Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part II

Sunday, Aug. 8th 2010 9:13 PM

–       Continued from Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part I

Before leaving the examination of infidelity, I also want to look at the definition of transgressionTransgression, defined as violation of a law or sin, can be applied to a violation of marriage in its legal context (when referring to ‘a violation of law’), and its religious context (when referring to ‘sin’).  According to this definition, transgression ceases to have meaning when two individuals are not legally married, and/or when the two parties do not agree to the religious construct around marriage.  In most cases, when someone throws around the loaded word transgression, the purpose is to shame more than to accurately describe.

Honesty and dishonesty are also words that get thrown around a lot when we stand in judgment of someone’s actions. We call someone a liar, a cheat, a fraud when we see them out in public with someone other than their usual partner. Again, without knowing the nature of the relationship, the rules and agreements between two people (which only those two people can know) these words are being misused according to their definitions.  Our assumptions live in our language, and we must take care if we want to remain honest, defined as “sincere, frank and worthy of trust or belief.”

I have decided to analyze these words and their absolute meaning in this article because of their rampant use, and the unsaid judgments that tend to accompany their usage; judgments that seem to be short-sighted and useless.

It is fascinating how stale relationship-building has become in our society.  The staleness is revealed with a simple examination of the assumptions that we make about agreements between two people that are in a relationship and/or marriage. These assumptions are perpetuated by the “standard” vows that many take in the “normal” American wedding, which, from my point of view, shows a lack of imagination about what’s possible in relationships.

If there is blame to be cast in this judgment game, it can certainly start with a look at the existence of “standard” wedding vows. We think we know enough to stand in judgment because we assume an idea of a standard marriage.   This sells real relationship building very short.  In what other aspect of our lives do we have cookie-cutter contracts that have no clarifying language which would makes the agreement unique to the parties?  I cannot think of any.  Yet we seem to inherently believe that we know the rules of engagement between a married couple, even if we were not at their wedding.  Further, we assume the same about unmarried couples.  What is worse is that most individuals that are in a relationship, married or unmarried, seem to blindly adhere to these pre-set rules as though they each have no other option, or as if wanting something other than or contrary to these pre-set rules is “wrong.”

So, for what it is worth, my inclination when asked about how I feel about infidelity or one of the words noted above, pertaining to someone else’s relationship (if I managed to get past feeling as though it is none of my business), is to inquire about the agreement between the two people concerned.  Without knowing specifically what it is, my opinion is inherently out-of-place and groundless.

And for the individuals that are, or will be, in relationships, I must ask, what is your unique agreement with each other.  If there is nothing unique about it then I may find myself questioning whether you are truly thinking about your relationship and its landscape or not.  I forget who said it but there is a well-worn quote that says something to the affect of “if all of us are in agreement then someone is not thinking.”  What are your thoughts?

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

…and please do not multi-task when driving.

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How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

5 Comments on “Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part II”

  1. Massander Says:

    I hear you on the whole idea of it being out of place to judge, especially when you don’t know what a couple has agreed to. I also hear you on the point of each of us being willing to be original in the agreements that we make in our relationships. I’m curious about your perspective on what to do when agreements in relationships are actually broken.

  2. Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part I | Frank Love Says:

    […] To be continued in Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part II […]

  3. Permission to Transcend Absolutes | Frank Love Says:

    […] « Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part II Driving Intimately […]

  4. T Says:

    This is interesting. I’ve often wondered if the two parties saying the wedding vows actually know intimately what it is that they are agreeing to. “Till death do us part….in sickness and in health….to have and to hold as long as we both shall live…what God has put together let no man put asunder…” Wow! Forever is a long time…
    I’ve learned that folks repeating words verbatim “in front of God and everybody”, doesn’t always correlate with what they understand about it. And sometimes all it takes is living to change your beliefs. Job loss, chronic illness, or figuring out that you don’t like or respect who you married (uh oh) can cause one to do a double take!!! Then enters the condition that one must be happy to continue with the agreement. Happiness – that’s whole ‘nother discussion!

  5. Why I Suspect My Partner is Cheating on Me | Frank Love Says:

    […] comes to relationships (see “Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part I” and “Assumptions, Judgments and Lack of Imagination – Part II”). You also know I believe that what our mates […]

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