Griping is so much fun!
I’m a fan of relationship advice (who really isn’t?) because in my life I want to make the relationships work. On top of it, I’m interested to see what experiences other people have or have had. Nosey, much? I’m thankful to have had 2 under my belt, basically information to move forward with, and not only that, but relationships of those I love to compare to and use as well. That’s the beauty of the internet: information from outside of my circle. In cyber as well as real life relations of experience, you always, always, have to remember that this is only one side of the story, that it’s taken out of context, just a snapshot of someone’s–purported–experience. Because as we all know, if it’s on the internet, it must be true! And one side of the story is enough to go on! It’s just that typically, face to face is easier to read subtle clues in body language and tone.
Anyways, I was reading this morning (I believe these are all Reddit stories) an article on people who got married and realized that it was a living hell. Many of them seemed similar: Party 1 dates Party 2 and thinks 2 is the match for them, ignoring little red flags and chalking them up to this and that. Then it dissolves almost instantaneously. Many of the contributors were in startlingly abusive relationships. For some it came out of the blue. Some of them I could relate to, some were just plain ridiculous. Internet writing doesn’t have body language or audible tone, but voice is very powerful and akin to body language. Relating to known instances and personal ones, I felt guilty with one story because I think I was doing something similar in my most recent relationship, but then it made me mad because the male relating the story had the same mindset as my ex. Well, maybe not mad as mad/sad. One sounded distinctly Asian, and not totally because it said “Asian” in there at one point. Over half of them dealt with military and had the same problem in both, but that’s the next gripe I’m going to cover in a little bit. So, aside from the relatability of the stories, I have to sit there and remind myself that this is ONLY one side of the story. Here, the author is making their ex out to be this monster. In real life, who is the real monster? Just talk to divorce lawyers to know how divorce brings out the evil in people. What a terrible job! Police, too. He said, she said. And in the end, 90% of the time it is a problem shared pretty much equally. Relationships take 2 to come together, and it takes 2 to keep it going and subsequently 2 to fail. Sometimes 3. Or 4. Or more.
Even in my own life involving my parents, I was there, I know what happened. While my dad was the primary aggressor, I know my mom was responsible for part of what happened. In their case it was more 70/30 split. I saw my mom trying, I saw what he did, how others influenced him, his physical reactions. From what my mom told us from the beginning of their relationship (they dated for a very short time) it was all red flags from the start and it was red all the way after the marriage. IN my own, personal, memory I loved my dad up to about when kids start to really understand right and wrong (6-8ish) and then it was over for me and that eternal resentment and hatred started when I was 11. I think we all could tell the moment at which is all dissolved. He was a powder keg always ready to explode. Always. I hated going anywhere with him because you knew he was going to blow up soon. Waiting for it. Yesterday she told me of yet another instance where a different man hated my dad. He would always poke fun at my dad when they met and would constantly ask my mom why they were still together. He’d seen it fromt he very beginning. See? Red flags everywhere. Even in my own, there were red flags from the beginning, but I was too blind to see it myself…by the time I did, it was too late to soften the blow, but I didn’t marry him, although at first I wanted to. That raging battle of mind and heart existed in me from the very start.
Bottom line here: relationships, like everything in life, have 2 sides to them. 3, if you count Truth. His, hers, and the truth. Don’t ever believe just one side. I’ve always known this and tried so hard to employ this knowledge in my relationship, to defuse arguments and to help understand his predicament, but all that ended up happening was it created a distance between us. I should have known at the first instance of that approach causing a rift that he was all wrong. If he wanted to make it work, then he would have employed it too instead of thinking everything I said was a jibe at how inept he was and that I was mocking him.
Other gripe time. So half of those accounts involved military and the problem typically stemmed from the needs of the soldier over anything else. I’ve seen it many times on show like Cops or Live PD, or even just internet reasoning (hah!) and arguments. This may come across as extremely offensive to some, but it also originates from my last relationship: for some reason, jobs like military, fire/rescue, and police elevate the people employed in the job. Yes, indeed, laying your life on the line in order to fulfill the job duties is completely admirable. If I had been born a male, I would DEFINITELY have been military or police or both! It deserves respect. However, it does NOT entitle you above everyone else. How many times has the argument been said: I risked my life for my country, so_____ (fill in the blank), or, you never risked your life for your country, I did! While I agree that veteran assistance programs are entirely lacking and that there is true difficulty re-adjusting to civilian life, the status doesn’t place you above the law or give you the authority to look down on others. Same with police and fire. No, you’re not in it for the money, you enjoy being in service to the community, and it IS indeed stressful, but it’s not a status just so you can flaunt it around and get a big head. You KNEW going into it of you OWN volition, that your life is at risk every day. Fire being the least dangerous of the 3. If that were a concern, they wouldn’t have gone into the field to begin with. In fact, they probably enjoy the thrill.
My ex used to use things like that on me, how much more important his job was to him than me. I hung around because I knew that his future was on the line and I wanted to give him the support he needed to accomplish the goal. I wanted him to be happy, that’s all I ever wanted. But he’d been using that kind of self-importance jab even with his fuel-hauling job, though less than with the fire. I wonder now, what would have happened if I decided to cut ties with him. He had given me an ultimatum, to either cut ties with him before he started his fire Academy or wait until it was over because he didn’t need any baggage that would thwart his concentration. I should’ve done it right away because obviously he didn’t care at all about us as a couple. Then he’d often tell me about how this guy and that guy broke up their relationships with their gf’s because of the fire thing. Were they hints? I stuck it through because it sounded like he needed my support and I didn’t want him to fail. He kept promising that afterwards we can do things that we can take trips and that he’d have time for me. Right after he graduated he was so happy and spoke of future plans, and then, it sunk right back down, even worse than before. Empty promises that he never remembered even making. He didn’t need me at all because he had the job of his dreams and was eagerly following the ideas and leadership of his station team. He was a chameleon. Always had been. Hiding his own feelings, ideas and emotions deep within and putting out a skin. I cherish the days that I truly believe I got to see his true, happy self. They were short lived, but he was not only in love with me but with life. He’d told me often in the beginning that I pulled him out of a very dark place and that he was forever grateful. Depression is powerful enemy.
I’ll never be able to and refuse to look at the fire, police and military jobs with the utmost admiration ever again. I respect them, I do, because I always say that I would’ve done them all if I was male from birth, but the more intimate knowledge I have at the inner workings, as I lower them from their pedestal, I see the politics, the mindsets…the humanity…of them. Around here, every other person is military, while everyone else is a doctor or a lawyer. There are great people, there are nasty people. I don’t care who you are: do not entitle yourself above others because you’re not that exceptional. Just because you chose a “dangerous” job and I didn’t doesn’t mean I’ll give you preferential treatment. Heck, I could die in my commute any day now or become the victim of an insane patient. I respect you and I support your position, just like I respect and support the patients in my chair, the guy behind me in line, or the ones I love.