When I was very young and still living in Poland, I wanted to be rescued. Really bad. I was fascinated by the world outside of my country but couldn’t afford to travel anywhere. I wanted my prince charming to arrive, see how special I was and take me to his lovely home in a far away place full of abundance and joy. I was sick of struggling and wanted to get away. I wanted a strong and powerful man to show up in my life and make everything better. I wanted to be a princess from a fable, reunited with her prince charming. But… None of that happened. Instead, I became independent, saved up some money and went travelling the world on my own.
Happily ever after
Walt Disney’s stories fill our heads with unrealistic examples. They give us a model of a relationship built on an unhealthy foundation:
- she is unhappy, unfulfilled, in distress.
- he arrives and sweeps her off her feet and saves her from her grief.
- they are two halves that wait to be reunited.
Girls grow up dreaming of being princesses rescued by a prince. Instead of dealing with their shit and healing any wounding, they wait for the right man before they can be happy and fulfilled. And young men grow up wanting to save women, they see their value in being needed by their helpless partners. This creates a cycle of neediness and dependency. Men keep attracting partners who are in need. This makes them feel wanted for a while but in a long-term, it becomes frustrating because the women never learn to emotionally depend on themselves.
We see ourselves as two halves – incomplete and unhappy until we find each other.
You’re not a half
Once I gave up on waiting for my prince, something great happened – I learned to depend on myself. I started seeing myself as an independent, happy and fulfilled human being, seeking another independent, happy and fulfilled human being to share my journey with. I don’t need him to be in my life, I’m capable of being happy when he’s away. My life is full and exciting and my partner simply adds an extra layer of bliss on top.
We can’t save each other
Men ask me sometimes about being with wounded women who carry trauma, have been raped, have trust issues, etc. And I tell them that it’s very beautiful to support their partners and be there for them in need. However, they need to be aware that they cannot save anyone. We’re not here to save each other. We’re here to have our own experience, our own process. As long as we’re choosing to ignore that, we’ll always end up frustrated and disappointed.
The wounded partner needs to process and heal their own stuff, they need to want a change badly enough that they will do whatever it takes. If you’re the only one pushing for a change, be prepared to wait for it a long time. If you get together with a wounded and needy partner, be aware that they might remain this way forever.
You cannot save anybody! You need to allow them to have their own process.
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