“Republished with Authorization & Consent of Author”
The traditional practice of developing romantic relationships in the United States is somewhat universal in the sense that emotional allegiance allows us to go into them sometimes blindly, ignoring the obvious red-flags that may not serve our best interest on down the road. We sometimes assume that a relationship will workout based on the hope and faith drawn from our cultural aspects such as religion righteousness, judicial fairness, and moral social responsibility. Our hope is that a blessing is bestowed to encapsulate the goodness or merits of the relationship while voiding the negative aspects.
Naïve would be the best description of the aforementioned ideal relationship. Unfortunately, life is not an event where we can select only the good aspects of it and expect marginal challenges. Relationships are a vital aspect of our existence and therefore challenges and hardships come with the landscape.
We may begin a relationship with someone, introduce him or her to family and friends and discover that they may have some reservations. The common reaction for the person presenting their new romantic find is to investigate the rationale behind the reservations. This is the point where many of us discover later that by ignoring or dismissing these concerns could have saved time, heart-ache, and emotional stress.
Depending on the self-esteem and personal disposition of the individual, the choice can make the biggest difference between success in a relationship or failure. A very defensive posture which is common among younger participants in relationships has more to do with being judged or criticized for his or her choice in a potential love interest. The problem with this disposition is that it is commonly perceived as a personal attack. When reservations by family and friends are taken in this manner, the person may decide to either void their opinions, or view them as adversaries attempting to ruin happiness. Also, his or her perception could be that of not receiving credit for a decision being made independent of family and friends. Rejection becomes the thought in the sense of not only rejecting the partner he or she selected, but them as well.
The usual result from this perception can lead to a self-imposed isolation between the new couple from family and friends. This may develop into an emotional comfort-zone temporarily, but could lead to further isolation if there are other motivations by the partner that serves his or her self-interest more so than benefiting the couple as a whole.
What many people fail to realize is that someone else has experienced the same difficulties in establishing relationships, but may or may not be available as a reference. Friends and family members that may have had the experience may not have the opportunity to share and therefore the individual may have to reinvent the wheel and undergo a lot of unnecessary drama stemming from not listening.
Love is an emotional experience and we are cultivated to focus more on that aspect than on the rational requirements in order to make a relationship function. The“Us against the world!” approach seems like a great underdog story that is perpetuated throughout American culture, but the designation of adversaries is where sometimes couples get it totally wrong. Families and friends may pick up on certain characteristics in personality, demeanor, disposition, or attitude from the person selected and may want to point these things out early.
After the self-imposed isolation is implemented and family and friends are no longer the people life is share with, but people that are treated almost like strangers, the partner is at liberty to impose his or her will to some degree. The partner could then impose barriers against him or her developing other relationships or even dictating who is approved and who is not.
This is where the relationship style comes into play. A command-and-control relationship means that one of the two parties takes the lead without question. Many women find themselves in these types of relationships more so than men. Religious doctrine may also add to the validity of this relationship style that allows the male partner to dictate the dress, diet, social interactions, and liberties given the female partner. Sometimes women that have been in households that had this type of structure may consider this normal and would fall in conflict with others have opposing views. Women are usually given a place and tasks that fall into a gender specific role. Problem occurs when the women attempt to challenge the authority, choices, or decisions made by the male member. The repercussions can range from arguments to domestic violence, depending on the escalation variables. More often than not women that fail to comply to the command-and-control model may either leave the relationship or cope with it using passive-aggressive behavior. Those that comply in this environment may find themselves attempting to go out their way to please the male partner. In some cases, the introduction of extramarital activity may be introduced.
The critical eyes of objective friends and family members could see the potential flaws to a relationship of this nature from the beginning. The family and friends may also become the very people to clean up the mess after she has left him. For this reason, women would be wise never to severe the ties to family and friends when first getting involved in a relationship. Furthermore, if the male partner is supporting and encouraging this behavior on your behalf, a second thought is also the best bet. There is no merit to pursue happiness through abuse or disrespect.
Women that impose the command-and-control approach to dating men are commonly economically based, but not always. Men may undergo the same ridicule as women would as the weaker member of the relationship. The main distinction is that the male is commonly marginalized lower than a female in the same circumstance. He is respected for male functions and little else besides sexual gratification and remaining a piece of kept arm-candy. This may seem like a harsh stereo-type, but this type of male does not receive the sympathy by society or family, and friends because of his gender. In the social sense he has abdicated is gender role as provider to assume the role of dependent. Men that have been in these types of relationships may find it harder to re-establish their self-esteem or self-worth because during the relationship the female partner will attempt to strip the dignity away so that he would be of no use to anyone else.
Even though dating or marrying a wealthy woman may be appealing, the command-and-control relationship with them can be socially compromising and have an adverse impact on his own personal value.
In both cases the command-and-control relationships have common threads for women and men, control, denial of self-interest, conformity, and putting the other party first. Living in the United States of America, there is little need to have a suppressive relationship when there are governments that are willing to do the same in other nations.
Exposure is another aspect of the relationship that friends and family attempt to protect family members from in respect to criminal activity and mortal danger. The bad-boy or bad-girl may sound like great stereotypes that promote a sense of adventure through movies and media, but there is a cost associated with pursuing them. The great myth is that these people are smart, no, they are clever. Steve Jobs was smart because he created something. Stealing, robbing, or selling illegal items is clever, because they create nothing, but feed off of the existing work of others. Steve Jobs designed the iPad through hours of grueling work a thief steals the iPad from a store to make a few dollars in comparison to billions if he or she took out enough time to make a comparable product by cultivating his or her skills and abilities. The bad girl or bad boy is nothing more than social short-hand for lazy individual.
The downside to this appeal is when he or she gets into middle-age and they have very little to show for their efforts in life. A prison record, tales of the way things used to be are rarely valuable in the future.
These are some of the main reasons for the skepticism that family and friends have about some of the choices we make when it comes to selecting a partner. Even though we may not want to push our pride aside, sometimes it is in our best interest to her them out and understand their concerns.