"I wish I could change
I wish I could change
I wish I could stop saying the same old things..."
-Robin Thicke, "Complicated"
Celebrity couple Robin Thicke and Paula Patton are on the outs and while we don't know the details of their strife, we do know that Robin is making a rather public spectacle of his attempts to win her back. He wrote an entire album for her and it seems that any chance he can get, he is praising her and speaking of his love for her and desire to win her back.
News of a new video for the song, "Get Her Back", hit social media and of course, there are mixed feelings about it. Some people think it's romantic and endearing while others think it is pathetic and, quite frankly, scarily off-putting.
In addition to the eerie bruises and scratches on his face and the stunningly beautiful co-star rubbing all over him, there are flashes of text that appear to represent a conversation between the two of them:
"I kept trying to warn you that you were pushing me too far"
"I can't make love to you anymore"
"I hate myself"
Image: Screenshot from "Get Her Back" video via VEVO YouTube
When I think about public displays of affection, I understand that what works for some people can definitely make others uncomfortable. I can't help but wonder what is going on in Paula's mind as she sees and hears Robin's public pleas for forgiveness. Is she receptive to his apologies? Is she turned off by the way he is making their private affairs so public? Is she feeling scared or threatened in any way? Trapped? Cornered? Maybe she is just downright pissed off and annoyed.
When people feel pressured to make decisions, they don't always make the best choices. I've been in a situation when I discovered my boyfriend had been unfaithful and I was ready to leave him. I had a zero tolerance rule and that was it for me. He made a very public spectacle, begging and crying for me to forgive him and give him another chance. I'd never experienced anything like that before and he seemed so sincere. Who can resist tears from a man who presents as tough and somewhat emotionally disconnected, right? Not just tear drops, all out wailing, begging, half-naked in the street. People were watching. I felt so bad for him and rationalized that if he was willing to do all of this, he must be truly sorry and worth forgiving.
What stands out to me the most is that I remember feeling trapped. I remember feeling that I had NO other option but to forgive him. I felt that if I didn't, I'd be cold, heartless, and undeserving of forgiveness in the future should I end up making a huge mistake. I felt people's eyes on me and I was nervous. I was also embarrassed, quite frankly, and remember trying to hush him and tell him to get up and go back inside. He wouldn't until I promised to forgive him.
Is that really how that should play out?
Image: © Dennis Van Tine/Future-Image/ZUMAPress.com
When it comes to private matters within a relationship, the people involved are the ones who should work it out without any added pressure. It is one thing to be committed to a relationship and focused on working through the ups and downs. It is entirely another thing to feel obligated to stick with a bad situation because you're afraid of hurting your partner's feelings or bruising his/her ego. It is one thing to be considerate of the impact of your words, tone, and behaviors. It is another thing to acquiesce because you're afraid of the consequences of asserting your wants and needs.
What do you think? Should people make public apologies like this? Should you be more willing to give someone another chance if these are the lengths to which he/she will go to prove remorse?