Yet, it can become especially difficult when we take on responsibilities that are not ours.
You are not responsible for your spouse’s moods.
Some men and women are very immature. Some are moody and emotionally manipulative. They demand that their spouse do what they want them to do or else. They may say to their husbands/wives: “I was in a great mood until you spoiled it.” Yet, you are responsible for your own mood and your own attitude, not that of your spouse.
You are not responsible for keeping your spouse from getting upset.
Some people punish their spouses when they are upset. For example, a husband and wife are selling their car. She makes a comment to a prospective buyer that they have had some trouble with the air-conditioning. She does so as a matter of integrity and a desire to be honest. Her husband is angry at her now and expresses this through passive aggressive behaviors for the rest of the day. Later she says, “I have to be so careful about what I say to my husband. He will get angry, and I will be in trouble.” Furthermore, some people may shortchange their children by tiptoeing around a spouse’s feelings and immaturity.
You are not responsible for making sure that your spouse has a good day.
In some marriages, one spouse attempts to manipulate the emotions of the other by communicating that in some way the spouse is responsible for making sure that he[/she] has a good day. Consequently, when something displeasing happens, the response may be: “I was having a good day until you ruined it.”
You are not responsible for making your spouse look good.
This happens far too frequently. A husband or wife expects their spouse to cover for them. Instead of behaving well, they focus on looking good in front of particular people. Perhaps a wife expects her husband to make her look good in front of her mother. Or, perhaps a husband expects his wife to make him look good in front of his parents. (He doesn’t want them to know about his language, his
online gambling, or the way he behaves toward his teenage son when no one else is around.)
You are not responsible for trying to manage what other people think about your spouse or for trying to create false impressions before significant people.
You are responsible for managing yourself. You are responsible for managing how you function, how you react, and how you choose to relate to your spouse.
From your experience, what happens to a family when creating the right impression becomes more important than dealing with reality?