As I’ve said before, I’m not just working through my own personal perspectives of the world, but trying to address some of the cultural misperceptions of the role of women versus men, at least the way I learned them growing up.
There is one that I’ve always hated, even while stupidly living it. It’s the cultural myth that a girlfriend, wife or partner is responsible for somehow “fixing” their significant other, particularly if that significant other is a man. Somehow, if we settle into a long-term relationship, we must have achieved perfection, because some man loves us “as we are.” But, the significant other is not perfect, because they have to change for us. We shouldn’t have to change for them, because — like I said — somehow we’ve achieved perfection.
So there are a lot of women out there who live their lives trying to “fix” their significant other, whether that significant other wants to change or not. And somehow, if the significant other just makes these “itty-bitty, teensy-tiny” changes, then we as women somehow will never again feel pain, insecurity, angst or any other so-called “negative” emotions.
And if we leave that significant other, we seem to, more often than not, place the complete and total blame for the death of the relationship firmly on the shoulders of that significant other, rather than taking any portion of the blame ourselves. At least I’m not guilty of that aspect of the cultural myth. I am fully willing to take my portion of the blame for the death of my marriage. I’m not willing to take ALL of the blame, as I have occasionally heard that my ex is stating. But, yes, I am partly to blame for the breakup.
First off, there is no such thing as a “perfect” relationship. Each person in the relationship is going to end up feeling some of those so-called “negative” emotions. It doesn’t mean that the relationship is doomed, unless those emotions are the only ones felt by one or more of the people involved. Those emotions are part of the human experience.
Secondly, each of us holds onto our own unique perspective of the world. Yes, there may be some similarities between people, but there is no person out there in the world whose perspective is exactly the same as your own. It is the responsibility of EACH person in the relationship to compromise with the other. I’m not saying that you should not be true to yourself. But if being true to yourself requires no compromise whatsoever, you really should not be in any relationship whatsoever. Nor should you be in a relationship if your significant other insists that you must become a totally different person, which is one of the many mistakes I made.
Any person who tries to reach into the mind of their partner (as shown in the music video above) and change the puzzle around or replace parts of it with their own view of the world is not being fair to their significant other. Did you fall in love with a picture in your head? Or did you fall in love with the person? If you fell in love with a picture in your head, you are always going to be disappointed with the reality.
Nor can you expect that other person to somehow read your mind. If you need them to know something, you are responsible to communicate that need to them.
You cannot force someone to live totally in YOUR world (i.e. your unique perspective). Nor should they force you to live totally in THEIR world.
Fix yourself, not your significant other. No one is perfect, not even yourself.