Monday, May 11, 2009

Self-Responsibility: Key To Making It Through Tough Times

I’ve had this conversation before. This time I want to address self-responsibility in the context of these dire economic times. If you have become a one-income family, or you are afraid of losing your job as a result of the economic down turn, then you may want to read these tips to help re-enforce your relationship with your partner and your family.

So many times we take responsibility where we don’t need to, or the opposite, we expect others to take responsibility of our well-being. I am not referring to financial responsibility. I am discussing personal responsibility for whatever our needs may be. It could be so subtle, that we don’t even realize it. It could be an assumption we made the day we got married, e.g., he’ll be a good provider, he’ll take care of me, she’ll make a good mother and take care of our children, I will take care of our family, etc. What these assumptions do, is set up an invisible agreement between two people where one person has given their power to the other.

This type of agreement happens all the time, it is just that these uncertain times are adding to the pressures of any marriage. The person who gave away their power, is powerless and puts the responsibility on the shoulders of the other person. The other person who took on the responsibility may have done so unconsciously, but they feel the weight of their partner on them and on their marriage. The weight of these expectations can crush a marriage. You can imagine the consequences of these types of invisible agreements.

So, if you are in one of these situations, you may want to do the following:
1) Recognize if you are the person taking the responsibility of your partner or giving away your self-responsibility.
2) Find a moment to be alone and in your mind and heart release this invisible agreement and acknowledge your part and take back your own power or release your partner from the responsibility of taking care of you.
3) Feel what it feels like to be only responsible for you and no one else.
4) Make time to have a conversation with your partner and tell him/her what you do not expect him/her to do/be. An example is given below:
I do not expect you to:
a) Take care of me/us
b) Not be stressed
c) Not be afraid
d) Have all the answers

Best wishes on your road to true self-responsibility!

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