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Old 07-14-2011, 07:53 PM
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sagency sagency is offline
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Location: U.S. Pacific Northwest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Just wanted to add, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER HAPPINESS.
Agreed. And she is not responsible for your happiness. RC's happiness is RC's job. There's a reason I rewrote your "answer to" line as "independent... individuals." You can be a loving and caring man and she can be a loving and caring woman without needing the other to be happy. Instead, you can be happy and share your happy with each other. This takes a lot of pressure out of relationships.

One the best lesson on relationships I learned just from watching my stepmother. She'd tell my father about some event that interested her. When the time drew near, she'd putter around getting dressed and ready. At some point, she'd say, "I'm leaving for [EVENT] in tem minutes if you want to come along." If my father forgot and wanted to come along, he'd get ready, and she'd wait for him. If he had no interest, she'd give him a kiss and head out.

My father was born in the 40s and she in the 50s. It really stressed him out that she could go off and do stuff without him. He had grown up with the image that a couple had to always do things together. (This seems to translate into sitting on a couch until one of them runs away never to return as RP noted.) My stepmother would come home after her event and be glad to see him and have stories to share. Eventually he learned to appreciate that her freedom gave him freedom, too. (But I will admit that as a kid of about 11 or 12, it was kind of amusing how forlorn he would look for a while when the wife would go off without having to have husband along.)

So I grew up with that image of independent but loving individuals. It works for mono (them--as far as I know but highly likely) and for poly (me). My "job" in relationships isn't to maintain the happiness of my partner but to celebrate it when it's there and comfort when it's not.
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