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Relationships and Judgment - Jessie T. Wolf
July 27th, 2009
07:51 pm

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Relationships and Judgment
In every relationship, there are always two sides of the story of what happened. Each person lives their own version of shared events. There is not necessarily a "right" or a "wrong" point of view - there is only the person's perspective of what happened, and what happened for them is very true in their world.

In any relationship, if that relationship should come to an end, there will inevitably be the Victim, and the Bad Guy. I've been seen as the Bad Guy on a few occasions, and I have learned to accept that, and then do my best to learn from past mistakes and move on with my life.

The way I see it, there is very rarely a Pure Victim or Pure Bad Guy - rather, each person contributes to any given situation, and helps in producing whatever the result of that situation may be. In other words, it takes two to tango.

Just barely a year ago, I had a very messy breakup with my Husband. We are currently legally separated, and still waiting on a Divorce. The split was traumatizing for both of us, in different ways. However, I was able to brush the dust off, and started looking ahead, and did my best to move on with my life, and do the things that I enjoy. My ex, on the other hand, had a very, very difficult time getting over the break up, and it very nearly killed him. He struggled with the idea of being able to move on, and our breakup had lasting, damaging effects on him.

My actions, to some people, may look selfish - like I didn't care about the feelings of my ex, or how he was progressing. I'm sure that seeing me become able to move forward, and be happy, was very painful for him. And in every breakup, you're going to have your support group - close friends that you can bitch to about your evil ex, in confidence, to help get the frustration out. There's nothing wrong with a support group.

There is something wrong with tarnishing a person's name on purpose, however, out of spite or jealousy.

As a result of our breakup, apparently there are now certain individuals who hate me, because of "what I did" to my ex (because all of my good friends know just what an evil, heartless bitch I really am... <--- Sarcasm). I really don't like it when people who don't even know me, are willing to make a judgment so quickly, based off of a one-sided story they heard, from a person who was hurt, and who was reacting out of emotion. Not that this is really effecting me personally, because why would I want to have anything to do with people who don't know me, but are going to believe cruel rumors about me? Rather, it bothers me because now my current BF, who used to be friends with these people, is being snubbed by said individuals, and taken off of Friends and Watch Lists, just because he's now involved with me. And I'm evil, dontcha know.

Whatever. The whole thing is rather stupid, and very petty, in the end. But I have to say that I'm very, very disappointed. You know, with how much stress I also went through, during the final throws of my last relationship, I think I managed to keep it together pretty darn well, considering the not-so-good things I went through as well. Yes, I had my support group, but I tell you right now, I never, EVER made him out to be the monster that he's allegedly made me out to be. Any time I've ever told a friend about my version of what happened, I very clearly state that it was from my perspective, and that he may not have felt the same about certain situations. I have always talked about him with respect, and have never called him things like "cruel", or "evil", or "manipulative", or "heartless", etc.

I've only ever chalked our separation up to this: We were simply incompatible. We both went into the relationship expecting something specific, and then in the end, when things turned out to be very, VERY much not what we expected... and we both clearly showed that we were very, VERY different people, with different life goals... and not being able to trust one another... that's when things came to an end. Spending thousands of dollars on communication courses and therapy doesn't always help fix relationships, and we did try. Sometimes it just doesn't work. So what? In the end, it simply didn't work out. No hard feelings. Learn from it, and move on to something better. It's not worth it to mull over the past, and keep yourself from living your life. Going out of your way to ruin things for your ex, and mutual friends doesn't do much good either.

Otherwise, I am very happy with my current living situation, and I am very happy being with Torwin. He and I just kind of ended up together - it was not a planned thing, especially since we had both literally come out of very traumatizing past relationships, and we were not looking to get into another relationship. But we ignored our own rules, about not letting ourselves get too close, or attached. Now, I honestly don't know what I'd do without him. I mean, I'd LIVE if we were ever to split up, but I'd rather remain living my life as it is with him. I owe him quite a bit.

