The Enemy Within


Who is responsible for the unhappy state of your most cherished relationship? Why aren’t you receiving the same tender loving care that you keep giving to the other individual? Why doesn’t he/she appreciate you? Why are you the only one giving pleasure, but never receiving the same? Why do dysfunctional people always seem to be attracted to you? These are the types of questions that torment some individuals to no end. They read every relationship book, article, and advice column they can get their hands on, hoping to discover a way out of their torment and into the state of euphoria they dream of when it comes to an intimate relationship.

If they can’t find anything in writing to bring clarity to relational problems, they’re willing to attend conferences, workshops, retreats, and any other event in hopes that motivational speakers, relationship experts, or conference facilitators will finally provide the answers they’ve been looking for and in some cases, paid good money for.

Books, articles, and how-to manuals in hand, they anxiously return to the relationship excited and ready to apply new knowledge only to discover, things are still the same. The anguish continues, the distress is weighty, and the suffering is attaching itself to every part of their lives. If a partner doesn’t respond in the way the manuals, articles, conferences, retreats, or workshops promised, irritability starts to creep in. Confusion and hurt magnifies. Now the first laundry list of questions has even more questions added to it. Why is my partner non-responsive; why is he/she so stubborn; why won’t he/she change if I’m going through all this stuff to improve this relationship? What is wrong with people, and finally, what is wrong with me or, what did I do to deserve this?

There is one place where people hate to look for the answers because, either consciously or subconsciously, there is the fear of the inability to handle the truth. There is the fear that the answers will be reveal something about them they’ve been avoiding. Yes, there is a very real adversary — one who knows a million ways in which to destroy a relationship. This adversary is far more skilled than any external force when it comes to figuring out exactly what it takes to dismantle a relationship. It can cause destruction the likes of which no other man or woman has the power to do. This particular adversary is so proficient at undermining or sabotaging the best efforts made to attract, cultivate, and maintain a healthy loving relationship because this adversary is the “Enemy Within.” That’s right, in many cases the person who prohibits, restricts, undermines, sabotages or destroys the relationship is “self”. How is this possible?

The Enemy Within is a powerful weapon that all of us hate to acknowledge. An individual can spend years fighting against perceived adversaries he or she may blame for the problems or destruction of a relationship. But given the right set of circumstances and environment, any one of us is capable of giving birth to the Enemy Within and it will do far more damage than the perceived adversaries are capable of because no one else knows us like the Enemy Within. It knows the secrets we’ve never shared with another living soul; it knows about the insecurities we wouldn’t dare speak of out loud; it knows those little things we dislike about ourselves that we’ve never shared with anyone; it knows when we’re in our most vulnerable state.

So how does the Enemy Within look? It manifest itself as insecurity, doubt, fear, confusion, guilt, self-deprivation, addiction, and any other negatives attitude or behavior that we allow to enter and control our lives. If the other person in the relationship is treating you badly, could it be that he or she recognized your Enemy Within and has decided to use it at will? If so, consider the following: When this person recognized your insecurity, they decided it could be used against you to keep you feeling subordinate (beneath, lesser, inferior, lower) in the relationship; when they recognized fear in you, they decided it was the perfect way to keep you in your place; when they recognized guilt in you, they made a decision to beat you over the head with what they know you’re already beating yourself up with; if they recognize addiction, they use the addiction as the carrot to entice you to participate in destructive behavior.

But remember, abusive people only feel comfortable in treating you this way if they recognize these things in you and see that you embrace them. The good news is that you have the power to drive the Enemy Within out of your life. Don’t worry about changing those predatory individuals who attempt to use you against you. Once you get rid of the Enemy Within, the predator has been rendered powerless to hurt you in any way.

People know who they can mess with, and once they realize that you love you; know your value; are happy with who you are; are confident in your abilities; will accept nothing less than your expectations and yes — they can be high (just keep them reasonable); know that you deserve the best when it comes to love; and there are certain things you will reject because you are better than that, they will have to comply or leave you alone. If they choose to comply that is because they share your value system; respect your wishes and everything about you; and want both of you to get the best out of the relationship (the only kind worth having). If they choose not to comply, you still win because they’ve only made room for the person who will value and deserve to be with you.

The Enemy Within is not prejudice and we’re all subject to do battle with it. However, it’s your life and although insecurities, doubt, confusion, or fear comes to visit each of us, we have the power to decide whether or not someone gets to use them against us. I say – NOT.

From Pamela Reaves © February 7, 2012

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