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Do you (really) believe you are responsible for your own happiness?

Updated on February 12, 2013

Whenever I’ve asked someone if they thought they were responsible for their own happiness the natural reflex response I usually get is, “yes”. However as I read articles, hubs, and blogs concerning relationships dealing with heartache, betrayal, and overall unhappiness I am struck by the fact I rarely if ever see anyone accept responsibility for choosing the wrong mate.

Recently a woman wrote an article titled “Women – A man is not a financial plan or an emotional one”. As I begin reading the article I anticipated it was written to inspire women to empower themselves and take charge of their lives. However the article quickly descended into a male bashing tale about how her father mistreated her mother and the family by not being financially responsible or even holding down a job. Her father eventually left her mother and moved on with his life.

Life’s Lessons

The young lady stated her childhood experience taught her to never rely on a man, work hard, and be independent.“My mother lost everything she had because she put her trust in a man and relied on him for financial stability.” In other words the family’s hardship was all due to the father’s lack of responsible behavior.Her mother was given a free pass for choosing this man to be her husband and the father of her children. She was not responsible for her decision to continue to stay with this man who was not contributing to the household.When this man physically abandoned his family it was then the little girl adopted a strong animosity towards men. Never trust a man. (Lesson learned)

Another Perspective

I found myself posting a comment after reading the article. I felt this woman had missed an important part of the lesson. This same type of result could have easily occurred in a lesbian relationship/marriage. Would the lesson then be "never trust a woman"?

A man or woman is not a "financial plan" is sound advice for both sexes. As an old song states: "God bless the child that’s got his own.”

Having said that I don’t think your mother lost her two homes because she relied on a (man). She lost her homes because she chose the wrong man. Life is a personal journey. Each of us gets to choose our own friends, lovers, and spouse. There is no getting around this.

If you go to the store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead; whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a better “shopper”.

When we choose to blame others for our unhappiness we are rendering ourselves powerless. We get to decide who we will spend our time with or emotionally invest in. Acknowledging this fact is self-empowering because we can learn from our mistakes. Anyone who is unhappy in a relationship and chooses to stay in it is by default choosing to be unhappy. When we change our circumstances change!

I wrote a book titled: My Cat Won’t Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany). Essentially it’s about learning to approach relationships with complete awareness, realistic expectations, as well as using self-empowerment techniques to stick to your own “shopping list”. You really are responsible for your own happiness!

Love is not the enemy

Whether you are a woman or man it is human nature to want to hold and be held by someone, to love and be loved. One just needs to be smart in their selection process. Being independent and emotionally secure gives you options and allows you to be more selective.

End result

I went back to look at the article to see if the writer responded to my comment. Apparently she has removed the article. I suppose I will never know if she bought into the concept of taking responsibility for one's own happiness or if she was angry with my posting another point of view.


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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      peachpurple, You are correct!

      Nevertheless we live in a society where so many people love to play the "blame game". They blame their (mate) for their unhappiness.

      Each of us (chooses) our own friends. lovers, and spouse.

      If you went to the grocery store to buy an apple but you purchased an onion instead whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a "better shopper"!

      Getting people to acknowledge that (they) said "yes" or "no" is a challenge. And yet blaming others makes us "powerless" because we can only control ourselves. We get to choose whom we spend our time with!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      yes, each person is liable to his own happiness, you pave the path and go for it

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      Ben, Thanks for your comment and compliment!

      Playing the "blame game" never empowers us.

      It's best to focus only on those things which we can control and that includes (our choices) of which people we invest our time and emotion.

      If we have a bad relationship experience we need to re-examine (our mate selection criteria) so that we make better choices for ouselves in the future! :)

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 3 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Tjhis: "She lost her homes because she chose the wrong man. Life is a personal journey. Each of us gets to choose our own friends, lovers, and spouse. There is no getting around this.

      If you go to the store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead; whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a better “shopper”.

      Was great, and funny to, why aren't you an onion! This is very true, many people lay down blame for these problems, and larger societal problems as well.

      Well done, brilliant essay.


    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      viscri8, Life is about learning and making choices.

      "Perception is reality". However there are always more options than what we see on the horizon. One has to be daring sometimes to find the big rewards.

      Thanks for your comment!

    • viscri8 profile image

      viscri8 3 years ago

      sometimes its only beef or chicken to be chosen from. It usually happens when one really just want a good piece of baked cheesecake.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      manatita44, Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to post your comment. Merry Christmas to you and have a Happy New Year as well.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 years ago from london

      Dashing Scorpio,

      I trust, as well as pray and hope that you served this person in a noble way, that it was her time to be illumined and that she was. She may have learnt something which caused her to remove the article.

