive learned he hasnt really changed, (i havent talked to him since ive been NC) but he hasnt changed, and the only way they fully change is when they are ready , in my case mine jumped from us into another relationship without blinking an eye or taking time to reflect, i think he put on a decent front but im sure that crumbled in due time…

        I internalized everything for sooo long it was quite unhealthy.. I finally stopped internalizing and started looking at the big picture and the grand scheme of things.. and the last part you talk about a recent guy you were dating who liked female attentiln on social media, i met one a while ago who did the same thing , loved the female attention and denied it..

        you my dear, have a lot in common with me ! that loser made a mistake losing you and somene great will come along, until then keep reflecting on yourself, your amazing dont forget that !!!!!!!!!

        • Loveisallthereis says:

          Mchinela… thank you. it DOES help to know others are going through the same thing . how long have you been “out”. What are the most important things you have done to help you stay NC. How long have you been NC? I really wish there was a way members of this forum could PM each other… sometimes I do not write as openly as I can due to the fact that I know anyone can read it and google search my screen name and what I have shared will pop up.

  3. just_hurting says:

    You sound just like me, accept for my ex and I haven’t been on and off for three years. We dated for a year and a half, and looking back, I see the signs in the beginning that things weren’t going to work, or good. You are not alone, Marie.

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