Relationships are no walk in the park. It takes sincere intention, hard work, and compromises to sustain them. And whether or not you like it, there are going to be instances in your relationship when you shall have to make reparations for something or the other.
But that does not mean that you owe your partner an apology for every assumed slight. Every now and then, you shall be faced with various things for which you would have to put your foot down, and, without pretense or reserve, have the courage of your convictions. So here are 8 things for which you should never be apologetic to your partner.
1. Being yourself
There is nothing more beautiful than a person who is unabashedly being themselves. It is a rare sight in times such these where pretentiousness appears to thrive. And to expect a partner to conform to our ideas of what is perfect, to endeavour to control their thought processes, and to try to yield power over their feelings and emotions is really quite beyond the pale. We cannot confine people into a box based on our ideas. Ethan Hawke, from one of his stellar performances and my personal favorite, says it better than anyone I’ve come across, “I’m okay with you being a complicated human being! I don’t wanna live a boring life…where two people are institutionalised in a box that others created .” And frankly, who would want to? There couldn’t possibly be anything more stifling than, apologising to someone for being yourself by living as someone you’re not. A person who loves you would accept you for who you are.
And not just bits and pieces, but all of you.
2. Wanting time by yourself
If you’re in a marriage with children, then you most likely know the significance of this more than anyone else. Either way, sometimes, you are genuinely in want of a quiet place isolated from your partner and the responsibilities associated with life. Desiring some alone time is nothing to be ashamed of, and a partner who faults you for it should be sat down and made to understand the import of devoting time to oneself. Spending time by yourself would give you the opportunity to unwind, ease off responsibilities, and reboot, letting your creative juices flow once more, not to mention allowing you to feel more connected with your partner. Happy people make others happy.
3. Your dreams
A life spent without following one’s dreams tends to leave one with regrets and the gently uttered sighs of “if only…” Never apologise for having dreams. Never apologise for chasing them. Never apologise for living your life to your fullest potential. One can’t help but recall this powerful performance of Will Smith’s where he says it all, “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’ t do something… You gotta dream, you gotta protect it.”
4. Your friends
Friends are the flavor of life. While having a best friend for a partner makes you inordinately fortunate, maintaining friendships separate from your relationship is imperative. And if you are one of those who has an insecure and proprietorial person for a partner, chances are you will either be spending the rest of your relationship building up resentment against your partner, or ending it with them faster than you can say Gabriel Aubrey. Don’t apologise for having friends. Didn’t Spice Girls say much the same, albeit in a much more catchy tune; “If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends…”
5. Your values and beliefs
We often expect, in a relationship, for our partner to have the same values and beliefs as we do. And in the case that they don’t, we inadvertently chastise them for it. But whether you believe family is of fundamental importance, or whether you do not believe in the institution of marriage; whether you are committed to acting in an environmentally friendly way, or whether you are a feminist following the footsteps of Malalai Joya, these are your personal values and beliefs, and nothing you should ever have to express regret over. As far as that is concerned, even a matter such as your views about premarital intimacy are your very own, and not subject to ridicule or censure. You do not have to apologise for them. Not to your partner, not to anyone.
6. An honest opinion
If you are as forthright and uninhibited as I am, then you know just what this is about. When someone is upfront and unequivocal in the rest of their lives, chances are they will be the same in their relationships. And that is how it should be. Especially, in relationships. Our partners deserve the honesty of our opinions, in all aspects of life, and if we can’t provide them that then we have serious rethinking to do for our relationship.
It could be something as trivial as the opinion on that soul patch they’ve recently decided to sport, or something as consequential as that new job they’re taking up across the country. The fact of the matter is that being a straight shooter is nothing you should have to apologise for. In fact, your partner ought to consider themselves fortunate, as honest people are like gold dust in these times.
7. Your faith
With interracial marriages becoming increasingly commonplace these days, it is not unheard of to have partners of a different faith than yours. But whether or not you choose to keep your faith while in a relationship, or convert to that of your partner’s is a personal choice. Someone who loves you would accept you despite the differences in your religion. Several people, when well into a relationship, question their partner’s religion and hint at them as to why they should convert to their own faith.
ftentimes this is done subconsciously, with a disapprovingly asked question here, or a raised eyebrow there. But in other instances partners purposefully have uncomfortable discussions pertaining to their faith, not realising that such acts usually lead to the termination of relationships. One’s faith is a personal matter, and something one should never have to apologise for.
8. Your past
This is something I believe in rather strongly myself. Whether you are the very epitome of virtue and chastity, or whether you have had ten different lovers in the past, you should never have to apologise for what’s in your past. This doesn’t just hold true for sowing your wild oats. For that matter, if you were formerly given to substance abuse but have now turned your life around, you shouldn’t allow someone to hold that against you in the present. We have all made mistakes in the past, hardly any of us are irreproachable, and having a partner manipulate you into feeling negatively about yourself for your background is not only very bad form, but also does not speak of them in a very positive light.
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