If I had a quarter for every time I witnessed a double standard in a relationship I’d be a billionaire! Relationships are difficult even when two people get along. Simple things can become big misunderstandings and people get crossways at the simplest of issues.
For example: My mother and her husband are amazing together. They have the most fun of any couple I have truly ever seen. They can talk when they’re having fun, and the spark of joy is visible to everyone. Why is it then when the doors are closed and they have to communicate over how to cook a steak they get adamant about having it their way? Why the arguments and raised voices because it’s not cooked properly? Why can’t one of them say to the other, “Thank you for attempting to do something extraordinary for me despite the outcome?” Why do we fight to be right? Does that really matter?
Arguments like this are a direct result of unresolved issues within the dynamics of the relationship. In their case one fights for the right to be valued and the other fights for the right to be respected. Neither of them gets what they want in the end. Both of their feelings are wounded and both retract only to come back at a later date the next time steak is chosen for dinner and revisit the argument. It’s a never ending cycle without breaking the real issue. My question to them would be why can’t you talk reasonably at home as you do when out and about? Why is the necessity for an action of love only present among others?
It may sound like my questions are only of others, but I assure you that no one is harder on themselves or their actions than I am. The same question I would ask of anyone I surely would reflect on my own behavior. My relationship, however, is different. While I do not pick upon the little things like how to cook a steak I have a partner who does. His incessant need for control to avoid loss is the most epic issue in our relationship. His dominant personality will override even the most impervious.
My partner has an overwhelming sense of entitlement when it comes to his behavior. He feels justified in judgment and execution of his impenetrable beliefs. This makes for one to be regarded by some as above reproach and at the same time some see him as incredibly arrogant. I see him as both. When he decides that he’s going to bring the gauntlet down those around him quake in the wake. This is a fact I believe he’s proud of.
Very unlike me, he is consistent. That ability for longevity makes him appear trustworthy. While I am the type of person who believes in character above money and friends above me, I am often seen as the less than trustworthy because I don’t fit into a common mold. I stayed home with my kids, broke into Real Estate, wrote a novel about my tragic past, and pretty much went against the grain every chance I got. I forge my own path. I don’t follow status quo. I never have and I highly doubt I will start now.
My need for freedom and his need to control that freedom cause great strife in our relationship. He wants to be free, but doesn’t truly possess an inner hunger for it. He doesn’t dream of it, and covet it as I do. He’s grown accustom to change but that’s not the same thing. When he dreams it has finances attached. When I dream, there is merely wind and the open road. We have two different types of dreams for freedom. Neither are bad nor good, just two different perspectives that have kept us together.
The issue arises when I want to forge a new destiny only to be stifled by his need for control. A new idea becomes about what he would do. A course of action is altered because he removes the financing for it. There’s a measurement of control in everything I do. Just when I get enough gumption to go for it anyway, he brings on the emotional rejection, which of course is my trigger. Ultimately I wish I could say I have the intestinal fortitude to not let him like I did when I was young, but honestly I am just tired of fighting at my age.
People tell me all the time, “Rebecca you just don’t know what you want.” To that, I answer silently, “Yes I do.” I suppose I want a champion in life, (he is) and I suppose that I want someone who sees the champion in me. Someone’s who’s less apt to give me a reality check and more apt to say, “That a girl!” That’s something I don’t have. I never will. I suppose I want someone to let me talk, not throw stones and how I say what I do. I want someone safe enough to really listen to me. I want to know that my feelings are warranted or justified. I want to know that I am not alone, or crazy about how I think. I want to be encouraged, and to have all that as part of some big romantic plot to make me feel like a valued person. Those actions are fantasies to me, because I don’t believe that kind of relationship is real. I don’t think those behaviors come from men. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen that kind of behavior from any man I’ve ever met towards his partner male or female; and I have met a ton of men!
So I settle. I’m tired. I hear all the time about how difficult I am to live with. I don’t complain about the little things. I don’t pick on anyone. I don’t bitch. I am the most amiable person when it comes to change and acceptance. I love without condition. I don’t pick fights, and I don’t judge others. I fight for justice and freedom and my birthrights, but other than that, my only goal is to find a little bit of joy in my simple day. I find it odd, that others who are so incredibly difficult and full of boundaries and lines, and just quick tempers are so willing to let the rest of us know how it should be for them. I call that the ultimate sense of entitlement; and frankly it just makes me tired.
My life is coming to a mid-point. I’m about to celebrate my second 25th-birthday. I hope that I get a chance to celebrate all four. Maybe I am just reflecting on a life that I had, one I hope to have and the one I am in currently; and maybe, just maybe there’s a little crisis in that. Maybe I want romance? Maybe I want a sense of playfulness again? Maybe I want a sense of adventure, or a sense of playfulness? Maybe I need to feel beautiful, or maybe I need to feel intellectual? I don’t know what it is that I could use just this day, but the one thing that I have realized is; there is no one on this planet that is going to give it to me, but me! Thank you, Mom, for beating that into me. I finally get it.
Inevitably someone will hurt your feelings or offend your sensibility today. You can decide to wallow in it or shrug it off. Dance today. Make it fabulous so that the offenders watching do so in awe of the grace and elegance in which you choose to experience this fine day the Good Lord bestowed on us all!