A lot of people seriously overestimate the amount of influence they have in their relationships. This is because they don’t understand how and why they were selected by their significant other in the first place.
If a guy’s dating a gal because she has a fantastic ass, he’s going to play it off that he’s with her for her personality.
If a gal’s dating a guy because he spends a lot of money on her and she looks good in his car, she’s going to play it off that she’s with him for his personality.
Down the line, when the rubber meets the road, situations sometimes occur where you get to find out, for better or for worse, just how important you are or AREN’T in your current relationship.
Like we learned in “Animal Farm”.. Some people are More Equal than others…
Reader “Tron” writes:
“Many relationships die for lack of an apology. Offenses are real and they fracture relationships. Time alone will not heal a broken relationship. The healing process begins with a sincere apology. The apology doesn’t immediately restore the relationship, but it does open the door to forgiveness, and forgiveness opens the door to reconciliation.”
There are a lot of reasons why people don’t apologize in relationships. Some people are brainwashed that if you apologize, you look like a sucker and you’re better off retaining your hard-rock image instead of letting the other person think they can get over on you. Other people, including myself, are really great at saying what doesn’t matter and horrible at saying what *does* matter.
I went out with a friend of mine for drinks the other day and she looked fantastic.. absolutely edible! :P~~~ But since I didn’t want that concept hovering over our relationship, I didn’t mention it to her. The closest I got was complimenting her hair, which always looks fantastic, so that was kind of a “safe” compliment to hand out.
In other cases, you don’t get an apology because your SO doesn’t give a flying **** about what you think or feel. It’s not even a consideration. It doesn’t occur to them to consider how a situation might have affected you because they’re not with you to care about YOU.
Let’s say, for instance, that a guy’s financially self-sufficient and he selects a gal to date because she turns him on and he likes having sex with her. What’s his incentive to treat her as an equal when it comes to decision-making? Nothing. Who cares what she thinks as far as how he should spend his money or where they should go on vacation? Nobody.
Similarly, if a chick’s using a guy for money, who cares about his romantic yadda yadda? Nobody. What difference does it make what he thinks she should wear or how much alcohol he thinks she should drink? None.
Apologies are based on the feeling of having done something you shouldn’t have done and also feeling poorly that you made someone else feel poorly or let them down. If you have to read a statement off of a piece of paper, for instance :/ it’s probably not much of an apology.
Proper apologies aren’t excuses. It’s not like “Whoops. Sorry ’bout that”. It’s more like “I understand why that was a bad thing to do and I’m not going to do it again because XYZ and I’m sorry that my dumb or non-thinking actions hurt you”. It’s an indication that you learned something from the situation and that you intend to do better in the future.
The only way that can happen is if you have actual respect for your SO. A lot of people consider this a ‘given’ in relationships, but it just isn’t.
If their main value to you is their physical and/or financial utility, you’re likely to feel that sense of loss like finding out you dropped a $5 bill on the floor when you pulled your keys out of your pocket, but then it’s like “Oh well.. If anything, I’ll get another one. \o/”.
Reader “Christine” writes:
” How do men and women share complete honesty without the woman, even accidentally, emasculating the man? Without aiding him in finding his inner HERB. If women are successful in opening up their man and convince him to share all with complete honesty, a woman may lose respect for a man for giving her what she claimed she wanted and had to have. If he discovers how good it feels to gush, tell her everything, his hopes and fears and deepest secrets, he risks being totally attainable and therefore undesirable.”
I think that this is similarly an issue of selection and respect.
There are two parts to this issue, the action and the consequence. The action being the honest sharing and the consequence being how each person feels about themselves and about their SOs after the fact.
Honest Sharing is only necessary when you consider your SO an equal. If you don’t, then their opinion isn’t going to sway your decision regardless, so there’s no point in discussing the truth with them. If you’re a guy and you intend to marry a chick and still mess with 14 girls over a 3 year period, there’s no reason for you to bring this up for debate with her because her opinion doesn’t count for ****. Nobody cares what she thinks about what you intend to do with your life because it’s YOUR life, not hers.
