You’re there whenever they call – 3am or 3pm – with good news or bad.
You bend over backwards to make them happy with nights out, affectionate messages and driving when they’re tired. You overlook their faults and misgivings and treat them with unconditional love.
When they treat you with indifference, you remain silent. A crack at a time, on the inside, you’re breaking, staying in the relationship with hope via their standard lukewarm sentiments.
You hold their half-assed messages close, read them over and over, extracting every ounce of appreciation. Gradually, it affects the way you see yourself in the mirror, around other people and by yourself.
This week, I got thinking about unequal relationships. Not unrequited love – relationships where one party is taken for granted by another – the kind of set-up where if you withdrew, they’d have a vacuum in their life.
What got me thinking about it was a comment my partner made over dinner one night:
You know how it sucks to be in a relationship where all you do is give and give and you don’t ever get anything in return? I was thinking of how much food we consume and the land we take over, the water we carelessly use all over the world. If we humanized the earth, do you know how heartbreakingly deprived it would feel?
I saw concern in his eyes and my heart melted into a puddle.
We never pause long enough to think of these things, when we’re caught up in the dramas and storylines of our lives. Going over how your heart aches at the sight of a man/woman who says they love you and can’t seem to show it.
You know those cheesy over-done posters we made in school of the earth crying while a pair of hands caress it?
Those would be true, imbued with real emotion and real tears, because who wants to be in a relationship that sucks the life out of you, bit by bit?
Eventually, it’ll want out.
This isn’t an environmental statement, it’s a human one – for your kind consideration.