Post # 1
Sometimes when reading the bee or talking to friends including my MIL, I hear things that other wives have put up with that I know deep down inside I simply could not tolerate. I feel like I have spent a great deal of energy in extracting myself from abusive situations and building myself up to allow someone else to walk all over me.
Maybe it’s just a defense mechinism learned over time, but I feel like once a line is crossed I can shut off the emotion and just walk away. I’ve talked to my DH about these feelings and he knows where I stand.
It is kind of scary to think about. If DH does A, B C or D, then I’m out. Does that mean I’m not committed enough to my marriage?
I know some folks may say “you won’t know until you’re in those shoes.” I don’t believe that is true in my case. I guess I feel like I’ve become emotionally hardened??
Does anyone else wrestle with this?
Post # 3
Personally, I think having firm limits on what is just NOT okay is not a problem at all – in fact, it is a good thing. I will never again let myself be disrespected or abused – my younger, foolish self might have, but I am confident enough and care about myself enough now to know that there are lines that simply cannot be crossed and our relationship left intact. Cheating is another such line – it is just not acceptable.
I don’t think having those types of non-negotiable lines makes you emotionally hardened. I think it means you won’t settle for bullshit.
Post # 4
As long as A, B, C, and D are reasonable no-gos (cheating, severe lying, physical abuse, mental abuse), then it’s fine. If they are things that you could forgive with effort on both your parts, then I’d be more concerned about your list. I think you should talk to a counselor about the list before marriage, though. You owe it to both of you to be very clear about the relationship and its limits before you actually get married.
Post # 5
@MidwestBride2012: This is what I was thinking.
Knowing you have a large list of non-negotiables could really just be a defense mechanism and you want to cut off the hurt rather than drag it out during the reconciliation process.
Some “errors” in marriages can be worked through and can make the relationship stronger for some couples. You may not being fair to yourself and your happiness long term to be non-negotiable from day one without being in the situation because circumstance change and that means your reaction could change.
Post # 6
I agree with the PPs who say that it depends on what A, B, C and D are.
Things like cheating, abuse, etc. Totally reasonable.
More minor things though that could easily be worked through (should they occur), I’d be a bit more concerned.
Post # 7
I suppose to answer your question, sure I used to wrestle with that when I was younger. I used to believe that I would never put up with certain things, or be willing to work through other things, etc.
Now I believe that I was being naive. There are certain life experiences and things that can happen with the people we love sometimes that I simply could not understand until I was ‘in those shoes.’ Honestly life throws some curveballs! Never say never in my case.
Post # 8
My mother was slapped by her ex-husband once, and she left IMMEDIATELY. She came from Russia to America (was threatened by the husband after she left) that same week.
From personal experience and based on example, physical abuse would be a non-negotiable for me.
Yes, you are commited to your relationship, but you are also commited to respecting yourself, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that.
Post # 9
I have several non negotiables that DH is acutely aware of. They are pretty much no brainers, but spelling things out is important sometimes.
DH also has advised me of his non negotiables, so it goes both ways.
Post # 10
I have non negotiables. cheating, abuse , lying, are some as well as curbing excessive drinking ( both of our familys have alhohol addictions close to home , and this is mutual no no )
Post # 11
@peanuthead: I’m a lot like you, also have been through some abusive and unhealthy relationships and also now have learned to make healthy boundaries.
I don’t think it has to do with our level of committment to our relationships now, in a negative sense. What it does have to do with is our level of commitment to ourselves. Finally.
My own self-love has been hard won. I have to admit a lot of my past suffering was caused by my own inability to set the boundary of: Keep the bad stuff out and let the good stuff in. I had it reversed for a long time. I was what I now can’t stand, the “martyr-type.” But I educated myself and one day it almost magically appeared – real self-love and self-esteem. It was as though a light switch was turned on inside me and I’ve never been the same since.
I think people have higher respect for those who actually love and respect themselves. And there is a lot of truth to the old saying that you can’t really love someone else until you learn to love yourself.
So, for me at least, it means by capability for true commitment is now higher than ever before in my life. I don’t even think about “dealbreakers” in my relationship with my FI. Because I love him more than I ever knew I was capable of loving someone. It hasn’t entered my mind that either of us could ever do anything to cause the other to walk away. He feels like part of me, the other half of me, and no other man has ever come close to that, for me.
