I wanted to ask a rather general question (out of curiosity more than looking for advice) about negotiating flaws in someone you've chosen to be your romantic partner. What I mean is, how do you deal with friends or others honestly discussing their opinions of your partner, including perhaps pointing out flaws which you notice yourself? Different than simply confiding your own frustrations to a close friend, I'm wondering how you react when someone else points out minor flaws (no serious "sit down and let me tell you why X is bad news" talks, just "man, sometimes X can be so boring" or "X is annoying when. . .") in your partner.
I've never been in a relationship before, but as someone who is certainly not "blindly in love" with someone who I've long considered a friend and recently became more romantically involved with, I can see flaws in him, and one difficulty is that some people don't know about the non-platonic situation, and approach me in discussing the friend in question. This sometimes includes sighing or complaining about my friend's flaws, which, while minor, can be sometimes socially frustrating. My response so far has been the same as it usually is when these kind of things come up- empathy with the frustration and then trying to point out some good qualities of the person as well- but I wonder how this dynamic changes within a relationship defined as romantic. Do you feel commiserating with a friend's complaints about your partner is "ganging up" on that person?
Posts: 7 | From: Canada | Registered: Apr 2012
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I think it's good that you are still aware of your partner's flaws (some people "fall head over heels" and just think that their significant other is perfect in every way; which I don't think is healthy, as we all have flaws); and that you do not hesitate to accept them when people point them out to you. But everyone has some quirks, eccentricities, or qualities that others might not like; and a quirk someone has might be a beneficial trait in someone else's eyes.
What you are already doing - agreeing that your partner does have that flaw; and then saying some good qualities that this person has - seems to be a healthy and positive approach. I personally don't know if that dynamic has to change because you are now in a romantic relationship with that person. If you do feel guilty about it, you can always not comment on the flaw in general. That might be a passive notion; but I sometimes simply don't say anything at all if someone says something about my partner or someone I know that is a flaw or is something maybe insulting to me. It all depends on how you feel. I don't really think it's "ganging up" on the person at all - you're being honest and you're still "defending" your partner by stating good qualities that your partner possesses.
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