An Open Letter to the Passive Significant Other

 

Growing up, I always thought I knew what kind of girlfriend I wanted to be. Or, better yet, I knew what kind of girlfriend I didn’t want to be. I didn’t want to be the kind of girl who remained passive, and let doubts and insecurities overpower my voice. Growing up, I saw a lot of women take on passive roles in their relationships, and it really bothered me. 

As I got older and my friends started getting involved in serious relationships, I was the first to tell them to speak up for themselves. I didn't understand why some of them were afraid to let their partners know their feelings, thoughts, and concerns.

Soon enough, I found myself in the exact situation I had been watching my friends go through, and it finally hit me how hard confrontation really is. At times, I really wanted to voice my pain, but other times I thought it would be easier to just keep it all to myself. Even though my boyfriend and I both had flaws, faults, and guilt to acknowledge, I found that I was the first to apologize; I didn’t feel like I deserved or needed an apology in return, though an apology was justified.

Why was it so easy and comfortable for me to accept all of the blame?

In the beginning of any relationship, there’s a lot of pressure to make it seem perfect. Sometimes, we want little disagreements to stay little disagreements in order to convince ourselves that the relationship is still going strong. Unfortunately this mentality isn’t sustainable forever. Eventually, you get tired of holding back. We have to remember that we are people with our own set of feelings, and we deserve respect.

After experiencing that situation firsthand, I am an even stronger advocate for speaking up about what's hurting me. I know that if I keep letting things slide, I will never truly be happy in my relationship. I know that I need to acknowledge and try to understand my boyfriend's feelings, but he needs to do the same for me.

For anyone who has trouble confronting their significant other, it is time to speak up! Your opinion matters.