If you're waiting for someone - a boyfriend, a girlfriend, your wife, your husband - to make you happy, you're going to be waiting a long time.

It is impossible for a boyfriend to take responsibility for his girlfriend's emotional security.

On the reverse side, it is impossible for a wife to take responsibility for her husband's sexual gratification.

In short: no person can take responsibility for the happiness or satisfaction of another.

These unhealthy expectations are caused by the ego - the insatiable and problematic "self" in the mind. It sometimes leads a person to incorrectly place responsibility on his or her romantic partner.

How the ego controls relationships

The principle of relationship responsibility can involve either taking on responsibility or shrugging off responsibility, depending on what is just.

One reason the ego yearns for relationships is because they are great opportunities to evade responsibility. The ego wants someone else to take responsibility for making it feel happy, gratified, secure, taken care of, etc. It doesn't want to take responsibility for these things if someone else will do it for them.

"Why work at finding happiness when I can just dump that responsibility onto my partner?"

"Men are lining up to accept me for my looks, why should I learn to accept myself?"

"It's my wife's job to satisfy all of my sexual yearnings, why should I learn self-control?"

The ego might ask questions like these as it rationalizes its addictive, selfish, and irresponsible behaviors which can strain romantic relationships. When a person realizes that his or her expressions of selfless love are enabling the partner's irresponsibility, she must shrug off the responsibility.

Dealing with egos

A wife might tell her husband that while she can try to sexually please him she cannot be responsible for his gratification and will not accept blame, demands, or responsibility for his ungratified sexual nature. A husband might tell his wife that he can try to spend more time with her and better communicate with her but cannot be responsible for her insecurities or volatile emotional nature.

Admittedly, selfless love is healthy, but selfless love can only be protected by correctly applied relationship responsibility.

When people take responsibility for their own yearnings, selfless love is free to be expressed without the risk of enabling a person's irresponsibility or wrongful sense of entitlement. Together, selfless love and relationship responsibility hold up happy and successful relationships.

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