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A friend was talking about a friend of his who gave up her writing when she married, something which had been very important to her. He was worried about the possibility of him doing the same thing if he ever got married, and asked me my thoughts. The following is my response, with some additions:

Well, I have always come first. I like helping others, I like making others feel good. I can be very oriented on another person. I am caring and compassionate, as well. But the moment they ask me to compromise who I am, that's it. I put my foot down. I don't care how much I like someone, it doesn't matter how much I love them or how long I've been with them. I will forgive them making such a request if they promise never to do it again. But if they insist on trying to change me, that's the deal breaker. I have not had to break it off with anyone because of such a thing, yet, but I know that I am the most important thing to me, and while I am willing to make reasonable accommodations such as chores and going places to do things that don't really interest me, I absolutely will not change any of the core components of myself for anyone but myself. Not only won't I, I don't think I could even if I wanted to.

Frankly, I cannot even comprehend why anyone would even consider changing themselves for someone else. The notion is absolutely alien to me. It'd be like asking me to cut off an arm or a finger for that person, just because they asked me to. Sure, I'd risk bodily harm to defend the life and physical well being of someone I loved. I'd even lay down my life if need be. But to mutilate any part of myself, spirit or body, just because someone else doesn't like that part of me... is anathema to me. The only thing in life I consider a true blasphemy is compromising your spirit to please someone else.

Crossposted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
baron_waste
Aug. 2nd, 2011 12:56 pm (UTC)

Implicit in your statement is the assumption that the change is not an improvement. “Cutting off an arm” - what if the change were restoring the use of an arm? Fitting a prosthetic leg that frees you from a wheelchair?

More realistically, what if the person provided you with the incentive and encouragement to get off the couch, put away the Cheetos and beer and start bicycling? Or anything else of that nature that y' know, you'd like to do, sure, but never got around to…

If you need to change, it can be an expression of loving care for your SO to demand it.

arinwolfe
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:34 pm (UTC)
Then it cannot be a demand, but more of something they push you to do. And ulitmately, i think, even then, the choice has to be yours or you'll never start on that diet, never go to physical therapy et.
fayanora
Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
If someone points out to me something that needs improving, and I agree it would be an improvement, that's fine, I'll work toward it. I don't promise results, though. I've been trying to get myself to be more responsible in regard to picking up and doing dishes, and it's been like trying to push an M1 Abrams up a mountain.

More realistically, what if the person provided you with the incentive and encouragement to get off the couch, put away the Cheetos and beer and start bicycling? Or anything else of that nature that y' know, you'd like to do, sure, but never got around to…

I'm fine with that, too. I may fight the process out of inertia, and I do (just ask Brooke, RE: bike riding), but I don't mind the attempt.
erithianopius
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:12 am (UTC)
The context of the discussion was change that is NOT an improvement, or even change that the person would otherwise choose to make. If outside pressure or attachment puts a wedge between you and the things you love and the things that make you who you are, that is not an improvement.

She gave up something that was very important to her when she got married. If her husband really loved her, he would have actually gone out of his way to make sure she knew that she did not have to do that, that he would not ask her to give up anything important to her. That is what I would do. I would never want someone to give up what they love. If I did not like who they genuinely were, I would not marry them. I would marry someone else.
fayanora
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
If I did not like who they genuinely were, I would not marry them. I would marry someone else.

Ideally, everyone would believe the same thing. Alas, it is not always so. Nor is it often so.
arinwolfe
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:32 pm (UTC)
Fay, thats amazing. Most people are not as strong as you and love can do some pretty goofy things to your brain. (you as in one, not you you)

Its also amazing how little changes can grow. Put off work one morning do do something and suddenly this happens all the time untill it snowballs. (to use writing as an example) I've done this and fighting to get it back is very hard, some people just don't have that kind of fight in them.

EDT: only deleted post was an accdental doubble post, nothing wierd.


Edited at 2011-08-02 03:33 pm (UTC)
fayanora
Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well... I'm the only one I've been able to count on with any consistency all these years. Everyone else disappears, or I move away, or issues come between us. It's getting better, I'm holding onto friends longer thanks to the Internet, but I kind of have this loneliness ingrained in me that tells me no change would be sufficient to keep people in my life.

I also have Alex in here with me, and he's got an ego so big I'm surprised he fits in here.
(Deleted comment)
fayanora
Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC)
Excellent points.

*HUGS*
erithianopius
Aug. 3rd, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
There is another problem: if you love somebody more than yourself, than you are making all the things that are most important to you dependent on somebody else. Somebody outside of you, somebody that may not always be there. Even if they are the most loyal person in the world and you have the best relationship, you may be unavoidably separated, or the other person could even die. That is the unfortunate reality of human beings - death can do you part, if nothing else, and a lot of other things can happen as well. If you can provide your own happiness, you always have that source, because (I got this quote from Buckaroo Banzai, of all places) wherever you go, there you are. Enjoy relationships with other people all you want, but have your own ways to meet your needs as well.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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