Maybe, Just Maybe It Is Your Fault This Time.
It's Not Always Just Them
I recently spoke to a friend who mentioned how frustrated she was with her boyfriend because he told her he felt more comfortable opening up to his other friends than he does opening up to her.
Later in our convo, when I asked her what she could do to help open up the lines of communication between the two of them, she answered with. “Nothing, it’s his fault. I’m his woman and he should always be able to open up to me. ”
As a friend, I had to let her know there was more to the situation than she cared to notice. But this is the type of situation I see with couples all the time. When a problem arises, they often only care to see it as it pertains to their partner, not themselves.
And I’ll tell you what I tell all of them. This approach to dealing with challenges is a recipe for failure in a relationship.
It’s easy to point out the flaws in your mate while seeing yourself as flawless and innocent. But do you have the ability to take a step back and take some responsibility for your part in the problem?
I strongly believe [and witness it all the time with the couples I work with] many of the problems in our relationships would go away if we could simply recognize our part in the problem and take steps to remedy it.
It’s the first step to resolving ANY challenge you might have in your relationship. It starts with you. It begins with examining everything you’re bringing to the table and building on what’s working and changing what’s not.
Now do I mean that your partner holds no weight in the problem and it’s all your fault and responsibility to fix? Not at all.
But imagine if you BOTH took this approach. Imagine how different your conversations about these issues would be. Imagine how much time you’d save on curbing the blame game. Imagine how few arguments you’d have over who’s to blame for this and that.
You Can Only Control Your Part
At the end of the day, you can’t control your mate. You can only control yourself. But if you both agree to take responsibility for your part of the problem and also take measures to remedy it, wouldn’t things would be a lot smoother?
As far as my friend is concerned, she ended up speaking to her boyfriend and realizing he wasn’t opening up to her because he felt every time he did, there was always criticism waiting for him at the end of the conversation.
She recognized this as true and reassured him she’d take steps to be a better listener and less judgemental. Over time, he ended up feeling more comfortable opening up and took steps to do so more often.
Are things perfect? Nope. But they did find a healthy way to approach the inevitable challenges that come with any relationship. As a team. And without the finger-pointing.
**This is a post I originally wrote for ChelseaKrost.com. Click here for the original blog.**