You alone are responsible for how you feel

Woman holding her head in distress

So you are upset because he did not call when he said he would if he was ever late to dinner again? And then he was late to dinner again last night and didn’t call. 

Clearly, he was wrong and you have every right to be upset, right? Well, yes and no. You are valid in feeling upset, yes. But, he was not wrong! What he did or did not do might be thought of as wrong, but the person he is, is not responsible for how you feel. You, alone, are responsible for how you feel. Let me explain:

He is being himself, forgetful, neglectful, whatever that may be, and… you vowed to love him right? Maybe the issue is not how he behaves sometimes, but that you committed to loving who he is always. To the extent that you intend to love without condition, this principle will apply to you. Not liking how a person is, does not take away the love for who he is. 

So you are upset, as most people would be in that situation. That’s not wrong. You are completely valid in how you feel. As always is the case, we are all valid in how we feel, always, whether reasonable or not to other people. 

This is because you are you. You have your past experiences and current preferences that dictate, or better said, to predispose you to choosing how you feel at any given moment or with any given situation. People are always going to do what they choose to do and not do what they neglect to do. It is up to you to choose being upset or not about it.

OK, now that that’s understood. What should you do about being upset with a partner who neglects doing something so important to you, which he had promised over and over again that he would do? The answer is you communicate that you’re upset. Yes, I know, you’ve done that over and over already… you’ve yelled and scream; you’ve given him the silent treatment; you’ve threatened to never have dinner with him again. It doesn’t work, right? Right! 

That type of communication doesn’t work because it attacks who he is as a person and accuses the person that he of being responsible for how you feel, which as we’ve discussed is not the case. There is a way of communicating your upset without attacking who he is as a person. It is a love-motivated communication that proves to be highly effective in reaching your partner and has him choosing to change how he shows up for you. In the next article, we will discuss what this communication looks like.

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