I think being strong inside yourself now is the indication that you’ve chosen a love to commit to that is finally worthy of your commitment. You have nothing to worry about. 😉
Post # 12
@Sunfire: Thanks for your response. That really puts it into perspective for me.
Post # 13
@LuckyJuls: Your mother sounds amazing.
Post # 14
@peanuthead: You’re very welcome.
Think of it as being strong as steel inside yourself while still being able to enjoy the softness and fluidity of love and emotions. Your emotions won’t harden unless you let them.
Keep the good in, push the bad away. Seems simple, but it’s tricky.
With your DH, keep the lines of communication open, be clear and firm, but still fair. And be sure to hear his side, always. Two people treating each other with kindness, love and respect is a beautiful thing. Give what you expect to receive. And don’t settle for less than you deserve.
Post # 15
I think we all have certain dealbreakers, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re not commited, especially if those dealbreakers are things that shouldn’t be happening in commited relationships (e.g. infidelity).
Post # 16
Hi peanuthead. I agree with you. I have some well defined non-negotiables that FI is crystal clear would result in me leaving. I was up front with him pretty much from the word go…. before I knew him and knew that those were things I wouldn’t ever have to worry about with him.
I don’t think those boundaries are me not being committed. I do, however, think that because I’ve been in bad relationships (and grew up in a home that manufactured them at record speeds!!!!) that dysfunction is hard to break…. so if you have a history of dysfunction you are more likely to find someone who has similar patterns and therefore YOU need better boundaries to not get sucked back in. That’s just my take, though.
And I’ve been through enough therpay to get to where I can regonzie people who would ignore my boundaries and to understand *how* to be with someone who WOULDN’T…….. thankfully I have found FI 🙂 Plus I’m 40. So, to say this ain’t my first rodeo…. well that would be an understatement. lol.
What I wresteled and wrestled with….. are the traditional vows. One – I’m divorced…. so clearly I didn’t mean it when I said “until death do us part”. Because it really should have been “until things are so f*ed up between us that you can’t really even be in the same room without yelling so loud your 3 year old holds her hand over her ears and even a marriage counselor says there isn’t much hope”. But that doesn’t have as nice a ring to it…. so people tend not to use it in the ceremony.
Fi and I are writing our own vows. We are exchanging claddagh rings and I have started writing what each of the three symbols means to me. Promises I will make him, if you will. To be legally married you really only have to answer “*A* will you take *B* to be your *spouse*” As long as you say “yep” then the officiant does the “by the power invested in me……” Those vows are just traditional or religious in nature. And in my opinion aren’t realistic – at least for me. So, we are writing what we *promise* to do – in our love for each other, our friendship for each other and our loyalty to each other and our family, based on the claddagh symbol: hands (friendship), crown (loyalty) heart (love). So, it’s not “in better or for worse, regardless of what the *worse* means”……. it’s “I promise to work on my own stuff so that I can bring a healthy partner to this relationship” and “I promise to support your relationships with your family” and “I promise to consider our familys needs before I make decisions that will affect us”. I can do that. I just can’t put up with you sleeping with someone else, in the name of *I committed to this relationship*. And I shouldn’t have to vow to do that. The traditional/religious vows are written to give the *power* to the person who would abuse it. Do you _____ take _____ to be your _____? “in sickness and in health”. Really? Now, if it all falls apart and you’re diagnosed with cancer that’s one thing. You don’t leave someone over that. But I just promised that no matter what you do to your body I will stay and take care of you. If you go out and do drugs….. I just vowed to stay with you. That puts me and my daughter in an unhealthy (at best) or dangerous (at worst) environment. He didn’t vow to try and stay healthy, now did he? So, why did I vow to stay and take care of him…. regardless of what HE did? “for richer or for poorer”. really? He can blow all his money gambling or on porn or buying a new fancy truck without letting me know and then we don’t have enough money to pay the mortgage? And I just have to stay and consider this the “poorer” that I said I’d stay for? NOPE.
Me walking out of those situations doesn’t make me less committed. And once you establish that the other person has NO comittment to be a better person….. well, then I think you’re just stupid if you stay.
Oh my….. Tangent. Sorry.