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You are not responsible for your partner's emotions. - by TimC

You are responsible TO your partner but not FOR him or her.  You are responsible only FOR yourself and your partner is responsible for them self. What exactly does this mean?  You are not responsible for your partner's feelings, reactions, attitudes, emotions and outcomes.  You are responsible to your partner-to love them, accept them, help them, support them and empower them but you are not responsible for their emotional stuff.

This problem takes place when one person attempts to be responsible TO their partner, but their partner wants them to be responsible FOR them.

There is a difference between sympathy and empathy.  Sympathy is feeling sorry for someone - getting right down in their problems with them.  Empathy is understanding what a person is going through but not getting embroiled in it with them.  Sympathy can cause people to become dependent while empathy contributes to their personal growth and maturity.

Many times, your partner may want you to feel sorry for them, to have sympathy for them and their circumstances.  If you do this, you may only be contributing to the continuation of their problem by slowing or even preventing their own personal growth. I understand that if your partner wants one thing, sympathy, and you give them something else, empathy, that this can lead to conflict, tension and a stressful relationship - if this process is not handled carefully and lovingly.  

Understanding their needs and helping them grow through them is not always easy, but in the end it is a far better tactic for the long-term health and success of the relationship.  

So what's the answer?

You are responsible for your own well being and mental health.  You are not responsible for your partner's. Please don't misunderstand me here.  I am not suggesting that you disengage from your partner's issues, only that your role in a relationship is to become and remain as emotionally healthy as you can and to be a supportive and loving partner.  Sometimes when you continue to help people over and over again you stop helping them.  I am talking here about detachment not disengagement.  Detachment is about letting your partner take full responsibility for their actions, emotions and outcomes.  Disengagement means you stop caring and show nothing but contempt and apathy.

Another contributor to this critical issue is the need for people to feel in control of their own emotions.  When you let your partner emotionally manipulate you in the hope of avoiding conflict, you will feel used and out of control.  This is not a good place to be in relation to your 'own life'.

When you let your partner determine or control your emotional reactions, feelings or behaviors you are essentially giving over control of your life to them.  This is not an empowered place to be.  Just because your partner wants to argue doesn't mean you have to join in.  Just because your partner is upset by something that happened at work doesn't mean you have to be upset too.

It's your choice - Take control of yourself; your feelings, reactions, emotions and behavior or give it up to your partner.  Sound harsh?  Not meant to.  

The best thing you can do for your partner and your relationship is to help them understand that your role is not to resolve their problems for them, hindering their personal growth. They must understand that for the relationship to be healthy, both parties have to be healthy.  If only one of you is mature, in control of yourself and emotionally stable, it will be difficult to have a healthy, mature and stable relationship.

Everyone moves through life with their own personal baggage and personal lessons to learn.  To be responsible to people is to not interfere with what they need to learn so they can move on.  To be responsible for people inhibits them from liberating themselves.






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