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Are You a Doormat in Your Relationship?

Are You a Doormat in Your Relationship

When you are in a relationship, it is easy to lose yourself and become overwhelmed by what you feel for the other person. You want to give in to your emotions and make sure that the object of your affection knows how much you care for him/her. There is, however, a difference between caring for somebody and letting that person walk all over you. You may be acting like a doormat in your relationship, without even realizing it.

Falling in love can be an overwhelming experience. It can fill you with emotions you've never known before and make you do things you never thought you were capable of doing. In many ways, it can make you a better person. In some instances, however, it can cause you to lose sight of who you are and what you deserve.

Although it's great to care for someone, it's also important that you keep yourself from becoming a relationship doormat. Not all relationships are created equal and while judging other women's relationships is easy to do, judging your own can be difficult. You may believe that what you have with the man in your life is a healthy partnership, but are you absolutely sure about that? The signs of an unhealthy relationship are not always available in plain sight and, often, people stay blind to their own destructive behavior.

It could be that you are unaware that you are allowing yourself to be treated like a doormat, or it could also be that you are actually choosing to ignore the warning signs. If it's the latter, then no one can help you but you. If it's the former, however, read on and see if any of the following scenarios seem just a tad too familiar.

1. You regularly find yourself making excuses for him.

He's frequently disappointing you or alienating those important to you; however, instead of calling him on it, you rationalize his behavior. Instead of acknowledging his shortcomings, you convince yourself that he's pushed into situations by circumstances beyond his control and that it just doesn't seem fair to hold him responsible for anything.

Example: He forgets your birthday and you tell yourself that it doesn't matter because he's been swamped at work lately. You then use the same excuse on your family when he doesn't show up for your parents' anniversary dinner and modify it when he is rude toward your friends by telling them that he's just tired from work.

2. You blame yourself when things go wrong.

You have taken to heart the meaning of the expression "it takes two to tango" and have decided to apply it to your relationship. Thus, when a problem arises as a result of something he has done, you avoid blaming him by telling yourself that you are the reason why he did it.

Example: You caught him cheating and you believe that it's because you've been spending more time at the office, making him feel neglected and lonely. If only you've been more attentive to his needs, less focused on your career... Maybe if you'd paid more attention to your looks, dressed up more often, and worked out more, he wouldn't have hooked up with Diane from marketing. He definitely would not have started anything with Anna from public relations.

3. You arrange your schedule (and your life) around his.

You know that relationships can't thrive if couples have no time for each other, and so you see to it that you manage to spend time together despite your busy schedules. You're the only one making concessions, though. You cancel appointments, put off seeing friends, and postpone projects, but you tell yourself that it's fine because your schedule is more flexible and relationships are supposed to be about compromise anyway.

Example: He wants you to go with him to his cousin's wedding, but you have a meeting scheduled that day with a potential investor for your jewelry line. You find yourself thinking that the wedding's more important and moving the meeting to another day. This is despite the fact that you've never even met the cousin or heard about him before.

4. You are constantly gauging his mood.

He has never hit you and he's not physically violent, but he does have a temper and is easily irritated or offended. Sometimes all it can take is one word and he'll snap at you. You assure yourself that there's nothing to be worried about, but you're often jumpy around him and careful not to say or do anything that might set him off, anything that he might consider stupid or annoying.

Example: You take turns deciding what to do on your dates. You usually have no problem with any of his plans and when you do, you keep your objections to yourself because you don't want to offend or annoy him. Also, whenever it's your turn to decide, you choose activities that you think he might like or might be in the mood for, instead of what you actually want. You have done this so often, you're not sure what activities you do like to do any more.

5. You judge your life through his eyes.

He is an important part of your life, so it makes sense that his views matter to you. Everybody's influenced to some point by those who matter to them. That is normal and even healthy. What is not normal is using his opinions as the standard on how your life should be assessed. What is not healthy is letting his likes and dislikes replace your own.

Example: He thinks your car is a heap of junk. You've always liked how your car fits your personality, but you tell yourself that he does have impeccable taste. If he says that your car is a heap of junk, maybe it's time to trade it in for a new model. Of course if he's right about the car, he must also be right in suggesting that you switch from coffee to tea, convert to a different religion, become a vegan, and look for a job that suits you better. While you're at it, maybe you can change your hair color and find new friends because the ones you already have are too loud and obnoxious.