We are a good team. We keep things very open and simple. There are no expectations, and no pressure. Everything's relaxed. He's who he is, and I love him for it, and likewise, he loves me for who I am, and doesn't try to change me into someone I'm not. He tolerates my bitchy moments, and I tolerate his crazy moments. We respect each others likes and dislikes, similarities and differences. He's fun to be around, and while he may not be super emotional and like talking about his feelings, he is still very affectionate, he makes me laugh, and there is never a doubt in my mind about how much he cares for me. But most important, we TRUST each other, and we communicate, and LISTEN to each other. We respect each other, and I can't ask for more than that.

Also, I REALLY, REALLY love my puppy, Jango! Tor drove me into work, with both Jango and Tobi today, and Jango spent some time by my side being a big mushpot, and I love him so much!!! He fills that empty space that's been there for a while, since I had to give Zena up (which really killed me inside...). If it weren't for Tor, I wouldn't have Jango right now, so it's just one more reason why I adore my Collie. ^^

This post is not meant to be emo or anything, and is just me thinking out loud about something that's been on my mind for the last couple of weeks. Always feels better getting things off my chest.

Current Mood: thoughtful

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
From:catwoman69y2k.insanejournal.com
Date:July 28th, 2009 04:33 am (UTC)
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I know the feeling. I have a relationship that ended horribly around a year ago. Only recently have I even *started* to feel that I can talk bout it. Such a sudden blowup that never really recovered.
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From:shinigamigirl
Date:July 28th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
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I don't know what happened, but I think this kind of situation is like some magic rule in breakups. The "public" will assume that the person who came out of it stronger and was able to move on faster is always the big meanie, and the person who dwells on it longer is the helpless victim, no matter which one broke it off and who did what.
I'm sorry it's coming to people choosing camps in this, that's quite uncool.
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From:wlfdog
Date:July 28th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
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Hiya, hon! I was just literally on FA, looking at a drawing of yours. *lol* So sorry I never replied to your last message about the dog training stuff - been busy moving (again) and settling in. I only recently got back on FA, and had to clean through 3000+ messages. O___o

I'm sorry about your breakup, too. :/ *hugs* Also sorry I missed you at FC. I popped by your table and chatted with Aura a bit. Mayhaps I'll see you at next FC? :3
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From:shinigamigirl
Date:July 28th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
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I'm happy because I am with a much more compatible guy now (thus an evil bitch, probably? XD). And no problem for the note, I understand you're busy, and it's thankfully not an issue anymore! I'm just going back to uni for now so I am not panicking anymore, heh.

And yep, I'll definitely be there next FC, so do come say hi, I'd love meeting you. :)
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From:dustmeat
Date:July 28th, 2009 02:31 pm (UTC)
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EXACTLY!!
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From:chibiabos
Date:July 28th, 2009 06:40 am (UTC)
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Tim and I seem to be similar in some respects. I have trouble letting go and getting over relationships, none of mine ended well. That the others got up and went on to do other things doesn't bother me, its knowing I don't seem to be able to when everyone else does.

Tim, like 2, is something of a celebrity in the community, and that can lend itself to fanboish adoration. I know because, frankly, I have a bit of it with Tim, heh ... and while I certainly don't feel anything ill toward you, I could see how others might in blind anything-that-hurts-Tim-is-evil devotion.
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From:fiskblack
Date:July 28th, 2009 07:56 am (UTC)
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The term "selfish" has taken on a bad connotation, which is unfortunate. We owe ourselves happiness and the best lives we can forge for ourselves, because it's all we have, after all. In my experience, if someone charges you with being "selfish", they're actually practicing every manipulative negative connotation of the term. They want you to sacrifice your happiness and opportunities, and continue to struggle in an unfulfilling, unhappy relationship, purely for their sake. They're not giving any consideration for your happiness.

If you're ever confronted with these accusations in real life, face the accusation of "heartlessness" by asking what is "heartfelt" about sacrificing whole swathes of your life, well being, and your happiness, to fake stability and pleasure entirely for the sake of someone else. Explain what it really means to the other person if they should know that your affection is not genuine, but is an act, and a misery. I've seen people struggle through those kinds of relationships, out of a sense of obligation, for years. It's an empty, horrifying feeling I wouldn't wish on anybody. That is why love has to be selfish (in the *good* context of the term). It can't be a sacrifice. You have to be two *complete* individuals who truly derive a mutual pleasure in the trading of your time and experiences with one another. Relationships should not be held out of obligations, fears, or outside pressures.

