Last week, I debated no less than three different relationship topics with various people on and off-line. Taken individually, no single topic was particularly groundbreaking. But, when I began thinking about them in total I realized they’re topics that we think about but don’t like to discuss because the conversation is usually uncomfortable. Instead, we avoid the topics and hope they work themselves out on their own when we already know they never will. Below are three topics people should discuss in the beginning of a relationship but they often don’t have until the end…
1. Is Being Faithful Hard?
Rather than answer this question, I’ll ask another question. If being faithful is easy, then why do so many people cheat? Have you asked your partner if they’ve always been faithful or their thoughts on cheating?
To be clear, I’m not only talking about physical encounters. Many people limit their definition of cheating to physical encounters. However, most infidelities don’t leap to the physical. You often work your way up to the physical point, so what about all those missteps you took on your way there?
What about all those indiscretions you overlooked, ignored, or somehow excused until the inevitable? You know the type: the extra DM on Twitter, the inappropriate ‘Like’ on a Facebook picture you had no business viewing in the first place, or the “hey, how have you been?” message to an X even though you’re in a new relationship. Then there is real life: the extra flirtatious laugh, touch, or suggestion you give or overlook from a person of interest. You know you respective statuses so instead you entice each other, playfully at first, until that invisible line between flirtatiously innocent suggestions and outright deceitful actions blurs beyond recognition. What then?
When I posed the question on Twitter, most people responded that being faithful is easy. This is an interesting theory. Are those who are faithful relatively stronger than those who are not? If so, what makes them so strong? Is it a strong moral resolve? Code? Ethics? Or do they simply have more will power than their cheat prone counterparts? Does this mean once a cheater, always a cheater? If so, then telling someone who has cheated to simply avoid or stop cheating is like telling a drug addict to stop doing drugs. Yes, you’ve identified a solution, but if it were that simple then no one would cheat (or do drugs). This is why I think it’s important to identify the true cause in order to successfully address the issue rather than make blanket and dismissive statement. Further, it may help to determine is it harder to be faithful than it is to cheat? Do men or women have it harder or easier? Is cheating more about avoiding situations that can lead to infidelity or having the strength to resist all opportunities real or imagined?
2. Is arguing a natural part of every relationship?
Last week Roland Martin tweeted:
RT @RolandSMartin: A # of youre saying how wrong I am. That’s because you’ve accepted arguing as being part of a relationship. I DON’T.
Can you genuinely remove arguing from a relationship or do you believe arguing is a natural part of a healthy relationship? What happens if you find arguing detrimental but your partner finds it natural? What’s the difference between an argument and a debate?
I always hate to prescribe definitive answers to emotional or subjective subjects. I’ve been in relationships where we never argued and I’ve been in relationships where we argued all the time. However, neither relationship was relatively better than the other. Sometimes the relationship I was in where we never agued might have benefited from us putting facts on the table, even if they made us uncomfortable. Conversely, in the relationship where we always agued, there were times when we would make petty arguments into grand stands, because we were trying to gain ground based on an important argument we lost days, weeks, or months ago. At times, we were immature and petty, but there were few times where we held back our feelings. Obviously a balance is best, but biting your tongue to maintain peace is often no better than getting everything out of your system in the present in order to have peace in the future.
3. Is your significant other entitled to your social media passwords in a committed relationship?
A Michigan man is now being sued by his ex-wife after he read her e-mails and learned of her extramarital affair with her (allegedly abusive) ex-husband. Got that?
The prosecution argues that he “hacked” into her e-mail, basing the justification of the charges on a criminal statute that is typically used to prosecute governmental hackers.
He claims that he used the computer all the time and she kept her passwords in a little book next to the computer. Simple click-clack of the keys and he was in.
Harmless, right? I’m not sure.
What are your thoughts? Do you have access to your significant other’s social media accounts? Do they have access to yours? Why or why not? Does not providing your password automatically mean you’re hiding something?
I don’t care if the Queen wants my passwords. I also feel like she shouldn’t have to ask. As they say, if you go looking for trouble, you’re bound to find it. In my opinion, you shouldn’t need my passwords because there shouldn’t be anything you ever need to verify. You should be able to ask me a question and expect that I will answer you honestly. If you don’t trust my response, then in my opinion that is the real issue. Some people say your wife (or family) should know your password so they can access your account in the case of your untimely death, to which my response is, “like hell they do.” If I’ve passed away, I can think of absolutely no good that will come from you having access to my various accounts. In fact, if I unexpectedly pass away, just throw my laptop in the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean.
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1) Do you discuss these topics when you’re vetting someone for a serious relationship? 2) What are some other topics you’ve learned the hard way that you should have asked early on in the dating process? 3) What are some other topics not covered today that people don’t discuss until it’s too late? 4) Which topic do you know needs to be had but you hate talking about the most?