If You Need Them to Be Better, You’re Acknowledging That They Ain’t All That! 15


By Javinne J. McCoy

There are a handful of people whom I am acquainted that are simultaneously experiencing the power of the “Unhealthy Relationship Breakup Gods” (myself included). Here is the run down:

Unhealthy Relationship Exhibit A: One person has had to endure heartbreak by the hand of a narcissistic husband who stepped out of the marriage and got some other chic pregnant after carrying on an affair, placing his so called wife in the position of being The Other Woman. Than has the balls to still stick around, want to be with both of them (so both woman become his ego stroking trophies in the Nifty Narcissistic Harem of woman he is building). (Read: A hot-ass selfish messy mess!)

Unhealthy Relationship Exhibit B: Another is having to let go of an emotionally unavailable partner, after four years, who likes to get slap-happy with her from time to time (Read: Abusive Chump).

Unhealthy Relationship Exhibit C: The other (yours truly) has been no contact for three months with his narcissistic Ex partner who gave him a dramatic soul mate speech (including tears and the whole shebang), only to discard (threatened to call 5.0 on me when I asked him to stay and try to “work it out” and not throw me and the relationship away), devalue me, and push me away at the end of the relationship (which he initially begged me NOT to let go of). (Read: DRAMA)

Unhealthy Relationship Exhibit D:  Lastly, Another is dealing with his ex who lives on the planet “ME, ME, ME”. The Ex doesn’t want to be in a relationship with this person but only wants to use him at convenient times for selfish reasons, than discard him when it is required he reciprocate and actually GIVE of himself in a mutual relationship. (Read: A selfish lopsided-ass relationship)

As I mulled over all of these situations, a bell rang in my head. DING! DING! DING!  These are all non-reciprocal relationships which are pretty crappy at best and abusive at worst. In all of these relationships, there seems to be one party who is NOT stepping up to the plate, being present in the relationship, being emotionally available and meeting the reasonable needs of the other party.  After all, emotionally unavailable partners are designed by default to NOT have the capacity to give you what you need.  This is why while you give, give, give- they- take, take, and take, leaving you emotionally bankrupt.  This unfolds the next point nicely:

If you need to constantly TELL someone to treat you decently and give you the love and care you rightfully deserve, you are admitting that they DO NOT possess the things you need in the PRESENT relationship you already have with them. 

In other words, you acknowledge that They Ain’t All That in the PRESENT!  If you are giving and they are taking (or giving but half-assed, half-heartedly, or very little), The Non-Reciprocal Relationship sign should be flashing before your eyes so intensely that it blinds the hell out of you. If they were such a great catch, a decent human being, with upright character, who treated you fairly, and who loved you from a healthy place, you would feel good, not bad. 

When you have a track record of unfulfilling relationships, coupled with self-esteem that is already on thin ice, you can over-value what someone is presenting to you.  It is essentially becomes the case of The Relationship Crumbs I am Turning into A Full Course Meal from My Partner Who Should Be Better.

If you were getting a Healthy Relationship Full Course Meal in the present, you wouldn’t be starving; you would be satisfied because they are already being BETTER in your relationship by default.

It really becomes a matter of stripping away the illusions of who you initially thought this person was (an emotionally available partner who actually loved, cared, cherished and respected you), and what you know them NOW to be (a person who talks a good game but can’t execute the plan of action to win the damn game). More than likely, they presented to you a false-self and overestimated their own ability to have a healthy fulfilling loving relationship with another adult. 

I look back at my own laundry list of E.U.P’s and realize that none of them were really THAT great. I always had to pump them up. By pumping and priming the hell out of them, I  put them on Golden thrones & Pedestals, which they fell off with a resounding thud every time, because the REAL them was not worthy of that kind of adoration from me (because I was being mistreated) (Plus not to mention, it is like worshiping a false idol- a sort of relationship Baal if you will). 

