José and I got married, we were invited to a meal by some acquaintances of his. I’m not sure why we accepted the invitation, but we did and frankly the time spent with them wasn’t too bad. This was largely due to the fact that their son was also at the meal and kept the conversation from getting boring. Thereafter, we met them on a few occasions and were thoroughly put off by the man’s pompousness. However, since we had enjoyed their hospitality, we felt obliged to return the gesture. I suppose, deep within, we didn’t really want to spend time in their company, so we kept putting off inviting them. We continued to feel guilty about not fulfilling our obligation and kept reminding each other that we had to invite them.
Finally, we decided to take them out for a meal. We were not expecting to enjoy ourselves…but we were doing our duty. This meant doing something we really didn’t want to do, but felt we had to. And when one’s heart is not in something, there is an underlying resentment already. This was further strengthened by the couple’s behavior. They turned up a little drunk for the meal. Again, we felt obliged to order some alcoholic beverages for them, even though we weren’t having any. So by the time the food arrived the couple was nice and sozzled and took turns talking rubbish. The man insisted on telling us some dirty jokes he got off the internet and the wife kept reminding him of parts he had missed out!! The entire experience was rather unpleasant for us.
However, what came out of this experience was that we decided we would no longer do things out of a sense of obligation or duty.
Now whenever one of us says: “But we have to,” the other reminds him/her of that couple and we quickly re-evaluate our choices.