Where Tolerance Stops

Where Tolerance Stops
Image provided by Michael Korchia

This last Tuesday I wrote a short piece entitled, She Endured. (This one is shorter, isn’t it?) Aside from it being an exercise in writing for me, the point of the scene was to give you a glimpse of what many couples experience on a daily basis. The woman showed fortitude and patience.

What if she hadn’t been so tolerant of her husband’s shortcomings? I would think there’d be arguments, an emotional freeze in the air, and maybe a breakup.

Would the latter be tragic, heartbreaking, or the ‘wrong’ thing to do?

How much of the negative should a person tolerate?

The  resilience varies from person to person, of course. I think of the work place when I think of what so many put up with, both the employee and the employer. An employee will resist quitting despite the verbal abuse s/he is receiving from the boss. S/he needs the job after all. An employer will withstand the constant tardiness of an employee to keep good relations with all of the employees and so s/he doesn’t have to train someone new.

The tolerance with friends and family can get sticky and tangled. Should a spouse be lenient when the other one has excuses for not being there, not making good on promises, not participating in the functioning of the family? Should a person permit the friend to use him/her and ignore him/her the rest of the time? Some people have oodles of perseverance. They’ll take almost anything that’s given to them and will endure it. Are these people saints or patsies?

Is there a place to draw the line on tolerance? I, for one, think there is that place. When a person’s life become a series of forgiveness, leniency, and permissiveness, it’s time to paint that line. A person shouldn’t be a mat to be trampled all over. A person shouldn’t have to always give in to someone else’s wants while the person’s needs are not being met.

Yes, that’s my opinion, but not all of it. The fault cannot just lie with the recipient of all that  benevolent stuff. After all, the one pouring it out isn’t holding back. The giver has to — must stand up for himself/herself. If s/he doesn’t do that, the revolving situation is going to continue. Sure, it’s damn hard to stand up for yourself. All those feelings of doubt, guilt, shame, and disgrace are probably going to, at least, touch the person, even though they’re probably unfounded in the equation of things.

It’s sometime next to impossible for a person to stand up for himself/herself. Yet, to break the damaging cycle going on in that person’s life, this is the only way. Does the person think waiting until the other leaves that person’s life is going to do it? Don’t bet on it. All that past garbage and negative feelings are still roaming around inside the person’s head. Standing up for oneself is the only way to make those awful feelings the frivolous little pieces of the past.


As I’ve stated before, this is just my opinion. Whether you agree or disagree, I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

No man will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties, and is prepared to assume responsibilities.William J. H. Boetcker


7 thoughts on “Where Tolerance Stops

  1. Even people who know nothing is going to change, still cannot leave this type relationship probably because they have been so brow-beaten, they cannot make the decision to leave. When you have no self-worth, you can hardly get out of bed let alone make the life-changing decision to leave. Where will you go and do you have the means? This is a tough one, Glynis.
    ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All you state is true, although I’ve done it in my past. Yes, it took courage I thought I didn’t have but I did it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that I was just unhappy. There was abuse involved. Maybe that’s where my line is drawn. :/


  2. In one of my classes where the huge majority of students were decades younger than me, all of them women, and mostly unmarried, they had a discussion about what to do if one’s spouse cheated on them. (A very famous couple had been in the news a lot because the man had had an affair and the woman forgave him.) All the young women were furious because the woman didn’t demand a divorce.
    I didn’t speak, but I think that marriages are much more complex, or they should be. Cheating is a terrible behavior but relationships demand some tolerance and compromise if the union is to survive, either as an individual marriage or a national foundation. There are so many reasons that a marriage should end – battery or sexual abuse, criminal activity, abandonment, drug or alcohol abuse, refusal to work, gambling addiction, deceit, cheating and lying.
    Employment deals with many of the same issues. A close friend suffers daily and inappropriate abuse by her boss. At 60, she dare not lose a job she may not be able to replace.
    I’m not defending the abuser, the addict, the soul destroyer, but most marriages are a constant balancing act with each partner. It the person about whom you’re writing has suffered continual abuse, I hope she finds the strength not only to make a decision that will find her much safer in future, but a choice to prepare herself for an independent life. That must be in place before one walks out the door. If someone jumps, a safety net has to catch them.
    It’s good to provide a forum for such a serious topic – thank you, Glynis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sharon. I like your comment. You gave it a lot of thought.

      The scene shown in the previous post is pure fiction even though I’m quite sure it mirrors reality. Because it is just a scene, it doesn’t depict the whole story.

      Some people have the wrong idea about marriage, thinking the couple should actually live happily ever after. It’s a bond that takes work, hard work. Understanding of shortcomings, mistakes and the such must be there. And even to be able to understand takes work. None of it come naturally no matter how much alike the couple it.

      Did you put your two cents in that conversation with those ‘girls’? Being on the threshold of being a senior, I’m pretty sure I would have. 😉


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