What's the difference between "loyality" and being a doormat?

Both of my brothers got married over the past 5 years, and both of them were cheaters.

My oldest brother got married 5 years ago at 30 years old to a girl he was in an on/off relationship for 15 years. They were never in an official relationship.. she was just really in love with him, kind of borderline obsessed with him actually. During the 15 years he would have sex and date many other girls, while she would wait around for him, knowing everything that he was doing, and cling to his side. Eventually, he got her pregnant by accident (not the first girl he got pregnant), but they decided to keep the baby and he proposed and they got married. I asked my brother why he would marry someone he didn't love, and he said that "she stood by me after all these years, she loves me and I know she is loyal".

To me that sounded fucked up. She was pretty much a doormat.

My other brother got married last year to a girl he was dating for 5 years (in a committed relationship unlike my older brother). He always tried to break up with her but couldn't because she would stay in his bedroom and cry and would refuse to leave. After trying to break up with her 5 times he gave up. He was also cheating on her, sex and dates with other girls. I don't know if she ever knew, but I think she had a clue. There was an incident once at a club (I was there) and if I were her I would have broken up with my brother right there! Well, he too made the same statement "She's really loyal and she loves me".

Sooo.. I'm confused... does loyalty = doormat?

Just because I would never put up with a guy cheating on me, does that make me unloyal? My brother made a comment the other day that I'm probably single because I'm not loyal, which really upset me because I always thought that I was a very loyal person. But I'm only loyal if it's mutual - if there is a mutual respect. If the loyalty and love are mutual. But if a guy cheats on me or direspects me, m


Most Helpful Guy

  • There isn't one, in a lot of cases. At it's core, the concept of loyalty is a good one. The essence of it is being faithful to one's commitments or obligations. It's that sense of if I tell you I will do something, I will do it. It started breaking down when it started getting applied to the act of faithful adherence to a sovereign. At that point, it became an idea of putting your own needs aside to support the needs of someone else, someone more important than you. This idea was obviously necessary to control a population where a tiny percentage of the population controlled the lives of a huge multitude of others. This is obviously a tool of oppression and exploitation at this point, but it helped control the masses, so as sovereigns in the form of kings and nobles was replaced with elected governments, that need to be 'loyal to the cause' was transferred to being loyal 'to the government' or 'to the country', (which generally meant 'to the government' anyway, as trying to support a different government that would actually be better for the country would generally be seen as treasonous by the ruling party).

    And because it was so effective at control, it has since been picked up by anyone that wants to make someone else give up their pursuit of their own self-interest for selfish reasons. The thing is, if the arrangement was fair, it would be in the person's OWN self-interest to support it, so the loyalty wouldn't be needed. A girl wouldn't need to be 'loyal' to stick with a guy that was awesome, treated her well, treated her with respect... she would stick with that guy because he was worth sticking with. You only need to introduce this control element of loyalty if the person is NOT worth supporting on their own merit. That's when you call on this mystical appeal to a higher power.

    It does not make you disloyal if you don't put up with a guy cheating on you. At that point the mental contract that you agreed to was broken by him, and you are free from your obligation. Those other women you are describing are not displaying loyalty. They are displaying submission. It's just being dressed up as loyalty to sound more palatable. Which is normally the case for the usage of the word nowadays.

    • Very insightful! Thank you for this response. Really made me think and feel better :)

    • You're welcome. I'm glad it gave you a new way of looking at it. :)

Most Helpful Girl

  • That does not make you unloyal, that makes you sane. They are doormats, and kinda stalky if you ask me..


What Guys Said 3

  • Loyalty and being a doormat are not two different things. That's where you're going wrong. Doormat is and extreme level of loyalty where you flush down all the other rules down the drain. You can be loyal and not a doormat (keeping your self respect). You can be loyal and a doormat.(Throwing your self respect)

  • Loyalty is having each other's back. A doormat is being taken advantage of

    • Ok.. so are my sister in law's doormats, or are they "loyal" as my brothers like to say...

    • A doormat implies innocence that a person is unaware and thinks the best of a person. In these cases they're not doormats they're perfect victims and stupid. Some like being victims because they like the sympathetic responses. Don't feel sorry for them they're totally aware of whats going on and they choose to stay

    • Ok, I see and I understand. Thanks for your response

  • Those girls are not loyal they have serous problems. Loyalty works both ways if someone cheats on the other that is not loyalty to go back to them it is stupidity.


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