Friday, January 7, 2011

Protect This House!

Normally when we think of “Homeland Security”, we’re thinking of our nation and some eminent foreign threat. This isn’t so far off, only, the enemy is within.

While talking with a male friend, one of our female friends happened to walk by. After saying hello she continued on her way. We both looked at her outfit, and then at each other. Without saying a word we were instantly on the same page. Almost simultaneously we said, “no fence at all.”

There is a phrase we use when addressing the need for boundaries within a relationship. This girl isn’t bad, she just dresses provocatively and has a tendency to flirt…drink…stay out late…and…well you get the point, all the while having a boyfriend. A “nice guy”. Now don’t get me wrong, the things she’s doing and her style of dress don’t at all make her a bad person. This is just another example of “no fence around the yard.”

Anyone in an established relationship should know their partner well enough to know where the fence needs to be. There are some men out there that can go to the club with their “boys”. They can laugh, have drinks, and even hold a light-weight flirtatious conversation with an attractive woman. Then they leave, don’t get or give phone numbers, come home to their significant other and call it a night. No harm, no foul.

There are some women out there that can go out with their “girls”. They can head out to happy hour, sip their cosmos and get their “Sex and the City” on. Dressed cute, they’re giggling, loud talking, singing, “he should have put a ring on it…” They’re flirting with the waiter, even borderline shouting to some younger man, “what they’d do to that.” They laugh and gossip, come home to their significant other, and if she’s still buzzed, she might even give him some. No harm, no foul.

If you or your man/woman are these kinds of people, wonderful. You have reached a point of security within yourselves as well as, you know your limitations as to not damage the relationship…that is beautiful. But that’s not always the case.

There are some men out there that need a little more structure, a little more watching. They are the type of men that need homeland security. They need to be protected…from themselves! We all know that man that can’t do the simplest of tasks without adding a degree of “questionable” behavior. Those trips to the store that only last 10 minutes when there’s a game on he’s trying to watch, always seem to take an hour when he’s just picking up some milk. Even a trip to the end of the driveway to get the mail can be a 20 minute exodus if “Miss Parker” Is out watering her lawn. He needs a fence. You give him just enough room in the yard to stretch his legs, but not enough to run. Just enough space to eat, sleep, and not mess himself.

Ladies before you get to smiling and finger pointing, some of you need to have the reigns pulled in as well. There are some women that need “that” attention. I don’t mean basic compliments or moderate feelings of being attractive. They need to feel like every man they see is just dying to sleep with them…and they will say or wear anything (or nothing) to get that response. We all know “that” girl. She’s got a good man; patient, understanding, respectful, he gives her freedom and allows her to be herself. In turn, she responds by getting her stiletto strutting, mini skirt wearing, spandex EVERYTHING on. She’s drunk at the club (without him), she’s out walking hard in 8 inch heeled boots like she’s on the runway for “America’s Next Top Model” at 3pm on a Tuesday. She has to make conversation with every available, (and unavailable) man she sees. (Ladies, she’s the friend you don’t leave your man alone with, and if your girlfriends always take their man with them to the bathroom…it’s you.)

She needs a fence. If you ever wonder why your girlfriend can never go to the club with you or have cocktails, because her man has built that fence. That’s not being controlling, that’s exercising homeland security. He's protecting her from herself.

I get that some men and women are controlling. They have their own insecurities and they place them on their significant others, but some of it is just taking precautionary steps. I know the arguments, “well they’re gonna do what they wanna do, you can’t stop them.” That’s true. If your significant other is determined to cheat, they will. You have no control over that. I also know that I have no control over an earthquake, but I can still secure my home and protect myself. You take the necessary steps to best prevent a negative outcome.

You can’t put a leash on someone. They will tug, pull and resist you. They have to feel like they have a choice. But that doesn’t mean you give up. Relationships are hard, they require work. Some of that is homework. Know who you’re with and what you both need. Be willing to fight to protect what you have from external and internal attacks. Improper homeland security, and even if the rings have been exchanged, you may find yourself singing, “should have put a fence on it.”

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