A friend and I were talking about zero tolerance in serious relationships. Zero tolerance for deception, anything that comes close to gaslighting, lack of respect, deal breaking, manipulation, all of that sort of stuff.
She’s married; I’m single. We’ve both had our share of marital crap. We’ve both been divorced.
I said “How about a three strikes rule” and immediately caught myself. This is the sort of letting someone repeatedly re-draw my personal line in the sand that landed me where I am today.
“Wait, no make that two strikes. One for a mistake. One a second chance.”
“I dunno,” she said, “that I’m not inclined to give the second chance; the first is really the second chance.”
She was right.
I’ve thought about it a bit.
I believe in second chances for people. In principle, I believe in numerous chances. Even so, I’m not going to allow for any more bullshit in my close relationships.
I’ve got to a point in my life where I’m using up precious time when I try to deal with people who believe manipulation, deceit, disrespect, and dishonorable or unethical behavior are normal. Oh and misrepresentation. And gaslighting. Expecting me to bury my feelings. Did I say lies?
I spend a lot of time talking about new normals in ecological and social terms.
My new normal for any serious relationship is zero tolerance for the above-mentioned behaviors. There’s nothing to lose.