Real Life 101, Lesson 5: Relationship Basics, Part 3

This is the fifth in an indeterminate series of entries that provides my “real world” lessons to young adults. It is my conviction that these lessons are rarely taught either at home or in the schools. For those who did not get them growing up you can get them from me for free. This is part of my way of giving back to the universe on the occasion of my 50th birthday.

In my last entry in this subject, I discussed my thoughts on how to create a solid foundation for a committed relationship. I may have put the cart before the horse because there is also this murky area business of sifting through the dating pool for a lifelong mate.

Let me assure you that anyone you hope to hang around with for the rest of your life will have some problems and issues. While dating, couples finding ways to accentuate their positives and minimize their negatives. Consequently, when you are sizing up someone be mindful that what you see is not necessarily what you would get if you lived with them for the rest of your life.

This is of course because when you date someone he or she is not presenting their true self. Because they are likely interested in you or they would not be going out with you, at least some part of them is projecting an image of themselves that they think you want to see. The nice thing about a date though is that it tends to last only a few hours. You can go home, kick the cat and indulge in some habit like picking your toes you would not want to show your date.

Recognizing this I figured one-way around the problem would be living together. Shacking up was actually my wife’s idea. I was somewhat reluctant because I had never done it before. For me it was a further education in real life. Eventually though it wore on my wife. Like many a woman who have tried this arrangement, eventually they feel used. I got all of the privileges, like virtually all the sex I wanted, with none of the responsibilities. Moreover, she was responsible for half the rent, even though I made more money than she did.

Since I loved her and living together was certainly not a bad thing, I eventually agreed to tie the knot. I had a good idea what I was getting into at that point, or so I thought. Yes, the stockings on the shower rail and the collection of medications splayed over the bathroom counters took some getting used to, but these were minor annoyances. I rationalized that if the problems got too bad we could always divorce.

I do not know how typical my case was, but I found that there was a huge difference between living together and actual marriage. Part of it was psychological. For the first time in my life, my assets were legally tied with someone else’s. When we lived together, our biggest joint problem was making sure we both paid our share of the rent on time. Now there was all this other stuff to work through. It ran from the relatively trivial, like deciding how our apartment would look to the very personal, such as how to accommodate differences in our sex drives. I was not in Kansas anymore. Moreover, since we were married, we did not have to wear our masks anymore. I found the first five years of my marriage were constantly full of surprises.

How much of what I experienced would happen to you is of course impossible to predict. What is true is that both my wife and I are different people. There was no way to really know how things would work out until we worked through issues as a married couple. I am confident though that stuff will happen in any such relationship that will surprise, upset you or be of concern. When this stuff happens, you learn where the friction points in your relationship really lie. How you navigate through them will tell you volumes about yourself and your spouse.

Most of us though want to minimize that stuff. We want to feel harmony with our partner ten or twenty years into a relationship, not strife. Given that most marriages eventually devolve into divorce (and arguably many that remain are not that happy) finding that harmony without surrendering your self-identity and self-respect can be one of life’s thorniest problems.

As I mentioned in the first entry in this series, the best thing you can do before getting hip deep in the dating pool is to work on addressing your own issues. Granted, this is not an easy thing to do. We all come with baggage, but young adults do not tend to come with much money. Therapists are not cheap. Anything you can do to address what you feel are your biggest relationship problems before you get too far into intimate relationships will be time and money well spent. If you do not, you will be tackling them later. Moreover, if you are in a lifelong relationship, they will affect your spouse too.

Although hardly anyone bothers, simply writing down what you are looking for in a partner will make you more mindful of people who may meet your needs. It will also tell you a lot about yourself. Virtually all of us on some level will crave a partner who is attractive. However, your ideal partner is probably someone on roughly the same attractiveness scale as you. If you examine the standard deviation for the human population, after all, you will find relatively few 1s and 10s. Most of us are in the middle and that is perfectly okay. If you are one of these types for whom looks are paramount, you can save yourself a lot of grief by adjusting your standards. Not only is a perfect 10 likely saddled with their own baggage, if you were married to one of these people your life may be much more stressful than you can imagine. (For one thing, if you were the jealous type, you would be constantly worried about the competition eager to snatch him/her away.)

When your significant other suggests it is time to meet the family, rather than run away from this activity, you should embrace it. You will learn volumes about the person from their family. Let us say that you come from a family where your parents have a happy, comfortable and mutually fulfilling marriage. You discover that both your girlfriend’s parents have been divorced twice and she has known two sets of stepfathers. You find out that her brother is also divorced or had a child out of wedlock. You discover that Aunt Mabel hates Uncle Jeff. One or two incidents like this in a family is excusable, but still a caution flag. A family rife with these issues should be ringing your claxon bells. Know that if you marry this person the odds are your marriage will likely be full of similar issues.

I suspect you came from a family that had issues too. Full disclosure is the best policy. Let your boy or girlfriend shake out your family too. If you have concerns about her reaction to a particularly toxic person in the family, tell her about it in advance. Tell her what you have learned from of it, and how a long term relationship with you would be different.

It should go without saying that if your potential partner is evasive then claxon bells should be going off too. It is fine to be evasive if you are dating casually. It is another thing entirely if you are both seriously contemplating a lifelong relationship.

