Vice President Mike Pence has taken a firm stance on what he’s willing to do for love—and folks aren’t just shocked, they are in awe. Here’s why: How many women want their man to only have eyes for them? Having your husband commit to only participating in co-ed “work” dinners would save some women a lot of late night angst, right? And what if your bae decided he’d only attend events that serve alcohol if you agreed to be his plus one? Sounds a lot like the man Ralph Tresvant describes in his popular 90s single, “Stone Cold Gentleman.”
In an interview that’s about 15 years old, the second in command declared his behaviors were to protect his longstanding union with wife, Karen. “It’s about building a zone around your marriage … I don’t think it’s a predatory town, but I think you can inadvertently send the wrong message by being in [certain] situations,” he has said. According to sources, Pence also made reference to “people being loose,” at events where alcohol is served.
The fact is that Pence does have the right to build a fortress around his union, but much like the president’s recently proposed defense budget, it seems like the veep may be overdoing it to many. The leader’s case is extreme because his personal opinions and bias have a direct impact on how he will look to shape policy, which means constituents connect his extremism on with how he’ll look to impact their lives (like when he recently cast the tie-breaking vote to defund Planned Parenthood).
But what if Pence was your average Joe? Marital and long-term relationships often have unique rituals and rules that aren’t always understood by outsiders, what matters is that they work for the couple and aren’t part of a cycle of dysfunction. Before folks pass judgment, they should get extremely curious about the reasons the Pences have chosen such a strong line of defense. Here are some things to consider:
Mutual agreement. Is this a policy that both parties have agreed to? Does Mrs. Pence have to limit her interactions, and does she want to?
Level of disruption. How much do these rituals impact one’s ability to function professionally and personally?
Impulse control. Were these rituals built on collaborative values and beliefs or are they a consequence of recurring issue around self control?
Once these questions are answered we’ll have a better understanding of whether this is the ultimate union, or sacrifice.