When and how to be critical or understanding?
June 23, 2011 3:15 PM Subscribe
Keeping one's and one's partner's weaknesses in perspective (and refraining from using each other's vulnerabilities as ammunition in arguments.
posted by DeltaForce to Human Relations (26 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Basically, my partner felt that I was judging him for where he is in life, school, and financially. He is a procrastinator who has had financial help from his parents for college. He has not attended expensive schools and he now works full time to support his living expenses (minus tuition). He has been taking college courses for six years (he is 24) and still has a couple more to go as he has been taking things slowly. He has also procrastinated on taking an important test in his field (he plays a lot of computer games...)
I don't want to judge him, and I really understand why he made all the decisions he has made. And even though I think he spends a bit too much time on the computer, I do understand why. I really do (except when he says the reason he plays for ten hours straight is because we got into a fight). I love him and I want to think of him in the best light (and all of this started because I asked when his mom was going to stop making dentist appointments for him).
He got very upset and turned it around on me. I took two years off after high school, living at home, being supported by parents while I worked on my mental and physical health (I was in a very bad place). In the second year, I took some college classes. Last year (my third year since graduating), I did a semester. But, I have gotten very, very, very little financial help for school. Instead, I have been a receiving some money from my parents to help with living expenses (SO and I live together) and I work very part time. Thankfully, this upcoming fall I will be receiving more help from my parents for tuition as well as getting financial aid and will hopefully be well on my way to my degree.
So I guess my questions are, how do we accept our flaws without judging? I am 21, should I feel guilty that my parents are giving me some money to live on? Should he feel guilty that his parents helped him with school for six years? Should I feel guilty that I don't work full time? (Though, even though he works full time I do 90% of the house chores, the money he makes is fully his, so it's not a typical stay at home type situation where I am being supported.) Should he hold it above my head because he does work so much? Should he use the fact that I meandered for two years as ammunition? Should I use the fact that he plays computer games all day instead of studying for the test to prove my point?
He and I are only human, doing what's best for ourselves. I feel like we have gotten help from our parents in different ways, and that no, we shouldn't exploit our partner's weaknesses. I feel like we are in this awkward stage of pseudo-independence.
Basically, when and how to be critical or understanding?