Top Ten Things You Hate About Your Spouse

"Why do you hate about her? What do you hate about him?" 
"What are the top 10 things men resent about women?" 
"What are the most annoying things about men?"

Talk about Hate Propaganda!
Encouraging hate, instead of understanding? Instead of resolution? Instead of problem-solving? Instead of healing? Instead of love? What is that?!? 

Not only does this practice encourage negativity, judgment, and separation, but it also serves to blur logic and reality - any of those lists can be transferred to the opposite sex. Jealousy, control, arrogance, disrespect, and misunderstanding are all human traits. They're not exclusive to one sex or the other. There is no perfect person, and frankly the belief that "I am perfect, he/she is flawed" is a characteristic of mental illness, especially when that "flawed" person is a chosen partner or a child.

By the time we are old enough to become a spouse or a parent, hopefully we have learned that we are solely responsible for our own feelings and actions, and know that other people can't "make us" resentful. We can feel resentment about another person's behavior, but that doesn't mean they made us feel that way. Our feelings are not dependent on other people's actions; they are from within.

For those who don't understand this concept, you can prove this with music. Go play your favorite song for someone else. You think that song is what makes you feel inspired, happy, powerful, or peaceful, because the song itself has innate power? If it was that song that made you feel good, because of its innate power, it would make everyone who listened to it feel the same way. Is that what happens? Does every person react with the same feelings you do when they hear that song? Or is that similar reaction limited to only people who have very specific things in common with you, like your age group, your preferred music genre, your gender, your culture, your local community? Do you believe that the songs you like are the only good songs, and that everyone else's musical preference is "wrong"? Do you have any idea how many songs there are in the world? For each of those songs, there are people who absolutely love them, people who can't stand them, and people who have little reaction one way or the other. It's not the song that "makes" the feelings, it's the person listening to the song.

Still don't understand? Take flowers. Don't say "I don't know nothin' about flowers"... Flowers are one of the things that keep us all alive. We all are aware of flowers, they're an essential part of our world, without them we're all dead. So, what's your favorite flower? Why do you like that flower above others? Do you believe that's the favorite flower of every person on the planet? For every flower, there is someone who feels emotionally elated, joyful, or inspired when they see it or smell it. And, for every flower, there's someone who thinks it's ugly, weird, or stinky; they feel nothing "good" when they see or smell it. And then there are all the people who see that same flower and barely even notice it. If it was the flower itself that made people happy, then everyone who sees or smells that flower would be made to feel happy. Unless the flower is literally being ingested by a person as a drug, it has no way to make a person like it or hate it, or feel happy or annoyed. And other humans are the same way as flowers and music. They can't make us feel anything. One person who seems annoying to you might seem delightful to me, and another person who seems delightful to you might seem completely annoying to me. It's not the person making you feel that way, it's your own perception, and your own emotional reaction to that perception. A person that you LIKE isn't automatically a good person, and a person that you DON'T LIKE isn't automatically a bad person. 

The fact is, you probably know much less than you think you do about this person, and the only way you would be able to genuinely find out about them would be to spend large amounts of time talking to them, actually listening to them tell their life experiences, learning about their entire history from every point of view possible, not just from other people nor just from them, and watching them interact with every person. AND to top it off, you would have to continually double-check your own awareness level, biases, emotional state, and judgment. 

Easier to just accept that we don't really know all that much about the people we think we know, and just treat them with respect and courtesy, since treating others with respect and courtesy come from our own selves, and is not based on whether we think they "deserve it" or not.

For those who want to use "venting" as an excuse for those hate lists, that doesn't really work.
Venting is not the same thing as spreading hatred. Venting is about our own frustration, pain, and anger. We vent to release built-up emotion, and we need other people to reassure us they are supportive of us by listening and hearing what we're saying, and helping us manage our overwhelmed emotions with their friendship and presence. It's healthy to vent. But, if they're a good friend, they won't take our vents and use them against us, judging us or our partner or family member that we're frustrated with, labeling that person, vilifying that person, ostracizing that person, or us. A good friend does NOT advise us to be hostile toward a friend or loved one, to hate a friend or loved one, or to be controlling or aggressive toward a friend or loved one. A good friend listens and supports, and helps us for real, without inserting more negativity, and without invalidating us or condescending to us. No friend is perfect, we can't always meet these parameters, but good friends try their best to be truly supportive and non-judgmental.

(If we are being abused, a good friend still does not need to vilify the abuser in order to be supportive; people do this because they project their own personal feelings into the situation. Most abusive people are acting out an emotional or mental illness, and have often been abused themselves in their past; is anyone trying to get them help? Does anyone care about their well-being at all? Did anyone do anything for real to find out why this person is acting this way? Or are they all just jumping on the bandwagon of vilification, and doing zero to contribute to actual problem-solving?)

Hate and resentment come from within. No one makes us feel those things, or anything else. We feel everything we feel, period. If we find ourselves feeling these things, then objective examination of the situation is in order. If we need help resolving it, then we need to get that help.

"When you find the one person you've been looking for your whole life, you look for as many reasons as you can NOT to resent them. You don't make lists to justify your resentments toward them."