You can't allow someone to put the totality of their happiness on your shoulders, hinging on whether or not you fulfill their fantasy-sense of what they want their relationship with you to be like. This is unfair to you and ultimately, to them. It presents a relationship as part pleasure, part burden, and opens people up to being manipulated to make decisions against their rational judgment, based on the irrational moods of their partner.

Don't allow the harsh words of others to cause you to guess doing what you knew you had to do. There are people who want to be like rats, poking their noses out of their dark corners, only to hiss and sneer at strong human beings, because we're happy. The rats are empty, spiteful, lost people, and I imagine they wouldn't be great friends in the long run if their premises are so warped.

I may have covered this in our conversation at FC. I don't remember if I did mention a lot of these details. But don't be ashamed, and don't feel bad about the choices you've had to make.
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From:dustmeat
Date:July 28th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
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"I've seen people struggle through those kinds of relationships, out of a sense of obligation, for years. It's an empty, horrifying feeling I wouldn't wish on anybody"

Yup, I have seen that too often...but those were clearly one-sided relationships wherein one partner was a giant leech. In normal couples who actually love eachother, there is a normal amount of self-sacrifice expected because you cannot have it ALL. Example: I never wanted to move to Texas, but here I am OH BOY. 100 degrees ALL SUMMER and yay, no beach. But I did it to be with Joe, so it's worth it.
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From:fiskblack
Date:July 28th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
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Well, I consider that a compromise rather than a sacrifice. If your life is a net plus in the end, then you are not sacrificing. It's like how paying my car bill isn't a sacrifice, because my life is ultimately improved by having my car.

So, if you are ultimately happier with Joe in your life even if you are in Texas, instead of having no Joe in your life, then you aren't sacrificing.
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From:dustmeat
Date:July 28th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, my ex made me out to be "crazy" and evil and claimed that I used him and never loved him, all the usual. It's just sour grapes.
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From:firesplace
Date:July 28th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
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I dunno why, but it seems there's a lot of this going around lately - in that I know several serious, "prominent" couples who have broken off long-term relationships or marriages, after which the individuals struggle with the public perception of their actions. They're all furs, too - is it just something about the community, I wonder? The one couple I know of outside the community who recently broke up didn't seem to have as much of the same kind of struggle.
[User Picture]
From:wlfdog
Date:July 28th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
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I think it may be because a lot of us in the Furry Fandom know each other, and share a lot of the same friend circles, and so we worry about friendships being divided because of relationship Drama.

Example: The Torwin I'm currently seeing is the same Torwin that used to be dating Samwise, who you are friends with. Their split up was very stressful, emotional, hurtful... but it did not come from a malicious place. Simply, Torwin took a chance on trying a relationship with a male, but in the end discovered that while he may be bisexual, in that he likes the sexual side of being with a guy, he was not comfortable being in an emotional relationship with a guy. That and the fact that both Torwin and Sam are very different people. Sam is very emotional - not necessarily a bad thing, as I am also a Cancerian... ;) - and Torwin isn't. Sam likes to express his feelings and loves very strongly, and Tor is uncomfortable with expressing lots of emotion, and someone who loves as strongly as Sam does would scare Tor off.

Really it boiled down to Tor wasn't ready for a new relationship, especially an experimental one, after the four-years-long unstable "marriage" he was in, before Sam. That doesn't make Tor, or Sam, bad people. But, in the end, things were worked out, and Sam is still good friends with Tor, and Sam and I also get along great. There are no hard feelings, and Sam comes over to visit us as often as he can. We both love his company.