Relationships are hard work---there's no denying that. Compromise and sacrifices must be made, but make sure that both of you are aware of this and that both of you are putting in the effort. You don't need to be callous and insensitive to avoid becoming a relationship doormat. You just need to realize what you are worth and that you deserve the same amount of respect and devotion you lavish on your partner.

Comments (4)

goldengloss
OK, I was celibate for 11yrs, looking after an x with serious mental probs. Doc finally said 'look youre attractive, fun youve got to get out,, so I joined this Dating Site. 2years ago I met a man, it wasnt sparks at first but we had lots in common, Art [hes an artist] photography, a simple life, he did say on the onset that 1. he would never live with me or any woman 2 he wouldnt commit in anyway as in church blessing marriage, even if we lived apart.
~~ However, over the months I found he went very quickly into a relatioship whereby i went to his house for the weekend. I live in a tiny place so he cant come here. I found his house chaotic, like alot of artists, cold, windy, dirty, but he cooked form me, ironed for me, was fun, a great lover, he seemed to fall head over heels.
~~ he told me the truth about his past, pretty awful !! his wife [now dead 7yrs] was bisexual and he would join in, she also had a boyfriend and they went swinging, he had lots and lots of sex with women, ~ Since meeting me, he has reduced his porn addiction by 99per cent. He says he never loved anyone as much as me, that Im the first woman he has met that he couldnt bear to think of, with another man. ~ Hes in his middle 60s, Im not far behind but we are both attractive. Problem? Well, I wonder will I still be going over to his house when I'm 70 and staying the nights and then being driven home, i find this very upsetting when i get back and bringing clothes etc., is a pain, Remember his house is anything but comfy. He doesnt like to go on Dates. We have gone to the movies a few times, in two years, he goes to the pub for lunch and this is a date. He says we have simplicity and its special but i feel that I am losing my confidence and my social skills.
~~ he is quite controlling and rings me to say how much he loves me often during the day, a friend says he is checking up? He does go into v quiet and nasty moods. He was not in love with his wife he says, and has changed. i find him abit mean,
Last weekend he turned around to me and asked me outstraight for 200euro. for a new TV that he doesnt need, Im on invalidity pension and living on v little but he knows that i have savings for my teeth. I had a row, he thought me awful, he said we were a couple, partners and that I should be prepared to pay.
I gave the Deposit for the TV. He now expects me to pay for the 200euro towards it. I feel this is cheap and that a man and woman not living together , this isnt right. I love him dearly.
He has let his old men friends go as he says he has nothing in common with them. He has grandkids and kids grown up whereas I ahve no family. Am I wasting my time? We do have a great love but is it enough. sorry for going on so long, it could be my last chance at love. He has said hat I am very sensitive and creative and also have bad arthritis and that he understands and many men wouldnt, again, he is a wonderful and caring lover. kind too
misterprefect
What the contributor is referring to is Codependency. It's okay to share yourself. It's okay to allow others to share themselves. It's okay to help others, or to simply be an ear for others to voice their concerns, fears, etc. It is okay to establish boundaries.

It is not okay to sacrifice your well-being for someone else. It is not okay to be a doormat. It is not okay to be taken advantage of. In the way that it is okay to establish boundaries, it is okay to not tolerate when someone violates those boundaries. Be mindful of when someone is violating your space and boundaries, and never be afraid to inform them.

'I feel' is better than 'You are'. It's a view, and can avoid a heated discussion. Plus, you get the chance to practice telling about how YOU feel.

Codependency is a disease, and is real. I have been in recovery for over four years. I'm far from perfect, but I love who I am, as well as how far I've grown. I embrace the changes I have made, as well as accept that I will spend my life in recovery. I attend meetings, know my resources, and utilize the tools in my 'toolbox' to keep myself centered, grounded, and real.

Compared to the 'tools' that were forced onto me as a child, these are so much safer, and help me keep some sense of sanity.
Torriekit
I think that galaxy is quite right. That having been said, I can only give my opinion from my point of view, and I am a woman.
I really have to work at not pleasing him on all counts and counting my own needs. That is difficult when the person comes out of warped relationship. All one can do is be kind and understanding to both yourself and the other person. But above all else do not always put their needs before yours.
galaxy15
This article is quite sexist!
The assumption I glean, is that, only men do this to women...
...which isn't true at all!

G

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