I’m curious what people think of this question. Do we have the responsibility to make our partners happy or will our relationships be improved by focusing on our own happiness?
Many partners are responsible for their partners unhappiness. If you see the things that your partner enjoys and you support their activities (works both ways) both will benefit. Being aware of your responsibilities is a sign of maturity. A child has not yet learned all the responsibilities they will eventually acquire. Happiness is a byproduct of living a responsible life. Add children to the mix and your responsibilities have grown considerably. Many people do not have the skill, resources or character to meet all the responsibilities they have accepted. How are you doing?
If you feel responsible for your partner’s happiness then you have an attached relationship dynamic which is unhealthy.
I have written about it in my blog:
Really interesting question, it took me a long time to figure this one out! My opinion is we are responsible for our own happiness. We should never feel responsible for our partners happiness - this is what leads to toxic, co-dependent relationships and resentment.
I do think that if we focus on our own happiness, it can improve relationships. As long as we have good communication, and understanding of our partners.
My first relationship was when I was 17 years old. She was one year older than me and incredibly beautiful. I thought I was so lucky to be with her.
Yet the relationship quickly became toxic. She had a difficult childhood and was very jealous and insecure. A sideways glance from me in the direction of another woman would send her into a terribly down mood for the next day.
I took it upon myself to fix her and make her happy. But I became really unhappy in the process.
It took me 18 months to finally see things for what they were and move on from the relationship. It was hard because breaking up with her just “proved” to her that I didn’t deserve her and it made it very difficult for me.
I’ve had a few relationships since and a couple of times have fallen into the trap of trying to make my partner happy. But it never ends well.
I also believe we can only be responsible for our own happiness. However, I also believe we can act responsibly in a way that helps out partners find their happiness, for example by providing love and support.
I have found it very difficult to make anyone happy. Happy is a state of mind and a relationship requires a meeting of the minds. If that is successful both people can be happy. Some people are so focused on their minds they can not experience an others mind set and then it is difficult to share theirs. This is so human I can not suggest a solution. If you are lucky you will find a compatible mind.