I happened to be scrolling through Facebook when a particular status caught my attention: "Remember that I was there for you when no one else was."
There are tons of women who pride themselves on sticking with a man through thick and thin. They endure infidelity, heartbreak, and disrespect for the reward of knowing that they stuck by their side. It becomes more about loyalty than anything else.
Whenever loyalty rises to the top, something has to sink to the bottom. Unfortunately, happiness is always at the bottom, overshadowed and forgotten. The idea that we stuck by someone through thick and thin trumps everything and everyone.
Loyalty seems to be most important for people who exist on a continuum that can include anything from being ignored as child to abandonment, abuse, feeling unwanted, or being neglected. It stems from a subconscious belief in the boomerang effect: that doling out the type of love and care that we want will mean that it will be returned. What happens is that the people we choose to bestow our love upon don't share that same belief. They feed on our love and loyalty for breakfast, expect even more for dinner, but with out the appreciation or gratitude.
We sometimes learn the hard way not to give our love to someone who feeds on hearts. But some of us never learn and continue to lay our hearts on the table, day after day, year after year. The real question for that facebook quote becomes, what is the void within that enables you to not pay attention to signs? If no one else is there for him, maybe there is a reason.