Monday, October 22, 2007

Watch out, I'm on a tirade

I've had to do a lot of deep breathing today. And it's not because of my children this time.

Let me just say this. A person ought to be able to expect a few basic things from their spouse. There are a lot of shortcomings one can fixate on in their partner, but most things are annoyances rather than major flaws. But a lack of commitment, loyalty, and fidelity is just unacceptable. And to be indignant that your spouse won't tolerate your lack of loyalty, well, just go back to high school where you belong and don't come back until you freakin' grow up. It's one thing to recognize your weakness or failing or at the very least, own up to it. But tearing the innocent party down to try to justify your behavior is...I can't even come up with a word to express the loathing I feel.

And while I'm at it, when you marry someone, you should have their happiness as your greatest concern, not your sense of justification or self-righteousness. You may get offended or otherwise dislike someone in your spouse's family, but it is their family, their roots, their comfort, where they came from. And you have no right to try and manipulate them into discontinuing or restricting access to those that have loved them since long before you came around. If you put your money where your mouth is, if you want to do more than give a little lip service to "I just have your/our little family's best interests at heart" then you need to open the door to let your spouse seek solace in the ones who know and love them well. I'm not talking about blabbing your own, personal family problems to your siblings or parents or whoever else. Generally it's much wiser to keep your greivances with your spouse between the two of you. But to restrict, especially by manipulation, your spouse from talking to and receiving love and good cheer and encouragement and just the sense of comfort and safety that can be received from their own family is just wrong. Selfish and warped and wrong.

'Nuff said.

13 comments:

Dan said...

It wasn't me I swear!

The Nelson Family said...

I was wondering :) Dan, we know you could never do something to upset little Suzie so much!

Lizzy Lou said...

Holy Cats, girl..who set you off!

Becky in Wyo said...

Ditto, babe! Amen, sister! There is only one attitude that is helpful in a marriage: "How can I help my spouse reach his/her best potential?" Not that "why can't I get everything I want out of this relationship?" crap. And that does not mean you get to nag, criticize, manipulate, and generally try to force change upon your spouse when you judge them to be deficient in something. Yes, you can politely, lovingly discuss issues that are bothering you, but that does not give you the right to wreck their self-esteem. Create a loving, accepting environment where they can work out their own issues.

I know there are some truly messed up relationships, where one or both spouses are grossly mistreating, disrespecting, or abusing the spouse/relationship, and in those cases some intervention or divorce would be necessary. One spouse may be doing their best, or all they can, and the other is just a selfish & demeaning user, and it may be time to leave. But there is just so much selfishness in this world. Could people just cut that out? No couple ever agrees about everything. NOBODY gets everything they want, and you have to sacrifice your own wants and desires for the benefit of everyone. ESPECIALLY when you have children. Think about what is best for everyone, not just yourself. If you do that, you will likely be happy in your marriage, unless you happen to be with a demeaning & selfish spouse, in which case it's probably going to be over sooner or later because they are unwilling to change.

Becky in Wyo said...

I forgot to say: we know it's not you, Dan!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking good care of my sister and your children together. We love you!

Sue said...

Easy now, Dan's afraid this blog is turning into the "extoll the virtues of Dan" forum, so somebody say something derogatory about him, quick!

Anonymous said...

hmmm . .. where should I start??

Hee hee!

Lori

Becky in Wyo said...

Here's one:

Would you quit ditching the family gatherings? You are denying us your humor, where's the love?!!!

Katy-did said...

Amen, to my sista friends, Amen, I love you sue and Becky and Dan... what IS up with the spandex?

Sue said...

Did you just call Dan your "sista friend"?

Becky in Wyo said...

I don't know, that Dan is getting to be pretty witty online. I think he might be allowed in the the "Sista Club."

Becky in Wyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Becky in Wyo said...

Sorry, I made some typos that bugged me. What's here is almost exactly what I had before:

Okay, more random ranting from me. Just one more thought I wish I'd added to my lengthy rant from above:

Do you think you can face your Heavenly Father and the Savior, who know everything, and I mean everything, and have sacrificed everything for our sakes, and honestly be able to say you were a good spouse? I don't think there's going to be a whole lot of room in their presence for selfish whining and complaining, or blaming your spouse for your behavior. They gave our agency to us, now use it wisely to uplift and strengthen, not tear down and destroy. I don't think you have to regret the times you held your tongue, said or did nice things for your spouse, and generally made sacrifices for them, even if they give you nothing back but pain. I think there is an eternal, perhaps also temporal, reward for putting up with a difficult spouse. You don't have to let your spouse destroy your good character. Brigham Young said, "I told the sisters to follow their husbands, not follow them to hell." The true exact quote might be a little different, but it's what I remember from institute in college. Anyway, only you know when more long-suffering is necessary, or whether it's time to walk away because your spouse is too far gone, and it's not helping either one of you to stay. I suspect that can be worked out between you, your bishop, and many hours kneeling in prayer, talking to your Heavenly Father, who loves you and completely understands the situation.