“I can’t change my husband, and he’s the problem.”
“Well my wife isn’t willing to go to therapy, so what can I do?”
“There’s something wrong with him. So we’re doomed.”
There are absolutely some situations and individuals that are toxic and abusive. There are also some personality disorders and mental conditions that are simply not conducive to a healthy marriage and partnership such as destructive narcissistic disorder. In these cases it might be impossible to create the changes that you seek within your partnership.
In most cases however, if we’re in a relationship with someone who is kind a stable yet we’re having a lot of conflict and trouble, there is SO much we can do. There’s even so much we can do without our partner even knowing about it! People often say that it takes two to tango, but I want to invite you to question that today. I think it’s a complete myth. Sure, of course there are many different things that we need our partners to buy into. But it only take one person to effectively create change in a family dynamic. You can change the energy within yourself, and then watch and see how the energy in your home changes.
Saying it takes two to tango is usually used as a blame mechanism. It externalizes responsibility from me and it says, “Well, we both have to do it, and so it’s his (or her) fault. He’s not doing it and so nothing’s going to change.” But beyond actually deflecting the blame from me, that also renders me helpless and powerless. If it takes two to tango and my partner isn’t willing to change, then how can we ever make a change around him? I’m helpless. I’m stuck. I’m a Disney princess waiting to be rescued.
The opposite of it takes two to tango is radical responsibility. It’s realizing that we alone can affect so much change within our lives, and take steps to change ourselves, how we relate to people, the energy that we bring to them, and the words we use with them and about them. When we make those changes, which are the only changes we actually have control over anyway, we will undoubtedly create change around us. As Wayne Dyer said,
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
The same is true for people. When you change the way you look at people, the people you look at change. When you change the way you look at your relationship, the relationship you’re looking at will change.
The point is that when you make the change within yourself – when you tango – you invite others to tango with you. You don’t have to wait for them to invite you or change themselves. When I was trying to affect change within my home, I felt so helpless because my partner wasn’t on the same spiritual, the emotional journey as me. I felt like if he wasn’t doing it, then I couldn’t do it because it would never work. It was only when I took radical responsibility and realized that I didn’t want to get stuck waiting, that I finally decided to do everything I could to change my behaviors and grow into the peaceful parent and partner that I yearned to be in the world. The rest of it was not up to me anymore. It’s not my business. As Byron Katie says, “It’s other people’s business.”
Our business is just how we show up to the relationship, how we treat our partners, what we say behind their back, what we do for them, and what we do to them. That’s all our business. What they do is beyond our business. People use this excuse in parenting too, where it’s even more apparent and clear why it’s an excuse. If I say my child is misbehaving even though I did all the right things, we can see how it’s kind of ridiculous to blame a small child for not responding well to my communication skills on my parenting. If my child is still a terror, still misbehaving, or still doing whatever they’re doing, then I need to up my game. I can’t sit around waiting for my four year old to learn to be a better four year old because “It takes two to tango.”
In the above instance, I’d need to learn to be a more effective with my parenting and my child would inevitably, unavoidably respond to that. The same is true with adults.
So if you’re feeling helpless, stagnant or stuck within your relationship I invite you to take a really exciting approach to this. The exciting empowering approach is that we can become the peaceful partners that we want to become.
- We can start behaving in the way that we want to see our partner behave towards us.
- We can start creating the type of family environment and relationships that we’re yearning for.
If we do this, then we are in a creative empowered status. We’re putting out good energy into the world. We’re riding high vibes! We’re heightening our frequency and unavoidably that will affect those around us.
Being high energy, positive, kind, peaceful, connected and joyful are all contagious. And we know this from human psychology that smoking is contagious, that pregnancy is contagious, that gossiping is contagious. Now of course you don’t catch pregnancy, but the more people around you that are pregnant, the more likely you are to consider getting pregnant yourself. The same goes for anything. So if we decide to be the agents of change and bring up our own attitudes, approaches, and skillset, mastering our own peacefulness, kindness, compassion, passion, and all of that stuff, it will automatically be contagious and affect our partner in some way.
So I invite you today to lay down the excuse that “it takes two to tango.” And as long as you’re married to someone or in a partnership with someone who is a reasonably okay person (with no abuse or mental illness that really is undermining the possibility of change), then you can affect change. It’s an empowered status to grab that bull by the horns and enjoy the power that we have in creating the life we most want to live in. We can creating family bliss for ourselves.
How will you treat your partner the way you’d like to be treated today? What can you do or say? Tell us in the comments below!