YOU, ME, & SHE: 3’s Company
One of the reasons that relationships fail is that we have too many outside parties involved in our relationships. We all have friends, some closer than others, and we at times confide in these people. These are the people that have supported us in our times of greatness and at our lowest moments. We sometimes look to them for answers when we lack clarity or are too emotionally infused to find our own resolves. Friends can be wonderful assets. But just like a coin has two sides, friends can also be a liability, and detrimental to your relationship.
Some will argue and say “your friends come before your significant other, especially if you’ve known them longer.” I happen to disagree.
When we meet somebody new, we tell a friend. When we decide to get serious with somebody, we tell a friend. And in our darkest hours, when we break up with somebody, we tell a friend. These are normal activities, and in these instances, friends are beneficial to providing an outlet for your emotional inclinations or distress. The problems occur when you give your friends hollywood e-true stories access to your relationships and personal life. You have people who have a tendency to tell their friends everything about their relationships. When you’re having a great time and the relationship is going well, or when you’ve just had a nasty argument.
People don’t realize that when you tell your friends these things, no matter how accurate you attempt to be, more than likely you will tell it with a bias that favors you. Your friends for the most part, will side with your bias and establish their opinion of your significant other based on what you tell them. Let me repeat that to signify how critical that is “Your friends will side with your bias and establish their opinion of your significant other based on what you tell them.” This isn’t always the case, as friends with motives may do the opposite, in which I will discuss in the second installment of this blog.
It is really not healthy for anybody to have third parties intervening in their relationships. Your friends will offer suggestions or advice based on what you tell them. Ever had the friend that you couldn’t understand why they won’t leave their significant other even though they tell you all of these horrible things about them? Have you ever been that friend? Now you’re ashamed or feel out of place for being your significant others around your friends because they don’t like that person. And for the most part, it is because you shaped their perception of that person.
Eventually, you will end up in a position where you are isolated from your friends because you’ll start to feel as if nobody understands or respects your relationship, and why? Because you caused it. Ever heard the expression “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nothing at all”? I think it should be applied in what you tell your friends about your relationship. Unless, it is something serious such as physical abuse or consistent verbal abuse, you shouldn’t say anything. Unless you are ready to leave the relationship, you shouldn’t make problems that are actually minor appear bigger than they are by telling you friends. Some of my detractors may think that I am attempting to facilitate unacceptable relationships, but upon closer observation, my intentions will become transparent.
For example, let’s say that your significant other has cheated on you. This is undoubtedly a serious issue which can jeopardize a relationship, but is this something that you want to tell your friends? Let’s say, that after all of this, you still decide to stay with this person? You’ve already allowed people to look into your relationship, and although you may be able to get past it and move on, your friends may still hold reservations about your relationship.
Granted, there should always be one friend that you can confide in, that you are sure would not spread your business, but even then you should limit what you tell them. Many relationships dissolve because we tell people about minor setbacks, and they put them in front of a magnifying glass. We have given them authority to critique our relationships, our decisions, and our lives. We start to feel the pressure or cave, or we continue to be stubborn, and it gets to the point where nobody wants to hear your complaints (when they really need to be heard) because you’ve been blackballed as a lost cause. So, be careful what you choose to say to others, and also, what you choose to say.
Written by Bryant A Buntin, Author of Dear Women I Haven’t Slept With.
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