I am ashamed of my partner: why is this happening to me and what can I do?

Married life is not always rosy. The most common is to date someone we see more good than bad, but it’s a matter of time before we get a little more objective and can’t stop looking at some negative aspects which, although ignoramuses are there.

Sometimes it reaches such high levels that there comes a time when it embarrasses us to date that person, even though we love them and want to continue the relationship.

May be people who think “I’m ashamed of my partner” they are very worried, thinking that they are superficial and bad to be able to think that. However, there may be an explanation, and there are solutions. Let’s see how.

    I’m ashamed of my partner

    We can’t choose who we fall in love with because love is beyond our control. It’s not uncommon for us to fall in love with someone who has little to do with who we are or our group of friends and family. Objectively, we may not find him handsome, stylish, with work that does not live up to our expectations, with somewhat eccentric personality traits and rude gestures. But despite all these “problems”, we still love it.

    No one dates someone who doesn’t like them at all. When we are in love we are able to see the many qualities that this person has, but we also look at things that we are afraid that they will be ridiculed or criticized by our friends or family. There are things about our partner that cause us some rejection. Yes, you could say that we are ashamed of our partner.

    In most cases, the problem is not with him or her, but rather with how we perceive our partner and what we think others will think of them. The main problem behind being ashamed of our partner is not that they have a lot of negative things or that our environment is essential to our relationships, but that we as individuals perceive them to be more threatening and important what others think about everything we do and stop Doing. We overestimate how much we think others will see us and our partners.

    We shouldn’t worry about what other people think of our partner because the most important thing is that we are comfortable with him. If this man or woman makes us laugh, understands us and satisfies us in intimacy, what others think is too much. Also, being ashamed of him when we’re with more people can make him seem superficial. When there is love, the rest doesn’t matter.

    But despite being fair, not everything is so simple. Whether it’s superficial or not, if we feel uncomfortable with your physique, your behavior, or if we feel like our partner doesn’t fit very well with our social life, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. resolved.

    Although the important thing is that he respects us and supports us, and that he is a good person, if he does not fit in with our friends and family and is even the cause of drama and scandal when we are with our acquaintances, it is clear that the relationship will go badly.

      The function of shame

      Shame is a very human emotion and, like others, has an evolutionary function. The feeling of shame is a social reaction that acts as an alarm signal that attempts to protect us from exclusion from our social reference group. In this sense, shame can be seen as a survival reaction, because outside the group, without receiving support and protection, we could hardly survive.

      Speaking of being ashamed of our partner, we can take the opportunity to talk about the call “Reflector effect by proxy”. This effect is believing that others pay much more attention to us and our actions than they actually do. But we don’t care because, although it may seem paranoid, it is completely normal that we feel that others are paying attention to what we are doing or not doing, another thing is that it is real. It is simply one of many psychological phenomena that influence our social perception.

      Given this, it is logical to think that this phenomenon also occurs when we go with our partner in public, especially with people whose opinion and attitudes towards us matter as much as our friends and family. It’s normal to feel shame and fear for what they think of our partner, then now that we are with another person their actions will become our actions. Meaningful relationships have been incorporated into our “I”, becoming a “we”.

      In a positive sense, traits in our partner that we perceive as something positive can increase our self-esteem. However, if we perceive his behavior as something socially inappropriate, we will have the impression that people will think that their way of being is also our way, because as we mentioned here, there is a “we”. . Couples are not seen as two individuals, but as a whole. What one member of the relationship says and does is also associated and attributed to the other, even if the other did nothing.

        I’m ashamed of my partner’s social image

        We may be ashamed of the social image we perceive of our partner. It can happen when, after a while of dating and having exhausted the stage of falling in love, we begin to perceive our partner in a more “objective” light and their way of being in public does not convince us.

        If so, you should ask yourself what do you really want. If your partner is a certain way, there may be some aspects of their life that you don’t like, just like they shouldn’t like you at all.

        However, we cannot subject our partner to changes that are beyond their means and, of course, willpower. We cannot change someone for what they are not, nor force them to do so.

          Why was I not ashamed before?

          One of the main reasons why we are ashamed of our partner now and not before is that thepeople change. So simple.

          What used to be fun when we were dating him is now boring or even childish, like going to a party or cracking big jokes. This is especially true when they have been in a relationship for many years, have children, and at least one of the two parties has matured, seeing the other as someone who is still in a younger phase of their life. . .

          It can also happen that we have changed our social circle, a circle where our partner’s behavior has become decontextualized and from which we are not sure that he will receive it well. Often what started out as attractive to our partner ends up becoming boring in the face of repetition., the passage of time and above all the decontextualization of this action.

          My partner always does what I told him to be ashamed of

          We may be aware of what is embarrassing about our partner. Not only that, but we also let them know, maybe a bit abruptly.

          What we don’t like about our partner may not seem like such a bad thing to them that they don’t do it on purpose, but rather like a habit, something he or she learned subconsciously and without intention. disturb anyone. If we had known from the start that we didn’t like the way he behaved or did things, chances are he would have avoided it becoming a habit.

          We are now faced with the problem that it is something that is so internalized and automated that it will cost you horrors to kick the habit which bothers us so much. And since he’s been doing it for a while, let’s tell him right now that it bothers us, he’ll interpret that as we haven’t been sincere or we’re exaggerating.

          Change will be difficult, especially if we’ve said it wrong and don’t explain why we’re ashamed of what he says or does. Answering it with a simple “it’s wrong” or “I’m ashamed” does not clarify things.. If we do it from the point of view of criticism, reprimand and prohibition of conduct, we will get exactly the opposite effect: to make our partner do what most often bothers us. The freedom to act as one pleases is threatened.

            What to do?

            As we mentioned, being ashamed has a lot to do with how we perceive what is happening around us rather than how things actually happen. When we are ashamed of our partner, most of the time it is because we believe others are judging us negatively for something they do, not because what they do or say is necessarily wrong or because it really matters to others.

            However, if there is really something about their behavior or lifestyle that we consider harmful to us and a real problem, it is legitimate to say it and pretend to change it. However, it must be said in an assertive way and with an appropriate tone because no one receives it as a positive thing to know that their partner is ashamed of it.

            We must talk about the subject without criticizing, without polemicizing and never during the time did or say anything that bothered us. Better to talk about it later, when we’re all calmer. It is useless to comment on it at the time of the incident because you will hardly have the opportunity to do anything about it.

            Let him know you’re not comfortable with what he’s done or said, but avoid blaming him for his behavior with offensive and harsh words. It’s not a good idea to tell him things like “it was really bad”, “you’re vulgar”, “it was nonsense”…

            The last thing you need right now is for your partner to get defensive., feeling assaulted hearing your sour and harsh comments. At the very least he feels attacked, he will stop listening to you because he will be more concerned with articulating his defense and then attacking you by telling you what is embarrassing in your way of being.

            You need to tell her how you think this way of behaving might affect you both. If it turns out that it only concerns you, then the main problem is that it is something that bothers you., and the solution is probably in you more than in the other person.

            Bibliographic references

            • Broucek, F. (1991). Shame and self. Gilford Press, New York.
            • Darwin, C. (1872). The expression of emotions in humans and animals. London: John Murray.
            • Tangney, JP, Miller, RS, Flicker, L., Barlow, DH (1996). Are shame, guilt and shame different emotions? Journal of Personal Social Psychology.
            • Robertson, Theresa and Sznycer, Daniel and Delton, Andrew and Tooby, John and Cosmides, Leda. (2018). The real shame trigger: social devaluation is enough, bad behavior is useless. Evolution and human behavior. 39. 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.05.010.

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