Here You Go…

I was talking to my mom the other night, and despite her general odd way of saying things she has been around a while, and has done and seen quite a bit, so for the most part (and I hate to admit this) she is usually right.

My mother has always had this strange fascination with how relationships work, or better stated, don’t work, despite the fact that, to my knowledge, she has never been with anyone except my dad.

As she was once again discussing her favorite subject, she began by reiterating some of the main causes that ruin relationships. I will share a bit of her wisdom on marriage (a lot of which took me years to figure out myself).

If you happen to be with a particularly needy person it is a good idea not to allow them to think you will spend every waking (and sleeping) moment with them. They will be sorely disappointed when you don’t, and a lot of fights could have been averted if you had made it clear from the beginning that that is just not your thing.

Pick your battles. The other person will be flawed, they will do things to annoy you, they won’t have all the traits you desire, and you will just have to accept some of these things as they are, because you have the same faults.

It is always a bad idea to give the other person full access to your bank account. Especially if you make more than them.

Your friends are not their friends, and vice versa. Should you break up, the divide will be clear, at least among good friends. The acquaintances may stagger both sides.

Pets are important. They are not accessories. If they don’t like cats, or are allergic to cats, and you have fifty of them, it will be a problem. (Although if you have fifty cats it is most likely already a problem).

If your significant other controls you, it is because you are allowing it.

Relationships are sometimes like harems. It comes and goes, but as long as you are the favorite, the others aren’t of consequence. My mother used a different example which I don’t remember in its entirety, but I will share a similar one from the Wife of Bath (my own translation): allowing another to light their candle from your lantern will not diminish your own light. Make of this what you will. Even though I have heard this sentiment from her on numerous occasions, I cannot tell you how it makes me feel. I don’t know.

If the other person is abusing you, accepting their apology is most likely an acceptance for the abuse to continue. Because it probably will. And they will keep apologizing for it.

Jewelry does not make things better. It only makes you temporarily forget. Also, keep the jewelry. Don’t be stupid and give it back, or throw it at them. If whatever they have done merits jewelry, then you have earned it. I would like to add that the same goes for men, except from my experience men mostly receive intangible or short lived gifts (i.e. amazing dinner), to which the second part of this rule does not apply. However, if it comes between throwing your dinner at her, or eating it, I would suggest the latter – there is never a reason to waste good food.

It doesn’t matter how much time you spend together, if it is always at home, even home-bodies will get bored. Maybe it is just me, but there is something very special about going out with your significant other. It doesn’t matter how many years you have married, the process is the thing.

You did not marry a psychic (unless, of course, you did, in which case disregard this point). Verbally expressing your wants and needs makes everything more clear, for you and them. They may or may not be able to fix whatever problem you are having. They may or may not be willing to fix whatever problem you are having. But now you know where you stand.

Not all of these apply to everyone, and not everyone will believe all or any of this makes sense. But hopefully at least some of this will help someone.

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