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So many times we accept poor behavior from the people we are in relationships with.

 

We make so many excuses for poor behavior... when we are in relationships.

 

What i don't understand is why? If we had friends who treated us 1% as poorly as these SO others did we wouldn't accept it... we wouldn't consider that person a "friend" .. and we would distance ourselves from these people.

 

What is so different about a relationship that we continually make excuses for poor behavior?

 

If we all started to look at relationships in the same we look at friendships then maybe the answer to our questions would be clear... we wouldn't wonder what do about the way they treat us ..because we would know what is ok and what isn't.

 

in truth a SO other should treat us BETTER then our friends!

 

We wouldn't have to question whether they wanted to be around us ... because if they did .. then they would ...like a friend.

 

If a friend stood us up time and time again... we would stop making plans with that friend...

 

If a friend constantly put us down and made us feel bad about ourselves... we would stop spending time with that friend...

 

If a friend constantly lied to us... we would know not to trust that friend...

 

If a friend did and said things to hurt us... we would be angry and tell that friend to take a hike.

 

so why should a SO be different? why should we be more understanding of poor behaviors because they are a SO?

 

My new motto is that i will no longer make excuses for a boyfriends behavior... i will no longer think "oh they are just scared" or "they are stressed" or "they don't know better"

 

simply put ... i don't accept nor do i want to be treated poorly by a friend and i most certainly don't want to be treated poorly by a SO.

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You're absolutely right of course. But even when you leave out stronger emotions we feel for romantic partners, and the physical relationship that is not a part of friendship, it's pretty obvious why we tolerate more from our partners than we would from a friend.

 

Most of us have more than one friend, and so if a friend started flaking out, etc. we could just shift our attention elsewhere and let that friendship wane. Not so for a romantic partner -- and we tend to spend a lot more time with our romantic partners than we do with any one friend. Romantic partners have much bigger roles in our lives; thus we're often willing to tolerate a lot more before admitting that we need to consider walking away. Which doesn't mean we should tolerate more ... but we have reasons to.

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You're absolutely right of course. But even when you leave out stronger emotions we feel for romantic partners, and the physical relationship that is not a part of friendship, it's pretty obvious why we tolerate more from our partners than we would from a friend.

 

Most of us have more than one friend, and so if a friend started flaking out, etc. we could just shift our attention elsewhere and let that friendship wane. Not so for a romantic partner -- and we tend to spend a lot more time with our romantic partners than we do with any one friend. Romantic partners have much bigger roles in our lives; thus we're often willing to tolerate a lot more before admitting that we need to consider walking away. Which doesn't mean we should tolerate more ... but we have reasons to.

 

i think your points only further proves my point... if this person is such a key person in our life... shouldn't we expect MORE from them and not less?

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I couldn't agree more, as long as you're looking at this as patterns of behaviour. If someone stands you up once for a good enough reason, then fine. But if it's a pattern of behaviour, walk this way!!

 

i agree... its a pattern of behavior... even if a friend did something upsetting you would forgive.. but if it were a pattern ... then its time to evaluate the friendship... i.e. relationship and what they are offering.

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i think your points only further proves my point... if this person is such a key person in our life... shouldn't we expect MORE from them and not less?

 

Indeed we should expect more from a SO. After all we have invested more in them than we would in a friend so it makes sense to expect a higher return.

 

Key here is to be clear about our personals standards and expectations.

I have a list of expectations when I allow a woman into my life and I transmit these to her COVERTLY in a variety of ways .

 

If there is a problem then I apply these within a "two strike" rule.

After the first violation /blunder, we talk about it and I express my expectations OVERTLY - and she gets a second chance IF she shows a willingness to lift her game.

 

However, if she repeats the offense then she is gone.

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i think your points only further proves my point... if this person is such a key person in our life... shouldn't we expect MORE from them and not less?

 

You're taking a prescriptive view, and I'm simply describing the motives that people have for excusing more from a lover. I'm not saying that we should tolerate more -- I agree that we should expect better behavior from them, more kindness and consideration! Absolutely. I'm merely pointing out that when we accept less than we would from a friend, it's not necessarily because we're blinded by love, or enormously foolish. It's because losing a lover is often much more significant than losing a friend (especially if the lover is doubling as a close friend!), and replacing them is much more daunting.

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This was a really thought-provoking post. We are certainly willing to overlook certain things in a romantic partner that would have us running for the hills in a friend. But the stakes are altogether higher, and our desire to 'make it work' is altogether stronger. That's why we do it. Plus, we are more intimate with a romantic partner, we spend more time with them, we see more of the inner person, arguably, so we may see things we don't like, or see a side that they don't readily show to friends. We have to make a call about them based on our personal standards and boundaries.

