The Pretenders

No ContactBeing a pretender is not who any of us want to be or set out with the intention to be yet sometimes we become one because we’re too afraid to face the consequences if we’re not.

I know what it’s like to be a pretender; I spent way too many years of my childhood and much of my adulthood being one. I like others didn’t want to be this way but became this way because to live fully and honestly in my own truth would have meant abuse or near certain abandonment.

As a child there isn’t a lot of choice unless there is a supportive person to listen and help. Otherwise kids will stumble through their growing up years and then figure out a way to make their way into adulthood. It is no easy road and is often filled with depression and despair.

As adults when in relationships, pretenders are very good at keeping the peace because they look the other way when faced with a situation which should call for confrontation. For a pretender, looking the other way when faced with abusive, amoral, unethical, or untruthful behavior is par for the course. Deep down they always know they have two choices. One, they can accept their partner’s behavior as is or two, they can stand up to their partner and tell them what they know to be the truth, how this makes them feel, and what their next action is going to be.

For a true pretender, the thought of confronting their partner is more than they want to deal with or are too afraid to for their health and safety and possibly that of their children. They also likely have an overwhelming fear of abandonment which makes leaving even an abusive situation terrifying. In any case, they have conditioned themselves to look the other way or throw a deaf ear to anything they know deep down is not right.

This is a big problem for the pretender because in the beginning of the relationship they believe their partner is the real deal–that this person is wholesome and honest, kind and considerate. It is only after enough time has gone by that the facade begins to slip and the relationship partner presents to be exactly who they really are. This is devastating because by this time they’re too far into the relationship and have developed a defining bond with and truly love their partner.

One thing I know to be true: None of us are going to pretend our way into a better life; it’s just not going to happen.

What we can do is: Stop participating and start showing up for ourselves. None of us are meant to just survive life and our relationships. We are truly meant to thrive.

If you or a loved one are in a destructive relationship please seek help. Domestic Abuse Hotline:
1-800-799-7233.

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