The playground of relationships

When did we become so entitled and righteous? Has the increase in the life standard done us well, or has it regressed us to infancy?
Most of my couples clients are not even aware that it is their biggest problem. “I deserve…!” He should be there for me whenever I need it! She should fully support me, no matter what! Really? Should they? Why? If we want to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship, we need to start asking ourselves: “What do I need to do, to be a better partner?”, instead of: “How can I change him/her into a better partner?”
It seems to me that the majority of the western world is acting like “spoilt” little kids (not that I think that kids could be spoilt – they are not milk; I am talking about children whose parents are unable to say No to them, children who don’t have any sense of the needs of the others, no compassion, children who just know what they want and they believe that they deserve it). I think that the material comfort that we have, coupled with the whole ‘democratic’ movement (read:” I want and I have the right to”!) have resulted in predominantly immature adult population. It’s not surprising that we marital therapists have so much work!
And, it is hard work. It’s not uncommon that my clients get upset with me because I invite them to be accountable and humble, instead of righteous and demanding, for that’s not what they came for! That’s not what the self-help books teach them either! Most of self-help books should be illegal; they are so dangerous (they are some very good ones too, but they are just a few). They teach us to be demanding, to execute fully our rights, to be self-absorbed and self-obsessed.
Of course its important to have strong and healthy boundaries, to know our rights, to know what we want in a relationship, to know how to get what we want, but it’s equally, if not even more important that we learn how to be accountable, how to see and hear the other person fully, how to be kind and loving, giving and forgiving, in other words, how to be fully developed and well rounded adults. We need more of those books, more of those teachers. I think I am going to write one, just because I can’t stand being in this playground any longer (but don’t take me too seriously, as I have been threatening with one for years).
Lana Rados, April 12, 2013