There are these two couples I know. Both couples have been together for a few years and both have a peculiar dynamic: in each couple, one of the partners is clearly and by all accounts, not a good person. In the first couple, the man is obnoxious, rude, verbally abusive, and quite unpleasant. Moreover, he acts the same with every person he meets; his behaviour isn’t only directed at his wife. In the second couple, the woman is profoundly mean, rude, quick to anger and a bully. Just like the man in the first couple, she is that way with everybody, not only to her husband and kids. I guess they both get points for not being hypocrites; they get points for being assholes.
Furthermore, those incredibly distasteful individuals wear their unpleasantness on their fucking forehead. It is the first thing one sees when one has the misfortune of meeting them. The way they talk and act, leaves no doubt as to who they are. They are not shy, and they don’t even try to conceal their behaviour. I am guessing, they don’t think there is anything wrong with who they are or what they are doing.
These wonderfully despicable human beings are in relationships and have been for years. It means they are with someone who probably loves them, someone who wants to be with them. I don’t think the partners are there against their will and I haven’t heard any sort of abuse going on within the couples.
So, all that, brings me to a question: How different are those partners from their obnoxious significant others? I mean, to some extent, no matter how wide or narrow, they must be like their obnoxious and rude partners, right? They must! They cannot be as different as night and day. What are the chances of one person not being able to detect their partner’s obnoxious and rude nature? They live together, they see each other every day. How could they miss such a character trait? Perhaps, they see everything and choose to ignore the obvious.
I still believe the partners are more similar than we care to admit. I don’t know to what degree, but they must have some similarities, glaring or not. Common sense and studies indicate we get into a relationship with someone who is a bit like us, if not a lot. We must have something or some things in common to be together. Opposites attract only in physics and chemistry, not in real life. To be in a relationship, we must have common values, common goals, common interests somehow. It will not be a perfect match, because it never is. For a relationship to work and flourish, there must be a few similarities, some points of convergence. It is inevitable.
So, back to the partners…Are they immensely like their better halves or are they simply great at concealing their true nature? Are they guilty by association? Are they partly or totally guilty? I would say yes, at least partly. Feel free to disagree and you might be right. Nevertheless, if you are with someone who is unpleasant and obnoxious, what does that mean? It either means their behaviour does not bother you or that you understand them and both options say a lot about you. One cannot be in a relationship with an overtly rude and obnoxious person without condoning, partly or totally, their behavior.
I had this conversation with a friend of mine. I told her since the husband is insufferable, the wife must be as well, to a certain extent or she condones people being insufferable, or it doesn’t bother her. We went into a long argument, where she defended the wife, saying she was nothing like her husband. I simply argued that she might not be a copy/paste version of him, but she must be a bit like him at the very least, if she’s been with him all this time. Moreover, don’t bring the argument that she doesn’t know who he really is! Stevie Wonder can see this fucker is fucking annoying.
By the way, the argument of ignorance doesn’t work. When a person claims they didn’t know who their partner of the last 7 years really is, I feel like they’re trying to dissociate themselves with their partner. In extremely rare cases, you might not know a few things. Some people are extremely adept at hiding their true nature. Psychopaths can do that but, they are a small part of the population and they usually get caught. Yet, a mean and obnoxious behavior is the first thing you witness in someone, for crying out loud!
Listen, any person with a functioning brain and a smidge of empathy in their heart could easily say that Trump, the orange Stalin, is a despicable human being. Are you going to tell me that those who defend him are great people? Come on! Are you going to tell me that those who choose to be around him, are people you’d like to be associated with or be in a relationship with? Come on! Are we going to sit here and say Eva Braun, Hitler’s companion, was a great woman? She wasn’t! She chose to be with Hitler for crying out loud!
I went a bit too far with my examples, but I did it on purpose. I am trying to illustrate my point: certain things are immensely hard to miss. I am not saying that one will see or know everything about their partner. That is literally impossible. We all hide certain traits of our personality. People will spend years cheating, lying, stealing, and living double lives. It happens but it is a small percentage of cases. Hell, we don’t even know everything about ourselves, let alone our partners. Additionally, we cannot read human behavior the way we read a book: we always miss something big or something small. It is human nature.
Nevertheless, I cannot believe that something as visible and glaring as being mean, disrespectful, obnoxious, rude, can be missed by someone’s partner, and for years! That, I cannot and will not believe. Are the partners sometime guilty by association? Yes, they are, partly or not. Are they, to a certain extent, like their partners? It’s very likely. I believe they are concealing it better.
Please understand…They are not responsible for their partners’ actions, words, or deeds. Only the perpetrators are. This isn’t about responsibility.
Yet, if you stay around, and stand by someone who is overtly doing something wrong, then, I believe you are guilty by association, partly or otherwise.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now smile and go on with your day!