If you’re a gal and you’re dating three guys and one of them buys you breakfast, one of them buys you lunch and the third buys you dinner, who cares about whether any of them think you should be dating them exclusively? Nobody. If one guy wants to take you out on his yacht this weekend and the next guy wants to take you to his villa on Monday and the third guy wants to take you shopping on Tuesday, why the hell shouldn’t you get everything you can get from potential suitors?
If both participants in a relationship consider each other equals, *NOW* we have a platform for discussion, debate and perhaps compromise or mutual agreement. This is where I believe the answer to Christine’s question lies. It’s not in the gender, but rather in the relationship.
The reason a woman would feel like she was emasculating a man by putting her foot down and becoming a part of the decision-making is that he never considered her worthy of making decisions in the first place.. not for herself and CERTAINLY not for him! 😀 Let’s say, however, that he’s a computer programmer and she’s an accountant. He would be A FOOL not to listen to and follow what she had to say about the family finances. “I’m a guy, so I automatically know better” only works for guys that deliberately select mentally inferior females to date.
At the same time, women aren’t doing anybody any favors by not stepping up and voicing their opinions when they know damned well that they have a better grasp on this situation than their man does. If you don’t want to get caught in that “I’m just a blonde female idiot” trap, don’t play that role from the giddyap. Of course, conventional wisdom says that if you don’t play Damsel In Distress, you won’t be selected for a relationship by the guys who are looking for women who know how to look good, be sexy, cook, clean, bear & raise kids and entertain guests at dinner parties. That’s the chance you have to take. If he doesn’t respect you coming in the door, it’s going to be tough for you to gain respect in the future.
As far as emasculating guys, the only guys that’s going to happen to weren’t very masculine in the first place. O_o
Mentally strong men know to only create alliances with mentally strong women. This is because there are rare times when you can’t do EVERYTHING yourself and you’re going to have to depend on her to come through in the clutch. If you selected some gullible female so it was easy for you to get laid, she’s also probably not going to be able to handle the responsibility of whatever you need her to do, that ONE TIME that it really counts for something.
The point being that IF a woman was selected for her mental capabilities, it might hurt his ego if she says something he doesn’t like or talks about something he needs to fix or change, but at the same time, he has to respect what she’s saying because he vetted her for intelligence and common sense before aligning himself with her. If a female coaches softball for a successful team and she offers me suggestions on improving my swing or batting stance, DAMNED ******* SKIPPY I’m going to listen to her and attempt to benefit from her wisdom & experience.
The problem occurs when the guy doesn’t BELIEVE she has ANY wisdom OR experience, which only comes to light when she tries to involve herself in the decision-making process. As long as she’s just running her mouth about stuff that you can “Yes her to death” about and it doesn’t have any actual bearing on anything important, guys can pretend that they’re paying attention to and considering their girlfriends’ or wives’ opinions about things. As soon as it matters, like when she suggests that you trade in your Porsche for a Minivan to lug your kids around town, that’s when you find out that if he wants your opinion, he’ll give it to you. 😀
So.. My theory is that Honesty, Respect, & Heartfelt Apologies are only available to people that were determined to be worthy of those things before the relationship ever started or earned that level of consideration at some point along the way. People have to act like they respect each other to get a foot in the door, but in a lot of cases, it’s just not true. A lot of people think their boyfriends or girlfriends are absolute IDIOTS, but they don’t have to bring that up because being intelligent wasn’t part of their job description from jump street and so long as they don’t let that person make ANY important decisions, they never have to engage in the conversation about what their REAL role in this relationship is.
To directly address Christine’s question, men and women can share complete honesty with each other when a) they both respect each other, and b) they’re willing to let their relationship die because something one of them doesn’t like comes to light. Most people fail the test for part (b), so Complete Honesty is rarely a component of anyone’s relationship.