If you need someone to be “BETTER THAN” they are with YOU in the present, you are failing to see the REAL THEM. 

Sometimes when you rip off the mask that someone is wearing, you can be horrified by the reality of who they are. The beginning of the relationship may be the only portion where they gave you a few glimpses of decency, which you overvalued, by failing to see the bigger picture of who they are, because you make everything about YOU.

Here is how to get into reality when you are struggling with fact versus fiction in Unhealthy Relationship Land- make a list. You can entitle it the “I Needed You to Be ‘Better Than’ List”. List all of the actions you experienced in the relationship, which made you feel confused, mistreated, and uncomfortable. Be very specific, list the offense, and then translate the REAL meaning behind what the actions show you (in REALITY). Don’t villainize them, just GET REAL.

Here is a list I compiled from my unhealthy relationship roller-coaster ride with Mr. SMS (You will want to get out a pen and paper and write your own list, it can be cathartic-keep in mind this is not about blame but addressing feelings, validating yourself (when you can’t get validation through them), and releasing things you can’t ‘Make Better’ for the other party because they have to be willing to do the work themselves):

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

1.      Makes vows of love and then breaks those vows at the drop of a hat.

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

A person who can lather you up in lovey dovey talk and then within the blink of an eye  say mean things to you or treat you without care, has ISSUES with being AUTHENTIC.  They talk a good talk but lack the tools to take responsibility, and walk the walk, in a reciprocal loving relationship with you. Remember this is their issue. If you make it YOURS and about you, you will undoubtedly stir up the drama cauldron. Accept that if their actions are not matching their words they are INAUTHENTIC- PERIOD!

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

2.      Runs away from problems or conflict and acts like everything is Peachy Keen when IT IS NOT, and won’t DEAL.

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

People who constantly won’t DEAL, are avoiding REALITY, and living in their own delusions to keep them safe from being emotionally accountable and vulnerable (which can feel very scary to some, so they play the Dodge Being Accountable Card).

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

3.      Tells me while we are eating breakfast “To be honest, you are around me more than I prefer. If it were up to me, I would see you maybe once a week. I feel like I need to barter for space ” (This was said to me by Mr. SMS, keep in mind we barely spent quality time because of his obsession with his material success)

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

A person, who professes to love you, will never make you feel like a burden. In fact, they would be overjoyed at your presence and the opportunity to spend time with you. A person who pushes you away only to pull you back in when they want something from you, is SELFISH, and wants things on THEIR terms (not the best terms for cultivating intimacy and reciprocity in a healthy relationship). They want to be IN CONTROL. Here begins a power struggle of epic proportions. You deserve better than that! Yup you really do!

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

4.      Confesses “There is no doubt in my mind that you are my Soul Mate and that I love you”, and then when asked if the words professed were sincere, replies “I meant it for the moment”.

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

Someone who would gain your trust through professing to be your Soul Mate (or any other Grand Proclamation of Love), only to claim that they only meant it for the moment (after you are already knee deep in lovey dovey land)  is telling you exactly what type of person they are- for THE MOMENT. You cannot trust anything this person tells you verbally because what they confess is on a whimsy and not based on a foundation of truth.  People who are for THE MOMENT will lack empathy to understand how their hurtful words and actions affect you and the relationship.

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

5.      Will use me to help out with personal work assignments for 9 hours only to have me take the train home after helping them all day (when I am only a 20 minute drive away).

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

A partner that will utilize your time to meet their needs but when it comes time to be available to you, leaves you to fend for yourself, lacks the capacity to CARE.  They have another agenda and priority other than you and the relationship. The general message is “Your well-being is NOT my priority” and it is all about ME!”

I needed you to be ‘Better Than’ a lover who:

6.      When conflict arises responds with “Go, Leave Me Alone!”

The ‘REAL them’ translated:

This is an easy one. When a person responds to you in this manner, they are demonstrating they have the emotional IQ of a spoiled little brat-child. A child’s response is to run away from conflict and be resistant to confrontation because often they lack the reasoning skills to problem solve (which is usually learned over time and maturity). If your partner responds in a similar way to conflict, this is a sign that they need to grow the hell up. Make your exit and allow them to figure this out on their own.

