Welcome to Classically Abby's first ever Husband v. Wife Movie Review!
This week we're doing Becket, a movie that premiered in 1964 starring Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. This movie is incredible, and Jacob and I really delve into why. Check out the video above to hear all about it!
Have you seen Becket? If you have, what did you think? If you haven't, did this review make you want to? Leave it in the comments below!
I have a theory.
For this theory, I'm going to divide people into two groups: those who are intense, and those who are moderate. Let's shorten that to I's and M's. If there are two types of people in the world, that means there are only three types of matches that can result: I+I, I+M, or M+M. Have I lost you with my algebraic equations yet?
Let's define our variables. I's are intense. These are the people with strong opinions, who have a hard time going with the flow, who don't tend to let the little things go. They demand better from the people around them. They are usually pretty extroverted and are comfortable being the center of attention. They fight for what they believe in and don't let people get away with bad behavior.
M's are moderate. These are the people who prefer to take a backseat and often keep their opinions to themselves. They don't mind letting someone else take the lead. They can be more introverted and often follow along in conversations. They're not comfortable with conflict and like listening rather than speaking.
Of course, these are generalities. Not all of this is completely accurate for each group. But it's a good place to start.
So where does the math come in?
I think that there are two kinds of relationships: those that are I+I, and those that are I+M. Earlier, I mentioned M+M. Let's discount that early on. M+M doesn't really exist because someone will assume the role of an I in order to propel the relationship forward. You can have two people who are M's individually, but when they are put together, one of them will take more initiative than the other.
Okay, so with M+M relationships out of the way, let's get to the crux of the matter.
I think fighting in relationships is a positive good. Not fighting and yelling and calling each other names, but disagreeing in a respectful way. Now, I may have this opinion because...wait for it...I'm in an I+I relationship. That means that both my husband and I are very intense. We argue because we expect each other to grow - we are not comfortable with either one of us remaining stagnant. We argue because we disagree on the things that matter and we demand respect from one another. Of course, you have to pick your battles. Fighting over the small things isn't worth the bickering that follows. In those moments, it's good to try to picture an M+M relationship and recognize that some things take time or aren't as important as you think. But I believe that having two I's in a relationship forces each partner to be better, because you're constantly faced with that expectation from your other half.
I+M relationships have their positives, too. There will definitely be less fighting, that I can guarantee, and maybe none at all. Things will be comfortable. Things will remain as they are, for the most part. And these couples will be more comfortable viewing their relationship as M+M (in the times when something insignificant seems worth arguing over) because the M partner is already in that frame of mind. But I think there's one thing lacking in I+M relationships - the pushback from the M to ask that the I partner change. As someone who naturally avoided conflict in the past, I've been the M partner in an I+M relationship. And it's comfortable much of the time because you don't butt heads. But the time will come when your I partner will do something that should be addressed, and as the M, you should find the wherewithal to respond.
I tend to promote I+I relationships because even though things are less comfortable, there is a constant upward motion that is encouraging. There's an awareness that you are both fighting for the best version of yourselves and your relationship. I think mixing in a little I+I into your I+M relationship can be a strong positive good, and I encourage you to try it if you're in the latter.
What kind of relationship are you in? If you're in an I+M relationship, what are the positives that I didn't address? Let me know in the comments!
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I did a poll on Instagram the other day. "Which birthdays are better - birthdays as a kid or birthdays as an adult?" I asked.
The results came back: Kid, 66%; Adult, 34%.
I honestly wasn't sure where the chips would fall when I asked that question. I am a huge fan of celebrating people's birthdays - they come once a year and it's the only time when you aren't selfish if you take some attention for yourself. It was Jacob's birthday this past weekend and I tried my best to make it special by planning him a small surprise get-together during the week and then a couple's retreat for the weekend with a bunch of our friends. He had done the same for me when it was my birthday - he organized all of our friends to surprise me with a chocolate cake, and then bought me a few amazing gifts.
But why do a majority of people think that birthdays are better as kids?
For one, people hate getting older. As a child, turning 10 is a huge milestone that you can't wait to hit - you're finally in double digits! But hitting 30, for example, is less exciting. You start to feel the anxiety that comes with aging, and you start to feel years slipping away.
I try not to feel that way. I think that getting older is a blessing and that we have the opportunity to live long lives, especially with the medical innovations we've been lucky enough to see in our lifetimes. But it is definitely easy to slip into that negative mindset.
Nostalgia is another reason. Looking back on our childhood memories, we picture them with rosy tones and huge smiles. I know that if I go unchecked, I will remember each and every one of my birthdays as a kid as if it was perfection. With one jog of my memory, though, I'll remember the time that I hid in the kitchen because I thought everyone was having a great time despite my being there. Or another time when I got my hopes too high and ended up crying at the end of my party. Of course, nostalgia is a lovely feeling because it's your brain forcing you to be positive. But with it comes the danger of "the grass is greener" and "wasn't it better when."
