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Thursday, June 9, 2022


I read this NYT article on Normal Marital Hate.  I'm not a relationship guru, but what I think is this:

I have two simple needs. Not being criticized too much, and the other one that I don't need to elaborate on here.  

I don't live with my partner.  That eliminates about 90% of any potential problems. I don't feel like I need to be with someone all the time. Time together should be good times. I don't remember the last time we were angry at each other in any serious way.  

I feel the impulse to change someone, or to make them happy, is negative. Happiness is your own responsibility, not someone else's, and if you want to change the person that much, it is probably not the right person for you.  You need someone who is already up to your high standards, not someone to mold in order to fulfill that. Instead, change yourself (if you feel the need). Personal growth is a never ending process. Then your partner will appreciate the person you are. If they don't, then you don't need that person. If the relationship if bad, then it is bad for you and for the other person as well; it is not some virtuous thing you are doing that shows what a great relationship worker you are, how much great effort you are expending. 

A good relationship doesn't require hard work. There are difficult things, but the real difficulty is your own self.   


Leslie B. said...

I have finally figured out what is meant by "working on" a relationship. When people say it is "hard work" they mean you must:

1. Spend enough time with that person / relate to them enough so that it even is a relationship. [The assumption here seems to be that people would prefer "relationships"--defined maybe as transactions involving the sharing of sex, money and children--without having them, and need to be reminded to "work."]

2. Not project whatever past trauma you have into them. This, I notice, is in fact work, but it's work you should do anyway.

Leslie B. said...

...OK so I didn't read it in NYT, but now I've read an article on this, maybe it's the same. It was *all* about getting along as roommates, essentially. And what *is* all this about sacrifice and compromise? I feel like you're either compatible or not.