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