Often times we lay blame as to who was responsible for the demise of a relationship. It’s easier to find fault with others than to examine our own part of the down turn. In this article I have explored several aspects of RESPONSIBILITY. I have given a basic understanding of the aspect and then related each one to relationships.
Assumption – Substantial/total responsibility for events and circumstances that happen in one’s life. This is said to be a spiritual view.
This is where the individual assumes not only the physical aspects of themselves but also the psychological, spiritual, intellectual. This takes the view that individuals have the opportunity to address the issues raised during the journey of becoming an adult and it is their own responsibility to make sure that they are completely equipped with the tools necessary to meet the demands of being in a relationship.
In assuming responsibility for yourself in a relationship one cannot allow the behaviour of others to impact on how they conduct themselves or even how they handle the emotions that arise from events within the relationship. In short, just because a partner behaves in a way it doesn’t necessarily justify the reaction one exhibits. For example, “tit for tat” is not an acceptable way of dealing with conflict, neither is violence an acceptable way to deal with disappointment. One should react according to their own standard of being, which has been developed over time.
Collective – Individuals are responsible for others actions by tolerating, ignoring or harbouring without collaborating in it. This is said to be a doctrine.
This is where individuals are part of a wider group and adopt a common view based on a set of taught principles. This is similar to saying, a community raises a child; common principles within that community structures upbringing of children. In the case of relationships, all the people that have a positive interest in the well being of the relationship have a responsibility to give advice, guidance and comfort to the two people involved, without taking sides. It is imperative to remember, that a relationship is the 3rd person in a union. It is this that the responsibility is to, not the individual, though the individual will benefit from a strong, nurtured and safe relationship.
We often hear about ‘the mother in law from hell’, the ‘bitter girlfriends’, the ‘player homeboys’… I’ve heard men say… I’m married you not your friends, and women say… ‘Who’s more important… me or your mother?’
Newsflash… when you marry someone, you marry all that they are. We are made up of our family and friends. No one complains about family and friends who are supportive and nurturing of the union. As a ‘community’ we have a responsibility to our friends and loved ones to be encouraging, not destructive. Sometimes, it is best to say nothing than to destroy what could be a match made in heaven, simply because we have no understanding of relationships.
Social – One (a government, corporation, organisation or person) has a responsibility to act or not to act for the betterment of the community, i.e. resistance/reactivity. This is an ethical/ideological view
This amounts to things like unions, protests, help groups, churches etc. Where ‘One’ acts in a way, which will prevent negative effects on the community, resists unfair treatment or unfair rules in a bid to have them changed. A bit of a mouthful… broken down this means that ‘we’ have a responsibility to conduct ourselves in a manner that will not have a negative impact on others… for instance, we shouldn’t be tempting one of a partnership to cheat on their partner, or inveigle/persuade them into doing something that will cause a conflict in that relationship. We shouldn’t be making life difficult for unions that are deemed to be unconventional, but we should enable relationships to flourish among us.
Filling a ‘gap’ in the market. Society might not see it as a gap, but corporations see a way to capitalize on an idea and sell that idea to the public who then see the need for it. A good example is the mobile phone. Granted a very valuable tool, however society was managing quite effectively without them. Their inception has now caused several problems between people and their relationships. Another example are social networking sites, an invaluable tool in a time where the world is ‘getting smaller’ through the use of the World Wide Web, internet banking, foreign exchange markets and other business ventures. However, increasingly, they are the catalyst in relationships breaking down by providing a forum for people to interact with others on a wider scale, thus casting doubt on fidelity.
Moral – Where the promises, spoken or not affects others and failure to fulfil the promise causes adverse consequences.
For instance, when we practice abstinence in a relationship before marriage, there is a moral responsibility to make partners aware of any issues there may be with physical intimacy- for example, impotence, or frigidity. If we know we are unavailable for marriage, we have a moral responsibility to let the other partner know so they can make an informed decision as to whether they are prepared to continue with the relationship or not.
Accountability – Acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for the actions of those responsible to you, giving explanation for effects and results. This is an ethical concept.
In order to relate this to relationships, it is necessary to understand that each person in the relationship is accountable for its survival. One partner is responsible to the other to ensure that the relationship is able to cater for other the others needs. For example, is the relationship free of financial worries? One partner may be the one generating income, but the other is the one responsible for how it is used. If both are accountable then the relationship will be financially stable. Is the relationship emotionally secure? One partner may still be working through emotional security issues that may be a remnant from past experiences, it is the responsibility of the other partner to ensure that any similarities to past experiences have no foundation to cause further negative impact on any progress the other partner is making, thus maintaining emotional security in the relationship.
Responsibility to self and to others plays an integral part in any relationship regardless of its nature… all of the above relates to a variety of situations. I have related them specifically to relationships to show how much responsibility there is in forging, maintaining and encouraging good solid romantic relationships.
So, What do you think? Enquiring minds want to know!