Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions (Stephen Covey).  While our condition in life does influence our options, we still make choices and have the ability to make and use opportunities.   People also influence us however ultimately we are responsible for our own behaviors.  In relationships, we are never responsible for someone else’s actions.  Although we may provoke, hinder, motivate, encourage, discourage, or impact others we never can really “make” someone behave a certain way or feel anything.  Often, in abusive or dysfunctional relationships, we see and hear blame frequently combined with a lack of personal responsibility for ones own actions or behaviors.  As long as we blame someone else we are never really responsible for our actions or changes.  Conversely, we are always responsible for our own actions and changes even when we blame others.  In adult, mature, relationships, there is room for error, failure, mistakes, and being human.  Healthy relationships are made up of individuals who are fully responsible for themselves, their own feelings, and their own decisions.  If there is criticism, judgment, shame, blame, and other traits indicating one individual is better or more important than another person in the relationship then it’s not really a mutual relationship.  There ideally would be a feeling of balance and equality of importance present for a relationship to be healthy and wholesome.  Importance does not equate with control or authority.  Importance is about value and worth as innately human not in any material contribution.  Couples are free to arrange their relationship any way that suits the couple and for the benefit of the relationship. As long as it’s agreeable to both parties then it’s a good relationship for them.  If we find our self in a relationship by which only one party is benefiting most of the time then it may be time to rethink the wisdom of the relationship.

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