Partner Publicity

As you can imagine, I adore blogs that talk about etiquette, and one I love is Ashley Brooke Designs. Today, I opened up her “How to be a Lady” post (companion to last week’s “How to be a Gentleman“), and read through it. I was finishing and just about to close the tab when I read the last one, “Never points out the imperfections of her mate to others.” Well, I just had to write something on this one.

Not being a team player is probably my biggest pet peeve ever. If you’re part of a team, stand behind it; otherwise, get out! I don’t think there’s anywhere this is more important than in a relationship, especially a marriage. It absolutely makes my skin crawl to hear one partner say something degrading about the other in a crowd. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a big difference between that and gentle teasing in the company of friends.

I have no sense of direction whatsoever, and all our friends know it, so I don’t care a bit if T teases me about getting us lost for the millionth time with them. However, if he said, in a group of strangers “my fiance can’t even seem to follow the GPS, so don’t trust her directions!” Well, that’s true enough (yes, it’s possible to get at least a little turned around despite a GPS, just ask me!!), but in a different context, with a different tone, would be SO hurtful.

Maybe it’s my work slipping into my personal life, but I think a person should be their partner’s publicist (whether SO, fiance, spouse, or business partner, for that matter). When I worked in PR, we never told a lie about a client to make them look better, but I would have been fired if I had gone around trying to make my client look bad! I wanted everyone I met to get the best possible image of my client. Now, were there ever frustrations? Sure! But it wasn’t my job to share that with the world.

There have certainly been times in our relationship that T and I have been frustrated with each other, and I don’t expect that the change after we’re married. A relationship is built on trust and respect, and it’s hard to trust and respect someone who continually says negative things about you, or about whom you continually say negative things — at some point, you’re going to start believing your own publicity!

I know no marriage is perfect, but if all my friends ever do is hear me complain about how “T does this, T doesn’t do that,” how in the world are they supposed to believe either of us when we say we’re happy and love each other?? I want the takeaway message to be that I’m glad I married my wonderful guy (three months to go, this week!!), not that I can’t stand how he belches after every meal (he doesn’t, thank goodness) or snores loud enough to wake the dead (ask me in three months, but will still love him regardless!).

Take a moment today to kiss your sweetie (Irish or not!) and tell them — AND someone else!! — how glad you are to be with them!!

Now, one major, MAJOR disclaimer here: I’m talking above about everyday complaints. If you’re in a relationship that’s abusive in any way, please, please, please don’t keep silent to maintain the “perfect” image. Abuse (including verbal abuse) can happen to anyone, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it is something that you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you even think you might be in an abusive relationship, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or

Published in: on March 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow, I have to say thank you for your post. I’ve never thought about it before, but we definitely struggle with always ‘playing on the same team’. Fantastic advice!!

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning my etiquette blog.
    This was such a great post!!
    Thank you again.

  3. Trust me, I certainly don’t have it down pat yet, but I do try…

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