I have written about the struggle I’ve had standing up for myself….being a doormat. I’ve carried a lot of hurt through life because of it. I’m very sensitive, and I have felt that it is my biggest weakness. However, I’ve also discovered that being sensitive is a strength! I have compassion and empathy for others because I can understand the feelings of pain and of being disrespected, that someone can feel at the hands of mean people. I am not afraid to stand up for those I love and care about. Number one in this situation would be with my marriage.
Recently, an acquaintance of mine confided to me that her husband’s friends were coming between them, and they didn’t like the amount of time he was spending with her. They felt that she had changed him, and they were trying to discredit her to him. I felt sad for her, and wondered why her husband didn’t stand up for her. Not that his friends aren’t important to him, but how much do they really care about him if they are disrespecting his wife and their marriage this way? It’s petty and selfish.
A few years ago, I worked at a really horrible place, and dealt with some co-workers who disrespected Al, and my relationship with him. While they may have just been trying to “protect” me, or explain to me what they might see as logic, my relationship with him was not their business. One person told me it would be over and done with in 6 months, without even having met him. Another questioned whether I knew him well enough to know what he likes to eat…..seems a bit trivial to me, but I did know what he liked to eat, among a lot of other things! I really saw their “advice” and “concern” as nothing more than petty jealousy, because I would have less time to socialize with them. But I would not allow them, or anyone else, to disrespect him, or our relationship. I didn’t understand why they just couldn’t be happy for us. I made sure to let them know that I would not tolerate anyone disrespecting him. If they really cared for me, they would not do that. Not only did they disrespect Al and our relationship, but they also disrespected me, by questioning my decisions, and my feelings for him. Thank goodness I no longer work there, or with those horrible people! Once Al did get here, they weren’t very nice to him at all. Glad I moved on! Since then, Al and I have both been told that we look and act happier and more at ease than they’ve seen us in a long time. I knew that those people were jealous of our happiness, and couldn’t believe that anyone could be that happy. Why should we have to prove it to them? Why was our happiness a threat to them or anyone else? Why did we have to defend our happiness?
I don’t know why people feel the need to be mean, rude, or disrespectful, or why they would try to sow seeds of division in your relationship or marriage. I try to respect the decisions of my loved ones. I’ve learned that I won’t agree with everything my family, friends, or co-workers do, but I am still able to have compassion, respect, and understanding for them. Their life is theirs, and not for me to interfere (as long as they are safe…..abuse would be a different story). I still support them, and their quest for happiness and acceptance. Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all deserve that?
In our marriage vows, we promised to love, honor, cherish, and protect each other. Actually I remember saying we would be each other’s “biggest protector.” That did not just mean physical protection. It also meant that we would defend each other’s character, honor, and dignity. My husband and the support I get from him in our marriage make me strong….strong enough to stand up and defend it (and him).
If you are married, or in a committed relationship, protect it! Protect each other. Don’t allow anyone to disrespect you, your significant other, or your commitment to each other. Like I’ve said in other posts, there are so many mean people and unhappy things in this world. Lean on each other because then you’ll know that at least you will always have one person who has your back! If you don’t, your partner will feel it, and know that your commitment isn’t genuine. And if you are one of those individuals who feel the need to try to place doubt or uncertainty, or are just simply unkind……stop. It’s not your place. It’s not your business. It’s incredibly selfish. Let others be happy. Let others live their lives. Be happy for them. And if you can’t be happy for them, leave them alone.