A common issue that I often have to deal with in Couples Counseling is “The Victim Position.” This position assumes that the responsibility for the problems in the relationship rest with the other person. Unfortunately, a common motivation for someone attending counseling, is that I will somehow help their partner see the error of their ways and will help them to fix their relationship sabotaging behaviors.
One of the first things I say to couples that are playing the ‘blame game,’ is that I cannot help them if they are determined to maintain their position. Blame is an unworkable position. Meaningful, lasting change can only be created by me, for me.
Personal ownership of your outcomes in relationship and in life is the point at which change begins…I create my results in life. I attract to me that which occurs.
There are powerful laws of attraction that are operating in your life and the more clear you are about what or who you want to attract to you, the more focused you will be about the kind of person you want to be and the life you want to live. For example, if I work at being an honest, vulnerable, authentic person, I will attract honest, vulnerable, authentic people to me. Ultimately, individuals that hide their true selves and who depend on deception and posturing in relationship feel too uncomfortable to consistently hang out with those who are honest and authentic.
The same holds true in your most significant relationships. The healthiest approach I can take to creating the change I want is to own the outcomes I have created and to model the change I want. The least effective approach is to consistently tell your partner what they are doing wrong and demand they change for your sake. Usually that will only generate disappointment, frustration and resentment. In effect, it will create what you fear.
Becoming fully accountable for your actions and modeling the relationship you want can become a good news, bad news scenario. Two outcomes will generally surface in response to your approach. Either your partner will see the value of your approach and seek to follow your example, or they will feel uncomfortable and either shut down or push back. This is the point at which you really have to believe in your independent commitment to you or retreat into old, familiar, unhealthy habits in relationship. My hope is that both individuals in a relationship see the value of being personally accountable for their part in the relationship and work to build the healthiest relationship possible. It is actually the only way a healthy relationship will happen.
In what ways do you need to become more accountable for the outcomes you have in your relationship? And what are you willing to do different to create the relationship you want?