But you could see how a situation like this might have been damaging, especially when you have the same friend group. For all I know, you could have decided that I was a complete bitch for "stealing" Torwin away from Sam. :-P
[User Picture]
From:firesplace
Date:July 28th, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
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*nodnod* Very true! I've never gotten to meet Tor in person, but I'd never heard of him mistreating Sam in any way, or anything about him being a bad person. It would have been nice if their relationship had worked out, but I have no reason at all to hold any ill will against either of them just because it didn't!
I'm glad you and he are happy together; both you and Sam are very worthy catches, and it's not my place to judge whether either of you is any better for a given individual. =D

I wonder if the furry fandom, as a whole, is just a little more nosy than your average group? The non-furry-couple I know of who broke up had been together for over a decade, and everyone assumed they'd be together forever. They shared the vast majority of their friends, and we all tended to move within one main group. Things were kind of ugly for a while in the breakup, but then both parties decided they would put it behind them and became great friends once more. In fact, the girl has invited the guy to a joint birthday celebration for her and her new boyfriend at a vacation cabin with the whole crowd!

But even during the difficult transition, the rest of the crowd didn't pass judgement. They did try to accomodate them as necessary - i.e. not inviting them to intimate get-togethers where they'd have to deal with each other awkwardly - but there was no universal pinning of blame on one party (although there was infidelity involved, so you certainly *could* pin blame if you chose to). But whatever misgivings folks might have had about the circumstances around the breakup, they kept their mouths shut, and just made it clear they still liked both parties individually.

Is there less of that in the furry fandom? Are folks, as a whole, nosier or more judgemental there...or is it just that the noisy few also tend to be the loudest in their opinions? I dunno, but furry breakups seem to be a whole different beast. XD
[User Picture]
From:samwise_fox
Date:July 29th, 2009 07:06 am (UTC)
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I didn't know you knew Jesse... and I didn't know Jesse knew you...

My world...
*head a-splode*
[User Picture]
From:firesplace
Date:July 29th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
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HAH! When I first found that the now-ex-bf of a fur I knew in turn knew folks from the DDR community Kiefer introduced me to, I had about the same reaction. "You know her? But...how? She's not even a fur!" XD
I found Jessie's art online ages ago and she did a FABULOUS picture of Fire and Pozie together (see icon). I've stalked her ever since! =D
[User Picture]
From:samwise_fox
Date:July 29th, 2009 07:20 am (UTC)
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For what it's worth, I'm trying REALLY hard not to be the psycho-ex. Just because Torwin and I broke up doesn't mean I don't still have feelings for him. Sure I don't love him the same way I used to, but that doesn't mean I hate him for breaking off the relationship. If anything I think it was the right thing for him to do, I was too buried in my own feelings to see where things were going.

I'm not really sure I CAN hate him, he'd have to do something really awful to me or someone I cared about for me to want to stop being his friend. And, while there are some unresolved emotions left over for me from the relationship, they are my issue, not his, and I'm not going to get resolution by making them a problem. It's part of the "learn to let go" stage of a relationship I guess.

In the end, I can say that in his own way, Torwin loved me, and that, I think, makes the whole experience worth it, joy and sorrow.
[User Picture]
From:samwise_fox
Date:July 29th, 2009 07:29 am (UTC)
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Also, from the beginning I never saw you as "stealing" Torwin from me, and I will gladly give any of my friends who accuses you of such an earful. I have always seen the relationship between Torwin and I as just that, between he and I, you helped us during the break-up phase but you weren't pushing anyone away or pulling anyone to you. You just happened to be there really.

So no, Jesse-woof didn't steal Tor-voop from Sam-Sam *grin*
[User Picture]
From:jaxxblackfox
Date:July 28th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
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Stuff like that makes me SO happy I'm single and unattached....

So much drama. D:
[User Picture]
From:bloodhoundomega
Date:August 4th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)
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*sighs* It's always easy to take a side and damn the other party involved. Sometimes it happens uninentaional, but often enough one just "goes with the flow" or follows original tendencies of sympathy. When popularity is involved things might get even more complicated and tricky though.

People rarely take the time to listen to both sides of the story. After all it takes much more effort to try keeping an open mind and show understanding for both sides, but I agree with you that it _always_ takes two for Tango. No one ever can be blamed for something entirely alone.

I am glad for you that you finally seem to have found your way and a partner who gives you what you need.

And gosh... yay for freaking Rottweilers! XD
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