Two’s company, the rest are non-factors 1

Keep everybody out your business, that’s how you do it. And I mean everybody. It ain’t about having a relationship outside of the house. It’s about having a relationship within each other. When something go down don’t be calling your sister or your mother; I’m not gonna be calling my brother or uncles. We’re gonna work it out.

I never would have thought that Ice Cube would be the one to provide the quote that describes my approach to my relationships. But he’s been married to his wife for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen them in the tabloids. (Disclaimer: I also wasn’t looking.)

What he said struck a chord deep in my heart, and I feel like his sentiments are incredibly true. Privacy in a relationship is the best way to keep it intact. The relationship is between two people and only those two people have to live with their decisions and experiences. As such, those two are the only ones who should be privy to all of the good (and not-so-good) details and making decisions that affect it.

I’m an incredibly private person.  Most people I interact with on a “regular” basis are privy to what I feel is absolutely necessary, which tends to be the major events in my life — I got a new job, I moved, I’m pregnant, etc.  On a day to day basis, however,  smaller details aren’t particularly relevant.   I treat my relationships exactly the same way. Aside from knowing that I’m in one, other people don’t need to know anything about our relationship.  It won’t have a material impact on their lives, so why share?  I don’t think anyone is aware of the details in my relationship except me and my partner. And I plan to keep it that way.

I’ve learned to keep my relationship ups and downs to myself because people are judgmental. Even if they don’t mean to be, or don’t have malicious intent, they keep track of every negative thing you say about your partner or relationship and file it away.  Days, months or years down the line, they use those things to form a judgment of your partner.   All of the bad things you’ve shared, which in more cases than not, outweigh the good things, are used to create a perception about your partner and relationship that do not portray an accurate picture.  What you experience are normal peaks and valleys of any relationship are seen as a series of lows that may warrant more caution on your part.  I’ve seen this play out in my own life. Past discretions are difficult to get past within a relationship; it’s exponentially harder when someone is in your ear (or their face) bringing up old stuff. It’s just not worth it.

This isn’t to say that everyone who asks about your relationship has ill intent or that you can’t bounce your ideas off of your family and friends. But use discretion.  They don’t need to know every time he doesn’t take out the trash and leaves his dirty socks in the hallway. Nor do they need to know she doesn’t vacuum enough and always burns the bottom of the biscuits.  Think about what you’re sharing and whether you’d want it to get back to your partner. Would you say it if they were right in front of you? If not, don’t say that shit to someone else.

And to be fair, honor your partner’s privacy.  Maybe they’re not comfortable with you sharing every little detail of their life with you to others.  Perhaps I’m more sensitive to this because I’m such a private person, but I don’t want my partner sharing intimate details of our relationship with people I’m not close with. Maybe I’m a little bit crazy, but I promise I act right in public! (That was a joke …)

A true test of an adult is the ability to problem solve on your own.  If you’re in a relationship, figure it out on your own, which in this instance means with your partner.  You’re in the relationship with each other, I posit that you should figure things out with each other. Sit down, talk it out, yell it out, cry it out, f*** it out, whatever. Just don’t drag the whole hood into it with you.

That’s all. Just mind ya business! (Word to Fresh Prince)

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One thought on “Two’s company, the rest are non-factors

  • Usha

    Girl, you ain’t never lied. People always remember the bad. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way too. And I had to realize that I was partially to blame for putting a bad image of my partner in my mom’s head. Although, you know his behavior didn’t help his image either. But despite the fact that it was meant to end, I regret oversharing. No bashing in the heat of the moment for me. Great advice Lena!