 

Relationships do call for tolerance as well as being aware of your own needs and rights. Getting the balance right can be difficult.

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I hear what your saying and agree HealingHandsWarmHeart but at the same time it is different still. Yes we shouldnt tolerate alot of things but the difference is, the feelings we have for our friends is on a completely different level than our partner. We open up our feelings and heart to our partners in a completely different way to friends. Friends come and go and so do partners but not as often or common or even easily as friends. Your SO is more of a passionate, romantic, deepening level so there is a bit more of a tolerance level because of the deep connection and things that are shared between each other. With friends, i dont just go sharing my deepest darkest secrets that could have hurt me throughout my life but with a SO that you do share these things with, its just different. Good post but there is a major difference between tolerance levels with SO's and friends.

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I think that the expectations are the same. you want to be treated the way you treat others. You should expect respect from everyone you consider important to you.

I am starting to look at my patterns of unhealthy relationships and figure out what crap I put up with that I shouldn't next time. Very interesting post.

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We get comfortable when we are in a relationship because we see the person so often that we take them for granted and vice versa. With a friend, we don't have the same expectations and demands. Our partners become demanding because they are more dependent on us than friends would be. They are more dependent on us for companionship and love. So if we don't deliver what they expect and depend on, they become upset and act out like a child. We are closer to them so we tolerate more. They expect more so they react more. If a friend acted like that, we would think their expectations were out of bounds so it would be easier to cut them off. But we know on some level that our SO is dependent on us in some sense, so we tolerate more. It's like with our families...we put up with more...because so do they. We get comfortable and start expecting things when we should always be appreciative and thankful for what we get.

 

This is a good example why people should try to be as independent as possible when they are in a relationship. The more a person can meet their needs in a variety of ways, the less they will expect from a partner and the more they will appreciate if their partner does help meet their needs. But we also have to keep in mind that a healthy level of dependence (interdependence) is important in a relationship and faciliates comfort. So some things are good to overlook for the sake of maintaining peace and trust. We should let some things go because we love them. With a friend (non-best friend), they have not earned that love and trust so we don't overlook it in the same way. I'm not talking about abusive relationships where there is blatant disrespect and rudeness.

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I think this should be applied not only to SOs but also disrespectful adult relatives, at least speaking from my experience. Those closest to us should never act so rudely to us.

 

"relationships" can be defined as any relationship .. not just romantic.

 

and when i wrote this i wasn't really referring marriages or committed long term relationships... there are going to be times in a person's life when they can't be all that we need or want.. and those are the times we compromise and give a little more- however, if the behavior is consistent its time to take a step back and ask yourself if these problems are just circumstantial or are they an indication of the true colors of the person you are with.

 

 

Think about it... if everyone started to take a stand for themselves and didn't except cheating, manipulation, lying, controlling, insensitive behavior.. if we stopped making excuses for these people in our lives that hurt us... then at some point this type of person would have no choice but to evaluate their own behavior and make positive changes in themselves.

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HHWH, I think, in a way, you are talking about integrity. The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Very often, people confuse need with love. Need demands things from other people and is self-directed. Love wants to give to other people and is other-directed. Love is the ideal and probably can only come from someone who is reasonably emotionally healthy.

 

Very often we get involved with people because they have something we want. This can be youth, beauty, money, status, power or on a subtler level certain psychological traits that we recognise, that replay unhealthy patterns from our earlier life. That is why abuse attracts abuse: if a person has grown up in an abusive environment it is likely they will become involved in abusive relationships either as abuser or victim or, more likely, both. They have been conditioned to think that is love; it is what they recognise.

 

Maturity, growth as a person, is indicated by the kind of realisation you describe; i.e. the realisation that we can and must respect ourselves, and that imposes certain notable boundaries on our behaviour and on the behaviour of other people towards us.

 

The question everyone faces at one time or another is 'am I willing to compromise my self-respect in order to stay with this person?' The healthy answer to that must always be 'no.'

 

The aim - and it is a very tall order - is not to find someone who 'completes' you, but to find someone whose wholeness complements yours. If they are person of integrity, they will have no need of game-playing, lies or manipulation.

 

I think your current sigs express that very eloquently as well

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The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. Very often, people confuse need with love. Need demands things from other people and is self-directed. Love wants to give to other people and is other-directed. Love is the ideal and probably can only come from someone who is reasonably emotionally healthy.

 

Love this post. You describe exactly what's wrong with my relationship. As soon as I'm not there to deal with her needs the entire thing breaks down (with me being the culprit)

 

thanks

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