Where you are in your relationship or even relationship status right now is your responsibility. It might sound harsh, but if you can accept that then you can move forward with life and love and have a better chance at actually finding and creating what you want.
In relationships, incidences and issues are never isolated one off events, even though sometimes they feel like it and can feel like it’s all the responsibility of someone else. He is being selfish and not spending time with me, she is nagging me all the time, he cheated etc. But every action has a reaction and being with someone means we continue to respond and react to them. Nothing is ever isolated to just one event.
A good and controversial example of this is infidelity. When I hear of people cheating, I often wonder what their relationship was really like. This is not meant to deflect blame, but I question if there were issues going on at home that lead to a disconnected in the relationship and became the reason for someone cheating. If they had been worked on, would that person still have cheated? It doesn’t excuse infidelity, but could both people have played a part in the circumstances that lead to this event? If you choose not to work on your relationship or sweep things under a rug, it’s not your fault if that person cheats as someone in the same circumstance might not do the same, but there is a version of events that lead to it, it’s not an isolated thing. But when you are hurting from infidelity, even when we use the word ‘victim’ of infidelity, it takes away any role you might have had in the lead up to this event. This happened to you. It’s nearly as though you did everything right and because they cheated, they are the horrible ones. But did you also do things that were wrong? Maybe not as wrong as cheating but still not right by the other person or your relationship? Did you ignore them when they told you they were struggling with an issue, continue to pull away from them due to resentment, not stick up for them during a family conflict? These are not good reasons for someone to cheat, there isn’t a good reason for someone to cheat, but everyone has a role and if you realise you have a role then you realise you might be able to be able to do more with that role. I feel conflicted even writing that last part but stay with me and let me try and explain this further.
Even if someone is a serial cheater and that’s just them, you might have been the person that overlooked certain aspects of their personality early on that you now see led to that cheating because they were the right person on paper. This is just one common scenario I hear. You are not the one who cheated but you might have chosen a cheater. It doesn’t make you are immoral or horrible for choosing the person that cheats at all, but you did have a role which means next time around, you hopefully will learn from this and choose someone who doesn’t have these same characteristics. It still doesn’t mean that the next person won’t cheat, but at least you might not make the same choice twice. If you understand you have a role in every circumstance, then you might accept that you have the control to change things.
Please note when I say the words “control” I’m not meaning you should control someone else. I mean that you have control over your life and your circumstances, there is a difference. You should never try to control someone else in order to try and control a relationship, but more so take responsibility for your own actions and what part you play in certain scenarios.
Let’s even take a scenario that is common for many women. They might not feel like their partner is helping around the home enough, is taking them for granted and not listening to them. I hear these complaints so often, and I get it and I’ve experienced it myself. Women tend to be the nurtures. We tend to be the ones especially as we get older that put everyone else’s needs above our own. In these circumstances, I ask women if they have stood up for themselves throughout the relationship, occasionally put themselves first, nurture themselves instead of everyone else. Have they put up with certain behaviours but now are so fed up that when they do try bring anything up, due to the amount of frustration that has been buried, the complaints and requests are just perceived as continual nagging and anger? They are not immoral or bad people for allowing certain behaviours for some time or not putting themselves first, but they are partly responsible for where they are in that relationship at that point in time. They played a part.
Some people will get this, for others it might take some time to digest and some will think I’m trying to take away the blame from certain situations. But here’s the thing, those who feel that way might be the ones who continually look for blame in a relationship and even life when things go wrong instead of wondering what role they played and what they could have done differently and how that might have changed the outcome.
I’m not saying all of this to make anyone feel crap about themselves, but rather to empower you all to realise you do have a certain level of control to make your relationships as enjoyable as possible and the way you really desire.
Often these days people get out of relationships that are not working very quickly. It becomes too hard and they become unhappy. And in some circumstances, that might be really true. But what if we could empower people more so instead of giving up so soon to swipe away, they could realise they had a certain level of control to at least try and change things and make it work? If you feel you have done everything in your power and things still don’t work, you still have control, but your control would be in ending it. But at least we should be empowering people to try and make love work instead of throwing up their hands, blaming the downfall of the relationship on every external factor without looking at that role they have plated.
Those who feel stuck or think that things are happening to them might never really be happy because they do not understand that they have a certain amount of control over their relationship and their life. Maybe this is a consequence to the society we now live in. We are constantly looking for someone to blame for everything. But instead of always looking for blame when it comes to relationships, maybe it’s about time we learnt how to work at them, including being vulnerable enough to look into what we might also be doing that’s contributing to a downfall?