I'm a big believer in forgiveness, and not just because I make a lot of mistakes. But because it's good for you and for your relationship if you're able to work things out and move past them. But there are some things you can't let slide in a relationship. Ever.
When you let certain things slide, it sends silent messages about the behavior you're willing to accept and the ways people are allowed to treat you. Letting bad behaviors slide isn't a way to be nice, or kind, or forgiving. It means you're not setting boundaries. It means you're taking crap from others for the sake of keeping the peace. It can also mean bigger things, like a lack of self-esteem, or poor communication skills, which are important to address as well.
1. A Little Violence
A little shove or grab might not send up abuse flares in your brain, but it's not something you want to take lightly. Even if you're saying to yourself "they're drunk, they didn't realize how hard they grabbed me, it won't happen again," you still need to have a serious convo with your partner when they sober up. Not only is it not cool for your partner to be so smashed that they physically hurt you (regardless of their intent), but a lot of times, the little shoves give way to the bigger shoves, and that's how abuse begins. Nope. Shut it down
2. A Little Disrespect
Only you can determine what's disrespectful. Maybe you prefer your partner never tells you to shut up, or never calls you the B word. Maybe disrespect to you is being rude to your friends and family, or picking you up late. Whatever it is that makes you feel disrespected, you have to point it out or your partner might never know that this behavior bothers you. And once people get away with a little respect, it makes bigger disrespect that much easier.
3. A Little Lying
Well, let me clarify. Little lies, like "I love you in that dress" or "the hair suits you" can help keep relationships happy. They're not deal breakers. You're not going to break up over a dress. But lies about where your partner has been, who they've been with, what they've done with your shared money, and anything else that affects you both, or your futures, can damage your relationship. If you keep catching people in little lies, you damage the trust, and soon you can't believe anything they say. It doesn't make for a healthy relationship. Let your partner know if you catch them in a lie that you're not OK with, and let them know what you need in order to have trust in your relationship.
4. Telling You How To Feel
Guess who gets to decide how you feel, always, all the time? Yup. Just you. A therapist, friend, or support person might tell you their opinion on how you feel, or if they think your feelings are inappropriate for the given situation, but they're still yours to feel. If your partner hurts your feelings and then tells you not to feel upset or tells you that you should feel lucky that they're not doing worse things, you have to speak up for yourself and let them know that feelings police is not in their job description.
5.Telling You What To Do
You can't let it slide in a relationship when your partner bosses you around. Whether it's as seemingly little as "get me a drink" or as big as "go back to school," it's still the same thing. If you want a drink, ask. If you think it would be better for me to go back to school, tell me why. But whether or not I do those things is not up to you, and your happiness shouldn't depend on your ability to get me to do what you want.
6. Expecting Inequality
We all define equality a little differently. For example, I don't think one y person raising kids and doing all the housework and meal prep is equal to another partner sitting at an easy desk job all day, just because that easy desk job pays actual money. But that's just me. My point is, it's up to you and your partner to define what equality means in your relationship. And it's whatever makes you both feel like you're contributing equally and valued equally. Nothing more, nothing less.
It's easy to see how the little things become big things. Speaking up and setting those boundaries will help ensure that you both know you're being treated and treating each other in ways that make you happy.
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