But I think the biggest thing is the sense of wonder that we have as children. Even if you don't remember it yourself, if you look at any child around you and the way they view the world, you can see the magic in their eyes. A birthday present isn't just something you've been looking at and planning to buy. It's something totally different, new, and amazing. A birthday cake isn't just something you'll take a small slice of because you're counting calories. It's the sweetest, most delicious treat you've ever eaten.
Everything is wonderful as a child. And when I say wonderful, I mean full of wonder.
So what's the takeaway?
As adults, it's easy to be cynical. We've been kicked by the world a few times, and the pain of what's around us is serious stuff. It's not something to take lightly. But we do have the immense choice before us as adults to embrace wonder, rather than take everything for granted. We've been given an amazing opportunity as humans to live on this earth and experience the majesty of creation. Looking at the world with the eyes of a child means remembering that there is still magic in everything around us, and we are lucky enough to live and experience it.
So make a pact with me this year: try to have a birthday filled with wonder. And tell me then: which birthdays are better?
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
I think we all have the urge to be victims.
Being a victim in your own mind is incredibly attractive; it removes the onus of responsibility for anything bad you have done or want to do, it allows you to stop making an effort to improve, and it makes everyone else around you a bully for pointing out your shortcomings. Who wouldn't want that?
These are what I like to call the pitfalls of victimhood.
Being a strong woman (and person) is not easy. It's important and ultimately makes you happier than pursuing immediate gratification, but it isn't something you just do. You have to force yourself to face the world instead of cower in front of it, and that takes energy and stamina. In those moments of weakness, it's easiest to simply say, "I'm a victim of something and so-and-so, and that's why I can't deal with this today." But that isn't the solution, and it only makes it harder when you have to face the same circumstances again.
I think a good example of this is the beginning of relationships versus a year or two down the line. When my husband and I first started dating, I used to feel like we never fought. We understood each other deeply. Why? Because when I did something Jacob didn't like or vice versa, we would explain away our behavior based on something that "victimized" us in our past. And at the beginning of a relationship, you accept that as an excuse because you're just excited that your partner is opening up to you.
Now that we've been together for almost two years, I can tell you with perfect honesty that we do fight. And it's because those excuses that we accepted as fact at the beginning of our relationship actually prevented us from growing and being better people. We expect more from each other now because being a victim didn't address the issue at all - it simply put it on hold.
So why shouldn't you embrace victimhood? Here are four reasons:
1. Being a victim doesn't excuse bad behavior. I knew a girl in college who grew up in bad circumstances. She used this behavior as an excuse to treat people callously, men especially. She also drank excessively and skipped classes. It was a bad situation all around. People around her forgave her cruelty because of her past, and that only made things worse. Just because something bad happened to you doesn't mean that you have a lifelong excuse to be mean. You are a sentient being who can choose to be better. And something bad has happened to everyone - maybe not to the same degree, but still something that they could carry around as a "get out of jail" free card with the label "victim."
2. Thinking you're a victim convinces you that you shouldn't try. Have you ever sat down to study for a test and immediately panicked? Maybe you hadn't been in class as often as you should have that semester, or maybe the topic was just something difficult to grasp. In any case, you have the impulse not to study at all. You feel that there is such a slim chance of success that you shouldn't put in useless effort. You feel that you deserve more time to study, even though everyone else in your class had the exact same restrictions as you did. There are studies that show viewing yourself as a victim prevents you from moving forward in the workplace. You don't believe you can achieve more, so you don't. Falling prey to the victim mentality is allowing yourself to think that you deserve more but everyone else is preventing you from accomplishing it. Don't feed into that narrative. There are times that things work out, and there are times that they don't - so take advantage of the times that they do.
3. Victimhood doesn't make everyone around you a bully. You can't be a victim unless someone or something is victimizing you. It can be one specific person, it can be society, it can be fate. But viewing the world as your adversary is an incredibly debilitating perspective. If you just treated your husband badly and he responds with anger and condemnation of your behavior, your husband isn't a bully. Don't be surprised if he doesn't respond with sympathy when you start crying. That's like a bully in the schoolyard crying when his prey punches him back in the nose. You started it, and he has a right to be upset! Your bad behavior doesn't get to be treated with kid gloves.
4. Calling yourself a victim means you don't grow. I think this one is the most personal for me. I have excused my own reactions and thought patterns because of things that have happened to me. But just because you've recognized the source of your behavior doesn't mean that you've done all the heavy lifting - now you have to try and move past the reason and address the current choices you're making. Embracing a victim mentality means that you've traced the source and now accepted that all of your bad actions must happen because of your past. We are human; we have the wherewithal to change.
What do you think? Do you agree with my thoughts on being a victim? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!