Someone commented in an earlier writing:
I have found this an eye opening experience in that very few people seem to give a shit about how they can impact someone else’s relationship.
That actually makes me sad to read.
It’s hard to explain why, from my perspective, because the comment is obviously written from a completely different perspective than the one I have about relationships, but let me see if I can try.
Whosoever acts against me is held accountable for their actions. Never a third party.
- If you are rude to me, it’s on you. Not your bestie who doesn’t like me encouraging you.
- If you miss plans with me without letting me know, that’s on you, not on your ex who showed up crying.
- If you break one of our agreed protocols, that’s all your blame, not the person with their hand on your goody bits and whispering sexy sweet things in your ear.
The Long Version:
If I am in a relationship with someone, they are the person I am in a relationship with.
— Not their brother.
— Not their mother.
— Not their best friend.
— Not their ex-girlfriend.
— Not their current girlfriend.
I am in a relationship with the person I am in a relationship with.
Now, let’s say one of these VIPs in their life does not like me, and attempts to influence the person I am in a relationship with. They influence my relationship person to cancel plans with me.
It is the person I am in a relationship with that cancels those plans.
Sure, maybe someone influenced them—but that’s their right.
After all, people are generally out to do what they think is best for themselves, and sometimes for others that are important to them.
I don’t expect my desires to play much into their thinking.
**Unless they are in a relationship with me. **
And one bare minimum of being in a relationship with me is consideration.
So, if my relationship other is OK with discounting my feelings, canceling plans, or being inconsiderate towards me at the request of a third party, I want to know that, so I can remove them from my life.
Because it doesn’t matter WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, or HOW, there is really no reason at all to not be considerate, or live up to promises made.
- If external influence is enough to turn someone against me, they are not right for me.
- If external influence makes someone think poorly of me, they are not right for me.
- If external influence is all it takes to break their word to me, they are not right for me.
And, if a partner of mine were to cite outside influence as their excuse, I will know they are far too flexible in their personal values for me to continue to remain in a relationship with them.
So, while I do pay attention to how I can influence someone’s relationship and often do—for good or ill—I know that my influence is really nothing more than support in who they are, anyway, and at best might help someone move more quickly or make a choice more surely.
And I don’t take responsibility for those who I have not agreed to take responsibility for, or for those who use me as an excuse to be inconsiderate, lie, cheat, steal, whatever.
I also do not place that responsibility on anyone else.
After all that explanation, here is why it makes me sad to read things like that:
Because, to me, it comes from a place of weakness and helplessness.
A place where you can always expect others to take away the best things you have, through no fault of your own.
A place where no matter how amazing you are, you can just wait for someone with the power of influence to ruin whatever you have.
Because that also suggests no matter how crappy you are, all you need to do is look for a weak spot and exert influence, and you can poach from another, and be someone’s excuse for a lack of ethics.
And while I know that taking 100% responsibility for my life will not prevent all bad things from happening, I prefer to err on the side of good-begets-good.
It keeps me looking for the best things to do: the communication chances, the ways to show my love, and the absolute best choices to make.
So that when the unexpected bad does happen, I can say, “I lost. I fought to win, and I lost. But I put it all in, and I failed spectacularly, even if I was wrong.”
Not, “Someone evil influenced my one-and-only perfect partner and I’ve lost them, through no fault of theirs or mine.”