You Fought Hard to Keep Them: Give Up The Ghost and Fight For You 7


By Javinne J. McCoy

One of the many screwy dynamics of emotionally unavailable relationships is that there is always one partner who is doing more of the loving, giving, wanting to deal with emotions, making amends, apologizing, and wanting to do the REAL relationship work that it takes to achieve true intimacy with another.  The emotionally unavailable partner is usually less willing to engage in the relationship work. This dynamic sets the other party up to have to WORK REALLY HARD FOR LOVE. 

Have you ever felt as if you had “lost” yourself in a relationship after it failed? If so, you were probably the one fighting tooth and nail to get decency, love, respect, and care from your reluctant partner who resisted the relationship.

When you find yourself in a pattern of having to fight for love, you will notice that it feels as if you are powerless. In a sense, you are powerless in the context of this kind of relationship; the very nature of unhealthy relationships is about a power struggle-it is never about love, it is about ego.  It is either, “I win or you win, or we both lose.”

There is never a middle ground like, both parties “winning”. Emotionally unavailable partners will resist doing the healthy work to achieve a win-win situation because achieving that kind of result in a relationship requires a high level of vulnerability, intimacy, connectedness to one’s self, and to one’s partner-they are not interested in doing the real work (often times, we are ourselves are not interested in doing the REAL work either because we keep chasing them-“the unavailable”).

When you are in love with someone who is an E.U.P, they usually take from you a lot more than they are giving emotionally, and you are usually giving a lot more than you should to someone who keeps resisting your attempts to connect with them. When you accept this kind of role in your relationships, you essentially give up your power to them and hence feel powerless.

Isn’t it amazing how we will do almost anything to get someone to love us who simply refuses to reciprocate our love? This often leads us to behavior that falls under the umbrella of what I like to call Pulling Out All of The Relationship Stops (to get them to stay, work it out, and not walk away even after they made it clear that they are not as invested as you are in the relationship-regardless of what they professed-remember, Talk is Cheap; It is Action That Speaks). 

When you find yourself Pulling Out All of the Relationship Stops, you will do things to fight for them and the relationship at all costs, essentially fighting for what doesn’t exist (or maybe it existed only for “the moment”). Keep in mind that E.U.P.’s often say or do things that give the appearance of authentic love for “the moment” (e.g. they say I love with their words), but they don’t connect their words with matching actions as this enables them to avoid taking responsibility in the relationship. This will always leave you frustrated, bewildered, and doing ALL of the loving, caring, and “trying to make it work” for the both of you.

Usually when we “pull out all of the relationship stops” it is to our own detriment.  My version of fighting for a reluctant partner’s love, use to go something like this: apologizing for the both of us, showing up with cards and flowers to make amends, suggesting that we “work it out” in couples therapy, begging and pleading on bended knee for them not to leave me (because they promised they would never leave me), hanging on “words of love” and begging them to behave with the love they professed to have for me…..etc. 

In essence, when we are dealing with E.U.P’s, a lot of wasted energy is spent on someone who doesn’t even appreciate your efforts and sacrifices because they are selfish. The good news is that if this has been your cycle, there is Positive Slant to it. If you have wasted countless energy trying to get people to love you, care about you, and just be in a loving relationship with you, you have a fierce quality called persistence- a great quality to have. Persistence, is a stepping stone to really getting what you want and desire; it shows fierce commitment-this is a good thing.

However when we do not know our worth and value, our energies often become misdirected. We will use our persistence to cling to what is unhealthy and unavailable. Think about it. If you can hunt him/her down with such gusto and fight for the both of you (while they barely make any effort), how much more can you redirect that energy into healing your heart, addressing your unhealthy patterns, and ending the cycle once and for all?

It is time to stop chasing what DOESN’T EXIST in the first place. Stop chasing them. Stop fighting for them and give up the ghost. If they are not organically meeting you on a level relationship playing field, then the relationship is not mutual.  People, who can walk away from you at the drop of a dime, after you have made sacrifices with your heart and time, are simply not worth it.

Remember, the very nature of E.U.P.’s is to NOT DEAL. With that said, it is much easier for them to walk away without a care. After all, when you really care for something and want it to work because you see the value in it, it is not so easy to walk away. Right?

If you are fighting so hard for them and they are not fighting for you, quite possibly, they do not care.  Enough of fighting for them to stay, not leave you, and see your value.  Fight for you. Redirect your energies.  Learn to let them go (but keep the lessons close to your heart so that you can avoid this kind of pain in the future).

Even if you feel you will NEVER heal or get over them, put 100 % of your efforts into leaving them and the situation alone. In other words, GIVE UP THE GHOST. Don’t fight for someone who won’t fight for you and the relationship (and a relationship is not about “fighting anyway. It is about two imperfect people making the decision to be vulnerable, who really want to share their lives together, and do the healthy work to achieve real intimacy).

You fought hard to keep them and you still don’t have them. Now it is time to fight for you and your right to be loved in an emotionally available relationship. Start with you first.

Please share your thoughts, comments, and stories. Do you have a topic or a question on emotionally unavailable relationships that you would like addressed on the L.A. Blog? Please feel free to email:

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7 thoughts on “You Fought Hard to Keep Them: Give Up The Ghost and Fight For You

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