About Randi

Randi Kreger has brought the concerns of people who have a family member with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to an international forefront through her best-selling books, informative website, and popular online family support community Welcome to Oz.

 
 

Is The Relationship Worth the Price of Admission?


I saw this clip and liked some of the the points it made. Dan Savage, a sex and relationship author and columnist,  is giving a speach and reads a question from someone in the audience. (You can watch and listen to this, too. See link at bottom.) (Language warning. Also, some of these things are said very tongue-in-cheek.)

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Question: I can't stay interested in a guy for longer than two months. What is wrong with me? I find a flaw and can't get over it. For example, if a guy chews with his mouth open, I could never see him again.You are the problem with you. If you have a list of deal breakers that has more than five things on it, you do need to wait around and get a sex robot that you can program to be perfect for you in every possible way.

Answer: There is no settling down without some settling for. There is no long-term relationship without... not just putting up with your partner's flaws, but accepting them and then pretending they aren't there. And we like to call it in my house, paying the price of admission.

I have certain flaws, that I shall not take off here. And my boyfriend has certain flaws, that I shall list. We've been together 14 years. Actually 13. But we're like a hotel. We're skipping the 13th floor because of bad luck.

They're his flaws. He used to drive me fucking crazy. He also wasn't what I thought I wanted. He's seven years younger and didn't go to college and is an artist. And you know, I'm a dumb writer and I thought I needed somebody who's, you know, was a doctor, or a lawyer, or had a stable career because I'm an idiot.

And he wasn't what I was looking for. And we fell in love. And you know, we're still together. If I was just like, no, you won't do, no, you won't do. If I didn't give him a chance, I would've cheated myself out of the love of my life. Right?

Your boyfriend who chews with his mouth open, you can say, "Chew with your fucking mouth shut," and hopefully he'll get there and chew with his mouth shut. But if he never does, him chewing with his mouth open might be the price of admission. It might be the price you need to pay. You have to pay it to ride that ride.

We used to make the dumb mistakes. And these things, I think, play out more sort of toxically in those mixed gender relationships you heterosexuals get into that never work out. Because they're fraught with like, you know, women studies courses in female oppression and centuries of female oppression.

He doesn't put anything away. He makes a sandwich. And then there's the mayonnaise jar open in the counter. There's the bread. There's the milk that he left out. There's the mustard. There's the meat. All were left out in August. All right? We're all going to die ptomaine poisoning.

I used to follow him around saying, "Put that fucking shit away." And then one day, I put it away. And it took a tenth of the time than yelling at him would have taken. And I went, "Oh, right. This is one of the prices of admission. I love him so much. It's worth it just to put the fucking mayonnaise away myself."

And you can't have a long-term relationship with someone unless you're willing to identify the things, you know, the prices of admission you're willing to pay, and the ones you're not. But the ones you're not, the list of things you're not willing to put up with, you really have to be able to count it on one hand. And it can't be superficial bullshit like chews with the mouth open. It really can't, as disgusting as that is. All right?

Because you will never be in a relationship with any... You're going to be Jerry Seinfeld but without the millions in residuals. With him constantly rejecting women [inaudible 00:03:17] all this bullshit, right?

When we were young, we had to say, you know there's someone out there who's perfect for me. There's like some ideal that there's the one. The one doesn't fucking exist. The one is a lie. But the beautiful part of the lie is that it's a lie you can tell yourself.

A long-term relationship that's successful is really a myth that two people create together. Every long-term [inaudible 00:03:40] relationship is a myth. And myths are built of lies. There's usually some kernel of truth.

My boyfriend and I have a relationship built on a solid foundation of lies and deceit. When you think about it, you meet somebody for the first time, and they're not presenting, you know, their warts-and-all self to you. They're presenting their idealized self to you. They are leading with their best. Right? And then eventually you're farting in front of each other.

Eventually you get to see the person who is behind that facade of their best. Right? And they get to see the person behind your facade. You know, your "lie" self. This lie that you presented to them about who you really are.

And what's beautiful about a long-term relationship - we can be transformative about it - is I pretend every day that my boyfriend is the lie that I met when I first met him. And he does the same favor to me. He pretends I'm that better person that I actually am. Even though he knows I'm not. Even though I know he's not.

And we then are obligated to live up to the lies we told each other about who we are. We are then forced to be better people than we actually are, because it's expected of us by each other. And you can, in a long-term relationship, really make your lie self come true.

If you're smart and if you demand it of them, and you're willing to give it to them, you have to be willing not to see him chewing with his mouth open if you want to be around for his better qualities, you know. And buy into the lie version of him that he never does that. Right? And they will hopefully do the same for you.

And that's the only way you become the one. If you get somebody who is willing to pretend you are the one that they were waiting for, the one they wanted. Their one. Because you're not. Nobody is. No two people are perfect for each other. Ever. Period.

No two people are 100% sexually compatible. No two people are 100% emotionally compatible. No two people want the same things. And if you can't reconcile yourself to that, you will have no relationships that last longer than two months. And you know what? It's not going to be their fault. It's going to be your fault.

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