Networks within networks
The family is one series of networks. The individual family has it’s own set of networks while the extended family has it’s own. All that interconnection comes with all manners of ideas and expectations. Let’s not gloss over all the traditions that each of these networks bring to the interconnected bigger network.
And we’ve not touched the importance and influence of friends yet. Not even going to touch the influence and importance of the community at large today. It could be school, church, work, neighbors, and political affiliations.
Every network has it’s own agenda. Every person inside these networks have their own agendas. The worse thing to do is to assume that two sets of agendas are the same. Chaos can easily break out when things do not line up well.
To dance the tango, sure it requires two people. But what two people? How skilled are they? What experience did they bring to the dance? Who have they danced with? What do they want from the dance?
More importantly, have these two people worked together in practice sessions to iron out the details of the tango they’ll be performing? Now, let’s be clear, not all tangos need to be planned out and practiced thoroughly. Sometimes one just wants to get on the dance floor at a wedding reception and do a tango. Other times, one is tying to win a competition. The level of practice will greatly vary between the two motivations.
Once on the dance floor, one person has to lead the dance and one has to follow. If both try to lead, everyone will get a good laugh. Hollywood sure has capitalized on that meme many times. Same if both try to follow the other. It is equally hilarious. Albeit sad, but funny.
For the couple trying to make their relationship work, it is crucial they have a common ground foundation in mind. Without these safeguards, the influences from other networks will ruin the plans the couple has in mind. Not because the others are evil per say, but that’s how chaos works.
A couple need to know how to plan their lives in peace and quiet. Too many couples get into trouble by advertising their thoughts before it has a chance of becoming a plan in action.
What does that mean?
Getting on social media to validate or settle a thought before checking in with your partner… or worse… to counter your partner. This can cause a lot of headaches and a lot of strife.
In the story on the last page, had either persons gone to social media or their social networks to discuss what to do, the unsolicited advice could have complicated things. Imagine the discussions about the merit of the husband even wanting to have an opinion in how to deliver the news to their daughter? (before anyone is surprised, I’ve witnessed families insist that the husband in a relationship has no say in many child-rearing choices… on the grounds that he did not give birth to the child. The tension running very deep and very hot)
The father should not have to wonder if he has a right to plan the reveal for his daughter. He is the father. He has the right. However, not everyone feels that way. That is OK for their relationship, not his.
Worse, after the whole situation played out as it did, the damages could have been compounded if he had vented on social media. The polarizing views of how he should feel and how he should address his wife would have added more fuel to the problem and starved out any potential solutions.
The husband could have found validation to feel even more angry with his wife. He could have found validation to emotionally retreat from her or treat her way more harshly than he would have otherwise.
Bottom line, keep gossipers out of your relationships. Even if that gossiper is blood related to you. Keep them out. They’re not helping you. They’re projecting their biases on you in the form of advice. It will not help you out.
If you’re to get advice outside your relationship, do make sure both parties agrees or are aware that one is seeking qualified help. By qualified, someone of trust, great reputation, ideally very neutral, and more likely legally qualified to keep your information safe… like a relationship coach or therapist.
Many relationships have been ruined by the advice of well meaning ignorant gossipers. Let’s not forget those who do not gossip, who do keep your information private, who do hold your trust, but are not qualified to help. They have ruined may relationship by giving bad advice.
One example that comes to mind, a friend of the blog who loves heels was offered a pair of heels by a long time friend.(not the author of the blog… just to be clear). The heels cost a lot of money. To this person, it was only a drop in the bucket of cash they had. To the gal getting the heels, it was just the type of heels she usually gets for herself. So, the exchange was just a friendly gift.
The problem. Hubby was not accustomed to such high ticket priced items. Worse, he felt that he alone had the right to give his wife any costly gifts. More deeply confounding piece of data… the husband felt that no man has a right to buy a married woman anything intimate like shoes or lingerie. They never discussed that before. The gift brought that to the forefront.
For the record, it was a birthday gift.
The issue. The hubby wants the wife to return the gift with a stern warning to this friend, who happens to be male. The explanation given, no male ever gives an expensive gift without wanting sex in return. Only a gal can give such a gift and it be OK.
The two worked out their issue and thought they had resolved it.