There are some fundamental truths that should be addressed when it comes to relationships and traditions. We would like to accept relationships as this romanticized escapade in our lives based on traditions. The reality is that traditions are commonly set during a certain time and place in social evolution and it becomes harder to sustain as advances occur in social development. In other words, traditions become less practical in time an eventually become more symbolic than essential in society. Think of Santa Claus and the red, white, and black colors used to represent him. These colors of course had more to do with Coca-Cola advertising than with the legends and tales of ole. Now, children can go on the Internet and find out about the origin of the myth and decide to manipulate their parents to plunge into debt to sustain a tradition.
The same smoke and mirror hold true for relationships. It used to be that the man had to be the bread-winner and primary anchor in the relationship, but today that burden is shared and or shouldered by the female partner. These traditions were based on paternalistic terms. However, being that there are more women in population than men, the tide is turning. Relationships like much of American culture have been packaged as a three-part short-story with a happy-ever-after. We see this in our motion pictures, because we expect good over evil, etc. because of our cultural upbringing that is closely associated to fables and biblical texts. However, we can rarely handle abnormalities that are commonly associated with the life experience and therefore place our fate in the hands of higher powers. In the past this structure meant the woman would lean on the man and the man would lean on the higher power to ensure security in the home. As we have evolved, our understanding is better through access to information that traditions were based largely on convenience and fear. People try to affirm their choice in a partner by believing or declaring that it is ordained by a flawless entity. However, as we know the divorce-rate in the United States is about 50% and therefore that argument is moot despite getting married in churches and during religious ceremonies. The illusion for many of us if that our specific choice has some moral validity that is ordained by a higher power and that the rest of society was in some way unfit to be chosen.
Some cultures subscribe to the notion that arranged marriages and relationships serve best for society, but it has more to do with moving the family up in social status than anything else and may not always be based on love. No matter how we look at it, relationships by their very nature are exploitative according to tradition, men are used for their physical labor to provide food, shelter, and security, women are compromised for their bodies and emotional support. These two facts are the fundamental basis for relationships no matter how we attempt to color that reality with politically correct terms. Another thing about traditions is that they are always complimented by justifiable means. Traditions are used as a means to control behavior, outcomes, and manipulate conformity which means control. “How many times have you heard of the male partner being the bread-winner to make the money and the wife being the intellectual in the sense of budgeting and spending the paycheck wisely?” This was logical decades ago when the number of men did not attend school, but had a strong back and weak mind. These things have changed and today couples may have joint checking or savings along with their own private funds. The days of traditional group-think based on some primal premise are great for stories, but lousy for modern day couples to abide by in the real world.
Yes, there will be those that would argue differently, but these are also the people that are confident that their bedroom activities are sufficient for their partners based on their own perspective and are shocked when it is proven otherwise. Another issue is the extortion of morality in relationships where the partner may use the moral high-ground to establish themselves above their partner. The basis for this approach is to justify a distance from the partner morally so if they do make a mistake, they are closer to forgiveness in the moral sense than their partner who is not so close. This form of manipulation gives the person using the moral high-ground enough space to cheat on the partner without being put under scrutiny. One thing to remember, a red-flag to discover a cheater is the over-speculative and critical approach they use coupled with false high moral standards. The goal is to take the focus off of their activities and place the partner under the microscope. The would like to remain above reproach and cheat while keeping the partner faithful for their own exploits. As you can see again this is very subjective as I mentioned about all relationships in the sense that even thought o people are involved and reach an accord, there remains some creative license that are not fully addressed at the start of the relationship, along with interpretations.
This gap in interpretation could be something as simple as cheating. A woman for instance may view oral sex with another man not cheating because she was not penetrated vaginally by him. A guy may not refer to sleeping with a woman as cheating in that he may see it as a bodily function to fulfill a need that both men and women share.. It may sound lame, but guys have used it. Also, tradition gives men a pass for cheating and women are always held to a higher standard. Again, you see the double standard of it all based on subjectivity. For this reason, many couples may abode by some traditions, but not incorporate them as absolutes in their relationships in order to retain a balance. The roles based on gender have changed along with the economic environment that in 2008 showed how vulnerable men are when it comes to job security. Being called “lazy” has been the traditional social paddle used to keep the guy in the work-place and to separate him from being classified as a loser. However unfortunate, some men and women that worked hard and honestly lost their jobs were lumped into the loser category even though it was unjustified. This is absolutism, and unfortunately people left their spouses and partners based on this situation. Once again this is very subjective.
Relationships have become too reliant on future expectations held in the hopes of others and couples fail to enjoy the “Now” in relationships because there are no obligations by the economy or other systemic factors to ensure that your future together will get any better than today. Your partner is not responsible for nothing more than you are and if you have gone into a relationship expecting him or her to be the messiah of life then wake up.