Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Quid Pro Quo Relationships

I don't understand how any woman would be accepting of her boyfriend or husband going to strip clubs. I can see, "I don't want you to go, but I won't forbid you." But I know of two women who profess not to mind in the least that their significant others frequent strip clubs. How does it not bother them that these men are objectifying and lusting after strippers?

(There's also the question, why do these men want to objectify or lust after strippers? But that's a different topic.)

My husband and I were talking about this recently. (He also knows both couples.) His hypothesis was that it might bother them a little, but by raising no objections to strip clubs, these women have a free pass for something they want to do that their husbands don't really like. It's a quid pro quo relationship.

While I'm stereotyping, let's pretend
all the women want to go shopping.

I'm not sure if that's what's happening regarding strip clubs, but I know that's the standard for many of our friends' relationships. "Well, he went to see a movie when my parents came to visit, so he has no right to complain if I go out drinking with my friends on Saturday."

This is such a warped perspective for a relationship that is supposed to be built on love. Love is not selfish. Love wants the best for the other. It's not about keeping score or "getting away with" what we want. Relationships should be built on mutual respect and honesty. Quid pro quo is fine for the business world, but if that's the standard for marriage, it's no wonder so many people characterize marriage as a ball and chain.

My husband and I relax in totally different ways. He likes to spend time with friends, discussing politics, watching movies, or playing board games. I like to have time alone to read a book, just lie in bed, or maybe spend time with one friend. So when we need to unwind, it's not often together. 

But we don't keep track. "Well, your friends were over for three hours on Thursday night, so you have to take Peter for three hours on Sunday." Why not? Because we have different levels of stress at different times. Because it's not a contest. Because each of us want to help the other, so there's no point in keeping track. At any given moment, we try to do what is best for the other, our relationship, and our family. That's love.


  1. So much truth here! I find that sometimes when I get stressed, I start to tally up both our responsibilities and our recreation time, thereby proving to myself that I "deserve" something from Jon. But really, all that just makes me more stressed out! Not an ideal way to have a marriage. Now, I just leave piles of dishes stacked up till Jon can do them because I am lazy, not as some sort of passive-aggressive tit-for-tat stance. ;)

    1. Haha, much better reason to leave the dishes. :-)