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"When you love someone, you give them everything, because loving means giving everything."

Who hasn't heard this saying somewhere before? You know it from books and movies and maybe you love the scenes where a couple has finally found each other and can now be happy forever.

However, you also know that the reality is not that simple. It can sometimes be a real challenge to 'make your partner happy'. Of course you want them to be okay. If they're going through a difficult time, you want to make them feel like you're there to offer support. But what does 'making them happy' actually mean?

There are so many assumptions about what love should be like that we can easily become confused. One of the most complicated assumptions is certainly that our partner is responsible for our happiness and we are responsable for theirs.

Is it sometimes never enough?

Do you something like this from your partner:

- "You take care of everything else first and then me."

- "I'm disappointed in you, I expected more. I'm probably not important enough for you."

- "I'm not a priority for you, I always come last with you."

In my consultations, I have often observed how such comments can hit a sore spot. The other person then jumps up and tries to defend or apologize. He or she wants to be there and help, and suddenly they say that it's not enough.

It´s not love if you don't give everything you can?

"If you don't do this and that, then you don't love me." There is indeed a great risk of manipulation here: the love and responsibility that parents have towards their children is confused with love for their partner. But your partner is not your child.

This confusion also comes from the fact that our first love was the one we experienced from our parents. It began in the womb, where we received everything, we needed. Some theories say that as adults we always want to go back to where we got everything that fulfilled us: continuous warmth, nourishment and protection.

So, a big challenge as adults is to accept that we will never experience this form of love again.

You can never know what your partner needs as well as they do

If someone expects others to take care of them, they are always giving up control. This can lead to nervousness and frustration and to them acting out of fear, complaining or pushing for their partner to finally do something.

So, it has less to do with you and more to do with your partner giving up control. It puts you in a difficult situation. You are then supposed to guess what he needs, just like a mother with a baby.

Personal responsibility is the greatest proof of love

Imagine your partner telling you something like, "Don't worry, I'll take care of myself." There's something liberating about that, isn't it? It takes away the worry that you need to know what they need.

Counseling, whether alone or as a couple, is a lot about personal responsibility. On the one hand, this means that we want to make sure that we take responsibility for ourselves, our actions, our worries and fears. Another important aspect is to recognize whether our partner is doing the same.

We want to consciously point out that everyone has their own areas and responsibilities and that we should not confuse them. We respectfully look at what belongs to whom.

Personal responsibility is not selfishness

As I said, the expectation of being saved or protected still lies dormant within us. We have picked it up from childhood. It is normal for everyone to find themselves in situations where they want to be rescued at some point in their relationship. Personal responsibility, on the other hand, does not come naturally. We learn personal responsibility depending on how we have been socialized. It is often confused with self-interest or selfishness, because it also involves looking after yourself first.

However, being self-responsible also means thinking of yourself first in critical situations. For example, by always starting with the question: What is my responsibility in this situation? What might I have done wrong here? What can I do in this situation?

The relationship helps us grow together

Because love consists of respecting and supporting yourself and your partner as independent individuals. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness and well-being. You can share and motivate each other about the processes and challenges that go hand in hand with this. Think of yourselves as two travelers. Each carries their own backpack and along the way you share your experiences of the journey. No one can walk the path for the other.

If you have any further questions or are looking for support in your situation, I will be happy to help you.


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