These are only 6 out of the 10 things on my “I Needed You to Be ‘Better Than’ List”.  Writing this list helped me to get real about the REALITY of who this person was (stripping away the illusion of the false-self they presented and the illusions I already had in my mind about WHO they were). 

Remember, if you need them to be ‘Better Than’ they already are, you are failing to accept the present reality of this person.  People are not science projects that need fixing.  If they are indeed “broken”, they first need to be vulnerable enough to admit this, and then be willing to do the work (for themselves) to be in an authentic healthy relationship with you (some peoples priorities are focused on external things and not internal things). If they are NOT willing, and you are the only one who is, your relationship scale is terribly lopsided. 

Remember, often times we overvalue what someone is giving (even when it is half-assed), when we feel bad about ourselves. They Ain’t All That! Really! If by some chance they do become a ‘Better Them’, let them try the ‘Better Them’ out on a new relationship, without you, because you can surely do ‘Better Than’ the crumbs they gave you in your unhealthy relationship.  Remember, you wanted them to “Be Better” because you already KNEW you deserved better. What does your “I Needed You to Be ‘Better Than’ List” look like?  Please share.

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15 thoughts on “If You Need Them to Be Better, You’re Acknowledging That They Ain’t All That!

  1. Reply Robert Cecil Brooks III Oct 24,2013 10:47 am

    I am going to create my list pretty soon because I have myself been living in a dream lovey dovey land thinking of all the ways I have cause pain in my past courtship. However, this is a great post for us all to start to get real with ourselves without wanting the validation of others to define us.

    • Reply The "Other" Love Doctor Oct 26,2013 4:24 pm

      Yes Robert. Thank you for reading and relating. It is so important that we see the bigger picture in emotionally
      unavailable relationships. These kinds are the most devastating and traumatic to our emotional well-being because
      they are often based on illusions (theirs and yours) about what really constitutes TRUE HEALTHY LOVE. We are often lying to ourselves about who this person REALLY IS at their core (They are often very broken people who don’t want to do the work to HEAL THEIR EMOTIONAL WOUNDS but AVOID them through many defense mechanisms( for example, mistreating you). I just recently learned more about the reality of one of my Exes Mr.SMS (Mr. Soul Mate Speech)- Even after the breakup he has returned to old habits and is now posting sex ADS up entitled “Young Commando Nudist seeking guys to hangout naked with”- I had no idea that Mr.SMS was a self-proclaimed “NUDIST”(but as I look back there were strange clues)- I found myself clutching my pearls. When we discover these startling truths(about THE REAL THEM, it can be so devastating because it may not stack up to the image they initially presented us with(or maybe it does but we just overlooked their ISH). Thanks for reading. Stay empowered to treat yourself BETTER THAN they did, find Better, DO Better, and Be Better because YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THEM and Anything that is not REAL AND AUTHENTIC LOVE. Cheers! 🙂

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  12. Reply Nicola Nov 12,2017 1:38 pm

    I needed my eum to be better than
    .leaving me when things went wrong in his life
    .spending all his money and expecting others to sort his mess out
    .making me feel like i had to walk on eggshells
    .telling me how much he loved me only to disappear then reappear months later
    Silent treatment if i dared to stand up for myself.
    .making plans with me then breaking them.
    I am so relieved thst i no longer put up with any of these things from anyone,i still to this day dont understand why i stayed 4.5 years,i thought he would change for me ,that he would eventually settle down.
    When i looked into his last relationship which was 12 years,he had been exactly the same throughout that coming and going never committing and he had two children,he had been allowed to get away with it for years.
    I stayed too long,i learned the hard way ,but i learnt,dont ever sell yourself short x

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