The most recent writing prompt I received went like this: “Do you defend a loved one’s behavior if you don’t agree with it?”
It’s hard to answer this one without knowing particular circumstances. I feel that defending family is a good thing. It’s family. Blood is thicker than water – to be completely cliché. And strong bonds between significant others must be maintained in the same way. But when you don’t agree with the behavior, that puts you in a tough spot.
I heard a guy say recently that his girlfriend would defend him to the death even if he was wrong. He highly appreciated her going to bat for him regardless. I don’t know if that is necessarily healthy, but it is certainly a touching thing when you know someone important to you will fight for you.
I’m trying to think back to when I was in a similar situation. I am sure there was a time. I certainly can remember when I felt unsupported by a friend. Even though I was possibly off base with my contention and any support of my views may have just enabled my incorrectness, the effect of feeling unsupported caused ripples – or perhaps jarring waves – in the relationship.
To not show support/defense could cause serious trust issues. To show support of something that is contrary to your own personal views smacks of a lack of personal integrity. Perhaps there is a 3rd option. Is it a situation where you can express your disagreement to that loved one? If so, do, in a loving way of course. Then, express your desire to support them however you can within the parameters of your integrity. Not having a discussion could cause more damage than having it – no matter how difficult you anticipate such a discussion to be.
I think the phrase, “blood is thicker than water,” has its merits. However, I believe integrity is thicker than blood.