You say you care. You do. Say I’m the center of your universe. And when you do, you really go far with the praise. Assure me that it’s true, act like it’s the most obvious thing in the world that you prioritize me in a major way.
But then your actions paint a different picture. And I’ll find myself all alone on some night with our plans not only not happening but also not canceled. Instead, you don’t show up. And I don’t hear from you. You flake on what you promised.
And when you do, you always have some reason. Something that came up that you just had to do. You’ll explain it to yourself in a way that makes it feel okay to you.
And eventually you’ll explain it to me — you’ll give that same reason. But not until I’ve reached out a few times asking where you are. It usually takes a few messages.
You’ve gotten distracted by something else always. There was someone else who needed help. Another thing to take care of. None of it was urgent, but you can’t help yourself, you say. You have to help.
But helping me isn’t a priority.
And that’s when I have the realization that I don’t matter to you as much as you do to me. If I tell you this, you argue. Or you commit to being more considerate next time. But then you do it again. It happens again.
And after it happens enough, it becomes clear that something has to change. You might say it’s my perception of events, that everything is just fine. But I’m not sold.
And to me, there are only two other options, since the inequality of the situation is hurting me. One is very unrealistic: That I’ll try to get you to prioritize me more. (Unrealistic because I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.)
The other is more realistic but painful: I need to adjust my expectations. To prioritize you less, so I stop feeling so small and pathetic.