I fully admit to being critical and giving unsolicited opinions on other people’s relationships. It always backfires, so I don’t recommend the practice at all. Still, I can’t seem to help myself. I just feel like, “If you’d only TRY it my way, you might actually have some success at your relationship.” That said, the wisest people I know (my students) did point out that NOT everyone wants to be happy. In fact, one pointed out, some people want to cause misery by picking at others, pointing out flaws, and making life miserable. That this is, in fact, their version of happiness. Smart kid.
Ah and I know these people. I can be this person. In fact I was well-positioned to be in one miserable relationship after another because, while “bright” intellectually and even “with it” emotionally, I made cruddy life choices around men. I would want to be with people who didn’t want to be with me (What flavor of crazy is that, anyway?) or men who would accept me if I’d only (insert need or want here). However, I wasn’t too keen on the people who liked me for me. Isn’t that always the case?
However, I wouldn’t select a person like this for any one of my friends, family or (now) students. I would want them to find people who saw the special in them like their parents, friends, and teachers. I would want them to accept themselves and accept nothing less of their romantic partners. I tell them this often. I really want them to realize that they are quite special, worthy of love, and have something to offer.
Which is why it KILLS me when I witness awful relationships. I’m not talking about the occasional fight — that’s quite normal. I’m talking about the weird and controlling. I’m talking relationships in which the word LOVE is lobbied around like a tennis match, but respect is nowhere to be seen. I find it strange that you can have love without respect, but that’s my warped world view, and I’m sticking to it.
I’ve watched men and women (partner A) tear their partner (B) apart, tell them they are ugly, fat, stupid, lazy, a terrible parent, etc. only to have partner B try to leave. At that point, Partner A then cries and carries on. How can B leave when they LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it now, and it should be shouted from the rafters. If that’s love, I’ll live without it just fine thank-you-very-much. With love like that, who needs hate?
Lately, because of the Valentine’s holiday, magazines have posted article after article about marital abuse. It’s heartbreaking to realize that if you speak against the abuser, you are killing your chances of having a relationship with the abused as well as ruining any future chance of helping the abused. CRAP.
It bothers me that anyone would consider jealousy an attribute. It scares me that someone would willingly allow themselves to be cut off from friends and family because it upsets their partner. It’s like they don’t even see the trap being laid. Again, when you ask, “Why?” the answer is always, “I love him.” or “He loves me so much.” Usually followed by, “You just don’t get it.” or “He’s not always like that. You don’t see the GOOD in him.”
So many people die at the hands of their spouse, romantic partner, former boyfriend/girlfriend, that you’d think we’d have a clue by now. But we don’t. Why? Because we consider people without partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses as losers. As a society we think it’s BETTER to be with SOMEONE rather than NO ONE. Even if that someone is slowly killing the person — not just physically but emotionally and psychologically.
But I say, if that’s love, no thank you. Sometimes it’s better not to be loved.