So I couldn't sleep this morning, and at 4 am I found myself watching Sopranos reruns. In this one episode, Christopher and Adriana (Ariana?) are fighting because he doesn't support her dream of promoting this band, and he looks like a total dickwad. Except he actually is right -- the band sucks and will never make money, and he was told this by professionals.
This reminded me of an incident I had in high school with my steady beau that I handled so badly that I'm still mulling it over 14 years later. Boyfriend came to pick me up in a special outfit. I could tell he had put effort in -- he was wearing gray dress pants tucked in to mid-calf black suede wanker boots and a striped dress shirt, instead of his usual jeans and t-shirt. I said nothing, because although I knew he went out of his way to dress up for me, it was awful, and I really didn't want to encourage him to wear it again.
This is the closest picture I could find, because apparently they were so hideous everyone has destroyed all evidence that they ever existed. Picture them taller and with a 1 inch heel.
Here's more info - he hated when I wore black, so I stopped wearing black for him, then I hated him for not "letting" me wear black, when really, I was the one in control of what I put on my body. I knew what it felt like when he told me he hated my outfits. In not saying anything, I was trying to be gentle.
Of course the awful outfit came up in a fight later, and he accused me of not even noticing that he went to great lengths to dress up. I didn't defend myself, because I felt telling him that I hated his outfit would be hurtful. I let him think I was oblivious.
In retrospect, I probably should have said something like, "Wow, you dressed up!" and left out the expected, "and you look nice." But I was 16 and afraid he'd ask if he did, in fact look nice, and I didn't know what I was supposed to say then.
So the question of the day is, "How do you not look like a dickwad when your partner wants your support and you think they are going down the wrong path?"
Is it more loving to lie and let them walk around in knee high black suede wanker boots?