What Are You Teaching Your Ex About How to Treat You?

Question: Can you please explain how I am teaching my ex how to treat me? You write in one of your articles that “we teach people how they treat us”. I somehow get what it means but how does it apply to me teaching my ex how my ex treats me. I recently broke up with my ex because I felt that I was doing all the work in the relationship. This has been my pattern with all the men I dated. I put in all the work with not much input from the men. What hurt me most is that the same men treated other women they were involved with the way I wanted them to treat me.

It’s not like I ask for much. I grew up with so many hardships and always taken care of myself. I don’t understand how I’m teaching men to treat me the way they treat me. When I read where you say “we teach people how they treat us”, I wonder how that could be in my situation since I made it clear to my ex that I want him to treat me as special. Thank you, Yangki.

Yangki’s Answer: I’ll do the best I can to explain 1) what “you teach people how they treat you” means and 2) how you may be teaching your ex how to treat.

What does you teach people how to treat you mean?

It simply means you teach people how to treat you by how you treat you. Another way to say it is, how others treat you is a reflection of how you treat you. It may not even be how you feel about yourself, but how they think you want to be treated.

How you do the teaching is often through your actions and what you allow or don’t allow.

How are you teaching your ex how to treat you?

Because you’ve always taken care of yourself, you do not expect anything from anyone. You’ve learned that no one is going to be there for you, except you.

When you get into a relationship, you don’t expect the other person to give you what you want. Right from the start of the relationship (and without being consciously aware of it), you make it clear in words or actions that you (and only you) can and will take care of you. You don’t expect much so you don’t ask for much.

For example: On the very first date, you insist on paying for your coffee or dinner When your date tries to be a “gentleman”, you declare how independent you are, and even get “emotional” about it. Months later, you find yourself not only paying for all your date bills but also doing all the work to make the relationship work. Even when you ask for help, you follow it with “It’s no big deal. I can do it myself” or “If you don’t want to do it, that’s okay”, etc.

Even if deep down inside what you really want is for someone to be there for you, to put you first, to worry about you, and make you feel special etc. your words and actions are saying is “You don’t have to do anything. I do everything for myself and can take care of myself.”

The law of attraction: The energy you put out comes back to you

The “you don’t have to do anything. I do everything for myself and can take care of myself” energy you send out attracts people who do anything for you.

And even when you do attract someone who is capable and wants to be there for you; you don’t know how to allow them to take care of you. You don’t trust that they will or can (at least not to your satisfaction); and do it all by yourself even when that’s not what you’d have preferred.

Some people can go living the frustration of feeling like “nobody cares about me” all their lives. They go from relationship to relationship looking for someone care about them and do things for them, but not allowing anyone to.

Others turn their frustration to trying to “force” it out of their partners — nagging, demanding, complaining, playing mind games etc. It never brings the satisfaction of knowing that someone wants to be there for you, take care of you and make you feel special.

People are constantly looking at how we treat ourselves to understand how we want to be treated; our actions, what we allow and don’t allow.

This is why my approach to attracting back your ex is: if you want to be loved, act like someone who wants to be loved. And if you want your ex back, act like someone who wants their ex back.

Are you teaching your ex to treat you with love and make you feel safe; or teaching your ex to ignore you and make you feel rejected and abandoned?

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    1. Yangki AkitengYangki Akitengsays: Yangki Akiteng

      As the article says work on letting go “some of our beliefs, assumptions, expectations and habits that are not serving us that something begins to shift — and often to our pleasant surprise.”

  1. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Regina

    first of all, thank you for this insight and countless other life changing articles! now i need to learn to change this but at the same time find a balance within myself and my overly independent vibe.

  2. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Brittany

    Its very true… I attract men who treqt me horribky always hopin to get their affection now married, if I gain weight my husband treats me like utter crap!! It upsets me so much and im so insecure.I.allow him to treat me this way… my mind set is if he doesnt eant me heavy than he doesnt deserve me smaller either

  3. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: melody

    I consider myself a good woman by all accounts and have been told by people close to me that I’m a good person. But when it comes to relationships, I always get you’re a “bad person” attitude and treatment from men. I’m very loving, good listener, giving, never complain and I’m always very understanding even in situations most women would act up. But whatever I try to do to show them that I’m not the person they think I am, only makes them more sure that they know me and I’m a bad person.

    My last ex tells everyone I’m the worst woman he’s ever been with, and says nothing about his ex wife who cleaned him out of everything he owns. I took care of him and lent him money when he had nothing. I never asked for the money back but he paid it all back when we broke up because he says he wants to cleanse himself of me. How is what I’m doing teaching them how to treat me? You tell me.

    1. It’s sad that this is your experience. I’m tempted to go the “conventional” way and blame it on the men but the reality is we teach people how they treat us. We may not always be responsible for how others treat us but if person after person treats us the same way, it says the problem is not with the other person but with since we’re the only common denominator in all those experiences.

      Trying to be good may exactly be the reason you’re thought of as “not” a good person. You can not see and therefore cannot help others see your innate goodness when you’re too busy trying to be good. If you truly believed you’re a good person, there’d be no need for you to “try” being good. Anything that involves “trying to be” screams “NOT!” that’s why there is the “trying”. It doesn’t feel real. It doesn’t come across as authentic. It’s not attractive.

  4. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Krista

    This has shaken me to my core. I am one of those people who defines oneself as “a person who doesn’t need other people,” and have always attracted men who reflect this back to me. I’ve been wondering why and then I read this! The insight I’ve taken from the post is that I have to find a balance that works for me.

  5. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Bobby L

    I’ve been abused and neglected by women all my life. I know there must be an energy I’m putting out to attract these women and believe me I do not want to be this way, but I do not know how to change that energy.

  6. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Edmundo

    I’ve been treated like ATM-machines and a janitor for their emotional baggage all my life. But at least the sex was good :=)

  7. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Nick

    I agree with this post. I’ve dated women who have not had the experience of being treated well and they expected me to be like all the other men. I felt as though they did not believe I loved them and would do anything for them. I finally left the relationship.

  8. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Genie

    I’m just out of a relationship in which I did not feel special. He expected me to dress in a way which is modest and dignified yet when we were out he ogled and made comments about how sexy the other women dressed in scanty clothes looked. I’m still trying to rebuild my self-esteem and this will surely be handy for me in my next relationship.

  9. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Ty

    I’ve always dated women who played games because I was clueless and treated ALL people the way I wish to be treated. In the process I’ve been cheated of a car, thousands of dollars and have had my heart broken in so many places that I don’t trust women anymore.

  10. AvatarAvatarAvatarsays: Lezlie

    He treated me like a princess but when I caught him with my best friend he smiled and said “Did you think you really think you were that special?” It broke my heart into pieces.

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