When we have little to no experience in unchartered territory, the first thing that we look for are “signs.” Signs for what’s appropriate, boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, and directions to help us figure out (A) where we are and (B) where we’re going. We do the same thing in our relationships – often looking outside in order to answer the questions that we have inside. To give meaning to our alien emotions.
Sometimes we look at other relationships and other marriages with disdain. “Your wife is evil…” or “Your husband is inconsiderate…” and sometimes we even venture into the “You should break-up/get a divorce/have an affair” conversation with your family members, our besties, our “bruhs.” We think that we’re being helpful when actually we have no idea what we’re talking about.
A woman was recently complaining about her husband, and her friend said, “So… you should leave him…” The woman then responded, “My marriage is different.” The way that one partner relates to the other partner is not the same in all relationships. People communicate differently, express love diversely and remain committed for multiple reasons. The way that two people act publicly is not always the same in how they act privately. What may be a pet peeve for one, may be undeniably attractive for someone else.
Our society has become very much in support of individualism. People are encouraged to “be who they are.” Yet, when it comes to relationships we establish very strict criteria. Monique (The Comedian) was put through the ringer when she announced that her and her husband have an “open marriage.” Chrissy from Love & Hip Hop was scolded for proposing to her boyfriend Jim Jones. Rumors are always flying about Will & Jada being “swingers” but who are we to judge? It is up to individual couples to establish the “constitution” of their marriage. A marriage is simply a life-time commitment between two people – everything else is negotiable…