Lunaya Pravda

04 April 2007

The relationship pity party

Lately I seem to be stumbling onto far too many people whining about relationships ending badly, and then blaming one entire sex or the other as the root of all evil based on their former beloved's behavior. Often they'll back the stereotype up with the weak justification of personal experience (e.g. "This happened in ALL my relationships," or "This happened to all my friends, too.") And I'm perilously near my snapping point when it comes to all this superfluous bitching and moaning about circumstances most of them could have foreseen if they'd opened their eyes even a smidge in the beginning.

When the men are doing the complaining, it's usually how some woman turned into a vindictive, greedy, lying wench, and ruined their lives by spilling all their dirty secrets to the ONE person they hoped would never find out.

Let's group all those behaviors except the last into one category. To all of those, I have nothing but the question "What, weren't you AWAKE during the relationship?" If your woman was displaying ANY of those traits at the end of your relationship, she likely was displaying them BEFORE you ever met her.

  • Did you ever see her end a friendship? How did she handle it?
  • How about quitting a job she didn't like? Did she burn her bridges and try to take a few folks with her?
  • Has she ever talked about how her previous relationships ended?
  • Has she ever bragged about "getting even" for a perceived wrong? (Double flags if she ever says she got even "just because she could.")
  • Did she repeatedly mention how she'd like to quit her job and have someone take care of her?
  • Did she pressure or guilt you into paying any of her bills? Have money problems she needs help with?
  • Do her friends try to get as much money out of a man as they can? Does she support or denounce that behavior? (Yes, the kind of company she keeps is a reflection on her.)
  • Does she slip in commentary that she's being somehow unappreciated by her employer, her friends, her family, or you?
  • Has she ever made comments that indicate a sense of entitlement?
  • Does she make a habit of taking little things that aren't hers? Borrow without returning? Losing borrowed items without making restitution?
  • If a cashier gives her too much change, does she give it back?
  • Does she lie to her friends or family for no good reason? (Double flags if she's ever bragged about getting away with a lie.)
  • Cause damage to a total stranger's property and not make every effort to pay for the damages?
  • Did you ever catch her in a lie, only to have her shrug it off as no big deal?
  • Has she cheated on former lovers in the past? Does she express any genuine shame about it now?
As for the dirty secrets, if you didn't want them getting around, why did you create them in the first place? And why did you trust an obviously vindictive, dishonest person with them?

These lists are by no means exhaustive... the point is that rarely do people with the above traits demonstrate them in just one sphere of their lives. It's highly likely these whining men have seen their woman display one or more of these behaviors, probably long before the relationship waned. And though I hate to spell it out, here it is: if he sees his significant other behaving like this while they're still passionate about each other, it's highly likely that he'll be on the receiving end when all that romance goes henshit later. If she's willing to shit on her family, friends, or employer, why on earth wouldn't she shit all over her boyfriend or husband, too, once he's on her list?

But I don't want to bag on the men only - women can be just as guilty of wilful ignorance as their male counterparts sometimes are, and just as whiny about it afterwards.

The women I've been so unfortunate to overhear do an equal amount of bitching, and it's usually about how their man was unfaithful, lazy or unproductive. So again, let's take these one at a time.

  • Did you find out how his previous relationships ended?
  • Did he cheat on someone else with you, only to dump her for you? (This is a doozy. If you were the other woman, how can you honestly believe there won't be an "other woman" in YOUR future?)
  • Does he condone his friends' cheating?
  • Does he display any of the dishonesty listed above?
  • Does he make a habit of doing nothing but sitting on his ass?
  • Does he have a history of on-again-off-again employment? Quitting jobs for no good reason?
  • Is his place a complete pigsty, even when he has ample time to clean it up himself?
  • Does he move back home with his parents whenever things get too tough in the real world? Does he move back with them just so he has more money to buy expensive toys for himself?
Seriously, why should anyone who was wilfully blind to such a high degree deserve any sympathy after the fact? These folks CHOSE their significant others, likely knowing these faults existed, and figured some kind of mystical rain dance and some finger-crossing would save them from having that high-powered fuck-you-over laser of destruction turned on them. And the twitterpation of a new love is no excuse. Relationships can and do end, and anyone who isn't smart, serious, or mature enough to give a damn about finding an honest, forthright partner really isn't working up any tears from me once that partner starts to reign the fire down.

If you wilfully ignore or condone those little white lies, thefts of convenience, disrespect to others, past or present vindictiveness, or any of those not-so-subtle hints of future boulders that could very well come down on your head, then don't come whining to anyone who'll listen that the entire opposite sex is out to get you. You made all the choices that lead you to this point. You chose who to date. You downplayed the importance of character in a mate. If you want someone who'll treat you honestly and fairly when the relationship ends, then you damn well better wait for someone who's honest and fair to begin with. (And yes, they exist. Perhaps not to the degree we'd all like, but they're out there.)

Those dishonest, greedy, assholes who've fucked you over deserve some scorn and shame of their own--certainly their behavior deserves nothing less--but you are not immune. This didn't happen in a dating vacuum. It's intellectually lazy to refuse to acknowledge even the slightest possibility that you had a role here and, more importantly, to blame an entire sex rather than suffer the unpleasantness of some introspective pondering and accepting of blame.

I'm out of patience with the rampant pity party. Take some responsibility for yourself and your decisions. If you can't be bothered to do that, then please, for the sanity of the rest of us, shut the fuck up.

Labels: ,