Monday, August 27, 2012

It's Not Me, It's You

Relationship advice is full of contradictions.  Some relationship articles will tell you that failing to take responsibility for one’s actions is a huge red flag.  Meanwhile, turn the page and the next article explains that no one is perfect, and relationships are a constant work in progress, so stand by your man.  With so many contradictory pieces of advice, it’s hard to know which to believe.  I believe there is a saying for every situation, and that is the most confusing part about choosing which advice to take.  Unfortunately, this means we often have to live through situations in order to look back and decide which advice we should’ve taken.    
Example: A few months before the wedding, Mr. Wrong dropped our brand new couch off a truck and onto moving traffic on the highway (yes, this is a true story).
My response: Seriously?!  You seriously dropped my couch on the highway? Why would you pick up a couch on an open-bed truck and NOT properly secure it.  No, really? WHY?!
His response: I can’t believe you’re angry, you should be thankful I’m ok!
Me: Clearly you’re ok, you’re on the phone talking to me… unlike my couch scattered all over the highway!! Why?  Because he couldn’t be bothered to pay attention or take the 5 extra minutes (or $20 extra dollars) to secure the couch when he could be out playing sports instead... and because he ignored my advice to have it delivered.
The problem with this scenario, and so many others, is that he never took responsibility for his actions.  It was always someone else’s fault; his actions were merely a reaction to MY actions, and so on.  He never sad, "I was wrong, I’m sorry", or "that was mean, I’m sorry for saying that".  No, it was always I said this because you said this first.  Oh, ok, we’re in the first grade, I forgot.  No matter what the situation, it was always my fault HE messed up, and to make matters worse he never failed to make me feel guilty for how I felt.  Yes, perhaps I should have been thankful, but maybe he could have been CAREFUL too.   
The problem with men that don’t take responsibility for their actions is that they’re usually also manipulative and immature.  If you find yourself in this situation, forget every piece of relationship advice you’ve ever heard.  It will lead you nowhere, I promise.  Don’t stand by your man, or any of that other crap.  Yes, relationships are hard work and no one is perfect, but take it from someone who’s been there – If he can’t take responsibility for his actions, you’re in this relationship alone…and it does take two to tango (see, like I said, there's a saying for every situation).    

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