Indians have a rigid caste system that has endured for millennium. While I certainly do not endorse the system, the best partner for you is likely to be someone who is in a similar socioeconomic class. If your background and outlook is blue collar, you probably carry those values with you. Most likely, you will feel more comfortable with a partner who is also blue collar. Mixed marriages are fine, but the ones that are more likely to endure occur when both are from the same socioeconomic background. I dated two black women during my dating years. One was a pediatrician and the other the daughter of an Air Force general. I am sure a mixed marriage would have been full of challenges, but they would have been less so because both women came from solid middle class households where the parents were in stable marriages, like mine.

Your best guide is likely your gut instinct. If you feel uneasy about your potential partner, trust your instinct. He or she may be attractive and on the surface, everything may seem terrific. Wait for that someone who, when the flush of infatuation fades, still fills you with a warmth and contentment. He or she is likely the right partner for you.

One response to “Real Life 101, Lesson 5: Relationship Basics, Part 3”

  1. Have Women Brought About The Extinction of The Sacrament of Marriage Upon Themselves!

    Divorce is a Rampant Epidemic especially when the government & the military (NATO) is behind it!

    I went to a father’s group in Texas (just north of Fort Hood) where some ex-military west pointer gave some real eye-opening comments. He basically said that the current Divorce process, legislation, court system and military is all one scheme that was put into play around the early 1960‘s. It was put in place for the Vietnam War, that’s when the divorces started to sky-rocket across the country (search statistics). He stated that this was one of country’s greatest guarded secrets and any previous attempts to expose it have resulted in “extreme” unAmerican covert actions to remove the source. That in addition, it was also designed to be one huge cash-cow to lure greedy lawyers to facilitate and destroy more families on the civilian side to get enough statistics to make it comparable to the military statistics. However the military numbers are still much higher. That is why they then modified the scheme to use on police nationwide to raise the civilian stats as most are ex-military and won’t suspect anything wrong.

    It is designed to send “single” male soldiers without family responsibilities to war and deny ex-wives any long-term financial support that was initially and may still be coming from the military/ pentagon’s money pockets. This is why laws traditionally have been favoring women. Women are lured to divorce partners with both positive and negatives reinforcements. The positive is they get the kids, the house, money in many forms-child support etc thus they benefit in the short term. To the military, the soldiers wives are expendable as are the soldiers and even their children! Simply the less money the military spends on wives, kids, ex-soldiers, the medical bills etc, the more they have for their drones, guns, or bullets. The scheme is very very complicated but based on very slow very subtle psy-ops brainwashing tactics followed by Machiavellian divide and conquer restraining orders. He said that any Freedom of Information request will gradually reveal key pieces of data that when analyzed together with confirm all this. Talking about this among other soldiers would also reveal stuff, so they came up with “leave your family problems at home” and the “zero tolerance” to divorce and get the spouses or soldiers out of the service quickly before they talk and expose the scheme. Many times this leads to actual suicides or apparent “suicides” to silence those that know too much. This is also the reason why the Pentagon does not want to release documents related to divorce. Part of the even bigger Military-Industrial complex. Similar schemes used throughout the world pushed through United Nation’s facades.

    Residual memories and super-stitching non-credible issues from subliminal mass-media propaganda especially around month of October makes wives fear and want to leave the husband. Fear works faster on a women’s emotional minds. They fight because she initially learns to fear him and starts rejecting him; any type of further advances make things worst. She starts to separate and acts different and because he has seen or heard about his fellow soldier go through this, he too now fears loosing his kids, house, everything. Mistrust ensues and fighting then just escalates. They are subliminally induced to fear and hate each other. The scheme then basically exploits women’s emotional traits to spread itself to other victims. It is a modern version- a reverse male witch hunt using crowd-sourcing (actually gender-sourcing). The media contributes to the fear mongering and makes things worst.

    The longest held myth orchestrated and pushed out by the military is that any family issues, hardships, etc are mostly due to prolonged physical separation between spouses; however most divorces (hidden stats) are initiated by the wife and due to fear from abuse by a mentally unstable “trained assassin” i.e. a soldier suffering from some kind of PTSD or similar. This is the main reason that the military has been pushing another lie, PTSD – the truth source is shame and guilt from killing innocents during a foreign invasion for oil and imperialism under the excuse of WMD. Any type of fear (PTSD etc) makes women worry about their safety and some just play the helpless damsel in distress thus they then go pleading to the oh-so-willing authorities who provide them with military issued cookie cutter divorce packets which she has to take to a civilian lawyer. They do this to hide where the process initially starts.

    The divorce is initially financed through tax payer’s money plus civilian lawyers outside military bases (jag-ex military lawyers) take them by the truck loads as most of the paperwork has already been done for them by JAG. Easy money! Everybody in on the scheme wins except the military family-children suffer the most! Older teenagers then run away, low self esteem, some get pregnant, prostitution, premature marriages, alcohol, drugs, problems are endless. Government controls economy, no jobs, many (if have low enough IQ) can to join the military or police to pay bills. Police State grows etc thus the Destructive American Cycle Continues Forever!

    Most of the subtle subliminal propaganda is out throughout the 365 days of year but it is bombarded more during the month of October knowing that during November, December and part of January, is the time when most Americans spend considerable amount of time together. When better to have them constantly bickering or fighting with each other. Right after this time period is when most marriage end in divorce! Chaos brings uncontrollable emotions and thus more chaos, and biofeedback psychological scheme. Through constant chaos at the family level, those in power achieve and retain their control and order. Order out of Chaos.




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