Your headlights light up the road ahead of you. Your car races through lamp – lit street as your mind runs through the events that just happened at your house. You decided that you wanted a night out with your boys. Jen is a good girlfriend but the two of you spend a lot of your time together. One night out with the boys wouldn’t hurt.
You tell Jen that you’re going to be back at 12pm. You show up half an hour late and Jen’s passive aggressive attitude tells you that she isn’t happy. You ask her what’s wrong and she pipes up.
Jen: You said you were going to be back at 12! Where were you?
Flustered, you fire back and ask her why she always gets mad over the little things. Jen walks into the kitchen and tells you she’s going to sleep on the couch, calling you an inconsiderate prick.
Working with client after client I find one common problem with every relationship issue that we run into. In almost all failed relationships there is a lack of responsibility for their actions. People are quick to point the finger at the other person for every issue that happens with their relationship instead of taking a look in the mirror and seeing what needs to get fixed.
The external world is a direct reflection of the internal world. The experiences that you run into in your everyday life are a result of your action / inaction. Let’s examine this situation to get a clearer understanding of this concept.
Jen: First of all he doesn’t invite me out with his friends. Why would he do that anyways? Does he not care about me? Is he ashamed of me? Then when he’s out he doesn’t talk to me or communicate with me at all! Then he shows up half an hour late and when he gets home he’s just a dick.
You: All I wanted was one night out with the boys! I left Jen at home and I was having a great time with the guys. I just wanted to enjoy old times with the boys without any outside distractions so I left my phone at home. I couldn’t call Jen to let her know that I was going to be late and when I get home she doesn’t give me a chance to explain, she just trips out!
**WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED
You wanted to go out with your old guy friends. You told Jen that you were going to have a night out on the town with the boys. Jen wasn’t happy that she wasn’t invited but she didn’t communicate it. You left your phone at home to avoid distractions. Jen wasn’t able to get ahold of you so she thought you were ignoring her. You were having so much fun that you were running a bit late but you didn’t have your phone so you couldn’t call Jen. Jen was waiting for you to come home and she had to wait up an extra half an hour, plus she was angry that you didn’t take her out with you and she hadn’t communicated it yet.
Accept Full Responsibility
Every relationship issue that people bring to me they have an equal level of blame to the other person, no matter what the problem is. Even in extreme situations. Let’s say that your significant other cheats on you. That is also your issue. What did you do that caused this person to want to seek affection from another person? Did you respect yourself enough to leave when you saw the red flags? What can you fix in yourself moving into the next issue / relationship that much stronger?
The truth is this: every failed relationship is in some way, shape or form your fault. There was some factor of yourself that you contributed to the relationship that caused it to fail. It’s important to learn the lesson of your failed relationship so you can go into your next relationship that much stronger and wiser about how to make a relationship last longer. If you don’t learn your lesson you’re bound to repeat the same mistake over and over again, consistently pointing the finger at another person taking all responsibility off of yourself.
I’ve never had a problem meeting people. I’ve never had a problem getting dates. My issue is maintaining a long – term relationship with people that I love. This week I was given a new perspective on why that might be.
My greatest strength is also my greatest weakness. Because I have the ability to go out and meet anyone I want, it keeps me completely outcome independent when it comes to every relationship. I honestly don’t care whether or not a relationship with a girl works out because if it doesn’t, I can just as easily go out and meet some more people and create some more dating options. There’s one flaw in this system though: no one’s perfect.
I set my expectations too high with the people that I was dating and when they would make one mistake I would look for a chicken exit out; afraid to allow them to come in to see the internal side of my personality. It wasn’t until I got an outside perspective from a girl that I’m hanging out with that I came to this realization. This whole time I had pointed the blame at the people that I dated saying “I value integrity, and this person was 2 hours late calling me so I’m not wasting my time,” when in reality, the flaw was just as much my fault as it was the other person. Integrity is valuable, but I shouldn’t use every chance I get to run away from an internal relationship because I’m scared of getting hurt.
The End of the “Blame Game”
The truth is that a problem in a relationship or a failed relationship is just as much your fault as it is the other persons; no matter how many reasons your mind can come up with to blame the other person. There is also a massive downside to pointing the finger at someone else for mistakes: you never get to see the real issue, the one that’s inside of you. And yeah, problems are a two way street however this much is true: you can never control the actions of someone else, you can only control the actions of yourself.
Take full responsibility for the problems you have in your relationship. Take full responsibility for the failed relationships that you’ve had and see where the flaw is in yourself. Keep pointing the finger during your failed relationships and you’ll miss the most important part of relationship struggles: the opportunity to grow into a stronger person.