There’s denial and then there is denial…but for the most part a lot of people spend a lot of time ignoring the cold hard truths about their partner, their partner’s family, their partner’s friends or their basic compatibility with the person they’ve chosen.
I look back and cringe of some of my denial reactions to some of my friends’ reactions to things going on in my relationships. From a couple who tried to help me when the abuse in my first marriage was obvious, to a friend who pointed out a basic personality clash between me and long-time boyfriend, to begging off a friend’s invitation so I could go have a “talk” with my estranged boyfriend, to ignoring obvious signs of cheating…these are all times that would later make me cringe and think, “What was I thinking?”
But the denial, the pretending, the settling for, was absolutely necessary in order to keep a dysfunctional relationship together or to go back to a dysfunctional relationship or to hold out hope that a dysfunctional relationship would get better (newsflash: nuh uh).
But on some level I knew… I knew …I always knew. There were other times I “suspected” infidelity or conveniently ignored the hurtful words in the last argument…because if I acknowledged them I’d have to do something about them and I wasn’t ready for that.
But the denial simply postpones the inevitable…or keeps us stuck in a bad situation…and we settle for less and less each day…because if someone gets away with it once, they do it again…and we have to pretend more and more while we ignore more and more…
…until our insides are churning all the time and there is no peace of mind. Sometimes we start to detach from our feelings and go on autopilot because we can’t feel as bad as we really feel. Other times we become a basketcase freaking out over every little little thing until everyone, including ourselves, begins to doubt our sanity. We can ricochet from one end of the spectrum to the other trying not to face what we will eventually have to face: the cold, hard facts.
not easy. Never ever easy. But necessary to living an authentic life.