Respect Your Partner

You’re not in charge of them!

Shefali O'Hara

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Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

My ex-husband had this friend who made it very clear he was “the man”. He was the one in charge of his marriage. After all, he earned the money. He showed his wife minimal respect. I found this pretty horrible but… they’d been friends for years before I even met my ex. I wasn’t going to insist he dump his friend.

I did ask for an explanation.

“He’s the most loyal friend you could ever have, and he’s super funny and smart. Plus he was there for me when I went through a divorce.”

OK, fair enough. For a while, we did couples things, but I got to the point where it was harder and harder for me to keep my mouth shut. Finally, I lost it.

After that, I told my ex this guy was no longer welcome in my house. That needed to be a safe and comfortable place for me. He could keep the friendship, but they would need to meet elsewhere. This worked for a while, until the friend started insulting me. That’s when my ex told him if he did that again, the friendship was over.

I didn’t ask my ex to do this. I did tell him afterwards that I appreciated it, however.

So, was this OK?

It was the right way to go for me. That doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I’m not the world’s arbiter on all things right and wrong. However, I try to respect other people and their choices.

My ex’s friend did not.

He certainly never respected his own wife. I asked her once if she loved him.

“I used to,” she said. “Now… as long as he’s on the road a lot, I’m OK with it. We have a son. I don’t want my kid to suffer.”

I thought this was very sad, but… not my circus, not my monkeys. I offered her a sympathetic ear, but she was a grown ass woman and I wasn’t going to tell her what to do.

So, are men the problem when it comes to lack of respect for their partner?

Hell no.

Women do the same type of crap. I have no idea which gender is statistically more likely to be filled with control freaks, and I have no idea if gays and lesbians are better or worse. And it’s not that the numbers would change my personal philosophy on relationships.

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Shefali O'Hara

Cancer survivor, writer, engineer. BSEE from MIT, MSEE, and MA in history. Love nature, animals, books, art, and interesting discussions.