This is a thing that I am not very good at.
I have opinions. A lot of them. And I tend to make my opinions known. It’s something that I am aware of and am trying to take more notice of. I don’t want to be “that guy” that always voices their unwanted opinion. And I think that I am not “that guy,” at least not with most people.
It’s much easier to keep my thoughts to myself when I am with people whose decisions don’t really affect me. Friend making a bad decision for a guy? Or letting their boss walk all over them? I don’t really care. They can do whatever they think is the best decision for them. But if the situations are the same and the person is my partner, you bet I’m not keeping my mouth shut. I’m going to point out how horrible the guy is. Or the boss. And question if the whole thing is even worth it. And question her decisions.
I’m sure that this is horribly annoying for her, or it was in the beginning and now she’s just learned to tune me out. But this all works for us in particular, because she accepts that I am a nosey partner. She is also confident enough in her own choices that she can take my opinions with a grain (or a cup) of salt and use them to help her address situations while still making her own decisions.
This has been learned over years though. I know that I don’t have to worry about my opinions affecting her decisions. And even if they did, if it’s something that could affect our relationship it needs to be talked about. I don’t know these things with other partners. In reality, I can pretty much assume the exact opposite. If I am in a new relationship with someone and I have a lot of opinions about how they are living their life, it’s pretty safe to assume that I should keep my mouth shut. Because it isn’t my place. Even if they are struggling with something and want my advice, it’s very dangerous territory.
Example: new boyfriend (who is married) wants my opinion on something that he and his wife are working on.
Sure, I could give him my honest opinion. But what if it isn’t very nice? Or not what he wants to hear? Or it’s based off of the one side of the situation that I’ve heard and he then makes a decision based on that when there was actually so much more going on and now my advice has affected their marriage. That’s probably the most likely. And that’s not something that I want to be a part of. Even though I am now also affected by the marriage, my opinions don’t need to be floating in his head the next time they have problems. And My words don’t need to come out of his mouth the next time they have a fight. Even though I believe all of this would happen unconsciously, it still puts a lot of unnecessary stress from a biased source into their relationship.
So even though it is incredibly hard for me, I try to stay as uninvolved as I can. Other relationships need space to grow and develop on their own, without other opinions shoving their nose into the middle of things.