Respect and Love
Or: don’t smash the cake in your partner’s face.
This is something that’s been popping up more frequently in my life recently. The casual disregard and putting down of one’s partner as if it were expected/to be admired.
I don’t get it.
Example: the disparaging comments/behavior on reality shows like Flipping Vegas. I’m a huge fan of makeover/reveal shows – I get sucked in. Over the weekend, there was a marathon going on so I had ample exposure while doing my chores. These people are not nice to each other – behind each other’s back and to each other’s face. This makes me sad in my heart, because honestly – what a terribly scary place to be. The one person who is supposed to have your back, listen to you and lift you up… is instead stabbing you in the back, ignoring/yelling and tearing you down. I found myself just begging – Listen to each other! Ask for help! Leverage each other’s strengths to bridge over the weaknesses! I feel like so much of the stress and drama could be alleviated with simple communication. I’m not an expert, but I’ve found this to be true in my own life.
Example: Shoving wedding cake in your partner’s face on your wedding day. Ugh. I hate this so much. Admittedly, I’m a nerd for traditions/origins, and the symbolism here is lovely to me. A physical manifestation of your commitment to provide for one another. So what does it mean if you smear cake across your partner’s face? It’s rude, inconsiderate, and makes the other person feel terrible – and like they have to reciprocate to "get them back". (Not to mention my totally girly comment of: Dude – I just spent $$$ on this hair and makeup to look my absolute best on this fantastic day… and you ruined it. WTF.)
I have a hard time with disrespecting your partner. By no means do you have to LIKE them all the time, every day. Real life comes with frustrations, bad moods, and short tempers. And spending your life with someone (not just the bright shiny parts) means you’re probably going to run into these grumpy spots from time to time. But in my mind, it’s awfully difficult to build up that trust, love and respect for someone when you’re trash talking them or calling names. Privately or publically. Love takes work, patience, and vulnerability. You can bet that someone who anticipates harassment or shaming won’t be opening up anytime soon – which may stunt their relationship's growth.
Everyone has their own style – I’m a grownup, I get it. Couple A is going to have a different way of handling their relationship than Couple B. I don’t want to be consulted or have approval over your relationship decisions. I just can’t get that old school rule out of my head: Treat others as you would like to be treated. And there’s NO WAY that so many people want to feel shamed, embarrassed, frustrated and angry.
I think it’s a bummer that so many negative relationship examples are set in front of our little ones, families and society – like they’re a badge of honor. Instead, I want to surround our family with strong examples of commitment and love, friendship and joy. I hope to show my son the power and beauty of a loving relationship between his mother and father – one that doesn’t involve smashing cake in his father’s face.