The Propensity for Perfection
Posted on April 30, 2008
Sorry, folks. In a bit of a serious mood tonight. A subject has recently come up with friends and I’m thinking this out as I go. Where to start?
Do we expect our partners to be perfect?
Do we expect ourselves to be perfect?
Truthfully, are we perfect?
Sorry, not by a long shot. It occurred to me today and over a build-up of the past few months that we set ourselves up for failure. Two people start going out, they put each other on pedestals and then it all comes crashing down as soon as the lust wears off…or one of pushes the other off because they deserve to be knocked on their ass. If everybody’s lucky enough to survive those few hours/days or week(s), that’s when the good stuff happens and also when reality sets in.
What’s one of the biggest problems between couples? I’m guessing the issue of cheating. We not only make our partners feel guilty for giving someone else a sideways glance, but we absolutely cannot comprehend the thought of them in the physical act with someone other than ourselves. And here’s where we set ourselves up; we think about doing both. We know the difference, though, because we would never act on it, but our partners might. Right? It’s completely bombastically hypocritical.
And what is cheating? My feelings on the subject have changed over the years and not for any reason that will come to your mind. There’s a huge extravaganza over the Mayor of Detroit right now and some charges of perjury. In light of the charges, it has come to everyone’s attention that he’d been banging his head off with one of his staff members. Nobody would have given a shit if the perjury charges didn’t exist. That aside, why did he cheat? Because he’s the Mayor? Because he could? Because his wife is clearly a disturbing individual whose behavior isn’t any better than his own? Yeah, the physical act when he has a wife and kids at home is pretty damning. But what if he didn’t have kids? Would it be as bad? Maybe.
Now, I have friends who have been going out with someone for various lengths of time and wound up in somebody else’s bed. Why? There may very well be a reason for it. Again, we judge the physical act first and foremost. Was it to blow off steam? Was it because their partner wasn’t “out” and they would forever be referred to as the roommate or friend to family and colleagues? That’s not quite fair and after so much time, it’s bound to make someone a bit stir crazy. Sorry, it just is. Maybe their partner just hasn’t grown with the relationship and one is carrying the other. Maybe the feelings are there, but the physical part is simply lacking. There’s no balance.
Look at my own relationship. My partner and I have been together for 13 years. He wasn’t out to his closest friends for the first 7. He wasn’t out to his family for the first 9. He’s still not out with other friends. Does he have to be? If it simply impacted him, no. I have no complaints, but that ends when it impacts me. That I am a part of his life should not make a difference to them. Another factor is that he spends 3-5 weeks away from home at a time because of his job. Am I able to work in the same city where he works? No. He goes from one site to another and there’s no telling how long he’ll be in one place. I’m 37 turning 38 in a few months. This isn’t where I’d hoped to be, but it’s not a bad place either. We can’t have it all.
So, between my lack of a phenomenal paying job, unhappiness with not being recognized (if not respected) as a couple and not spending much time with him, my partner has a recipe for wanting more than he has with me. Between his lack of recognition with his friends and discomfort with his family knowing that we are a couple, the comments that do slip out from time to time about how much I’m not making in terms of a salary combined with other general sarcastic comments and all wrapped up with a huge dose of uncertainty over the next time we’ll see each other, it’s a recipe for wanting something more than I’ve got.
We want more. We’ll always want more. It’s human and it’s healthy to admit that we want more. We’re not perfect.
I suspect that whether a couple is heterosexual or homosexual, it’s the same. There’s an imbalance that can cause crappy results. If it does, my thought is, did you say “I love you” to someone else? That to me is the absolute worst thing someone can do, even worse than the physical. It’s not a word to throw around. If you’re in love with someone and you use that word, don’t share it with someone else. Keep your dignity and address it for what it was, whatever it was. Love came in time with your partner.
Just remember that, ultimately, the only pedestal we truly stand on is the one we put ourselves on. Don’t expect to get everything right the first time. Just be willing to learn from it and admit that we have faults, issues and problems. Best of all, so does everybody else.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
One Response to “The Propensity for Perfection”
Dorien Grey says:
January 7, 2012 at 3:07 pm
Well said, sir. Been there (on both sides of the issue), done that. Wish now that it had been different, but you can’t put the djinn back in the bottle. You can learn from it, though.