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May 30, 2017

Why did Melania Slap Trump’s Hand Away?

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Everyday, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are objectified under the media’s microscope. So when an act of PDA is rejected, we immediately jump to conclusions about their relationship. I discuss this further with Jeff McArthur on Global TV’s The Morning Show. Read my advice and watch the video below!

1. Is it a big deal that she slapped his hand away?

It’s only a big deal because they were in public. And it was more of a rebuff than a slap of the hand. Every single one of us has felt this way toward our partner at some point in time, so let’s not single out Melania. I’m married to the nicest, most charming, most loving man I could imagine and I still don’t want to hold his hand at every moment in time. Whether or not you’re a fan of Trump or Melania, you have to admit that we’re often looking for opportunities to criticize their relationship oftentimes because we’re insecure about our own.

I should note, however, that the most meaningful time to show affection to your partner is when you don’t want to. When you reach out and touch them or send a sweet text during a time of tension, it can significantly deepen your bond and reduce the likelihood of an argument turning into something bigger and more detrimental.

2. But he has been accused of being disrespectful toward women. Do you not think this plays a role in their relationship?

I doubt she can ignore the fact that he walked into the White House (up to the steps) for the first time without her. And I doubt she is a fan of some of the language he has used to speak disparagingly about women. I do believe (and the data supports my contention) that in heterosexual relationships, egalitarianism and fluidity of gender roles have a positive impact on the relationship. This doesn’t mean that a woman can’t choose to cook and man can’t be the primary income earner, but there is evidence suggesting that forcing yourselves into rigid gender roles that match your genitals, but don’t match your individual personalities and needs is detrimental to the relationship.

3. What do you do if you’re feeling tension with your partner and you’re in a public place like a party or a work event or in their case, a press opp?

  • Don’t bother involving others in your conflict — they’re not experts and their opinions and advice often amount to projections.
  • Be gracious and if it’s a social situation with people who care about you, be honest without speaking disparagingly about your partner. A simple “we had a disagreement” will suffice. Avoid accusatory and globalizing statements like “he’s always so immature”.

4. Do you always need to be affectionate with your partner?

No. Some people simple aren’t into PDAs. And many of us require physical space to thrive in our relationships. Just as moms report feeling “touched out” at the end of the day, so too can partners feel that affection can amount to too much of a good thing.
What’s most important is that you convey your needs to your partner (e.g. I love kissing you, but not while I’m watching the Jays!), so that you can strike a balance between your needs.