      You and I have learnt too, and will continue to learn. It is never as straightforward as it seems and the experience may be necessary for some. With reflection, I am sure that you know this.

      All in all your article is brilliant and exquisitely written. This gives it an added bonus and it will reach and touch those that it's meant to serve. You will know, of course, that the Divine works in it's own way, and consequently some may not be ready. Happy Christmas and loving thoughts.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      DDE, I completely agree with you. Unfortunately quite a few people blame others for their unhappiness instead of looking at the choice they themselves made. If we remain aware that we get to (choose) who we spend our time with as well as what activities to pursue with our life than it's easy to remember we are in charge of our own lives. Thanks for your comment DDE.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I do believe we are responsible for our happiness the things we do and face up to makes us who we really are. It shows on any individual on how they handle situations which make them sad or happy it is entirely up to each individual to be happy in their own way

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      AmandaJon, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. It's a tough sell these days to get people to stop playing the "blame game". I suppose as long as we feel it's the other person's fault it means we don't have to make any changes to ourselves! Utlimately we get to (choose) who we spend time. It's impossible to become a "better shopper" if you think the whole problem is with the produce department. :-)

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Interesting hub, I think it's much easier for people to blame someone else in their unhappiness and faults, than to realize that it's only their fault. I totally agree that We are responsible for our happiness, you get what you want not less not more, wish more and you'll get more.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      aud99, Very true! So many of my clients will ask me: How do I get my mate to.....etc? My answer is you don't! :-)

      People change when (they) want to change. All you can do is (ask). If you want a particular type of mate then make sure they (are) the person you want to be with (before) you commit to them. I talk about this a great deal in my book. Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, & spouse.

      My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany).

    • aud99 profile image

      Audrey 4 years ago

      I found out about taking responsibility about your choices a while back. I was listening to a talk show on radio and a woman called in complaining about her husband and her marriage troubles. The hostess asked her if that was how her husband was when she married him and she meekly said yes. The lesson that she imparted is this: If you know your partner is a fishmonger before you get married, then don't complain that he always smells bad after you have gotten married! In other words, it is your responsibility to open your eyes wide before you get into a marriage in the first place.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      stricktlydating, I appreciate you stopping by to read my hub and post a comment. Cheers!

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 5 years ago from Australia

      It's always a pleasure to read your thoughts on relationships.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      Esenbee, Thank you so much for stopping by to read my hub and post your comment. It is very rare these days for people to look at (their) choices or decisions especially when it comes relationships.

      When we choose to "blame" others we're basically saying they (control) whether we are happy or not. However when we take responsibility for (our) choices and strive to make decisions with complete awareness we take back our power. I can learn from (my) mistakes. :-)

    • Esenbee profile image

      Esenbee 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      This is a very interesting Hub. I too agree that we make the choices in our lives to make us happy or not. A few months ago I admitted that I chose to talk to men that were not my type. It was hard, but that admittance made me self aware of my choices. Thanks for this information. :)

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      bizna, Thank you so much for stopping by and posting your comment. Hopefully one day both sexes will let go of all the animosity between them and quit playing the "blame game". Making better choices is the only thing that leads to having a better life! :-)

    • bizna profile image

      JUDITH OKECH 5 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

      I agree, it all depends on me and me alone and if i am unhappy, it's up to me to decide what to do next.

    • BeccaBunnyBoo profile image

      BeccaBunnyBoo 5 years ago from Seffner,FL

      I totally agree.....

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      BeccaBunnyBoo , Thanks for your comment!

      I've learned over the years there are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships; we either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Our lives for the most part are the result of the choices and decisions (we) have made. If we forget that then we are doomed to a life of feeling powerless. After all the only person we can control is our self. If we refuse to take responsibility for our choices what else is left? :-)

    • BeccaBunnyBoo profile image

      BeccaBunnyBoo 5 years ago from Seffner,FL

      I think that we are responsable for our own happiness,but perhaps loose site of things when lose ourselves in others and let other things control or dictate our actions. I also believe that a lot of people tend to blame other things and not take responsability for their own actions or decisions.Only you can change yourself and you can't change someone,you have to either accept them faults and all or learn and move on....

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 5 years ago

      Relationshipc, Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and post your comment. I truly believe that our real power in life and relationships comes from being completely aware of the choices and decisions we make. Too often when things go bad for us we "forget" that at some point in time we said: "yes" to this person. :-)

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Brilliant point of view. It all boils down to choices, but most of us would rather blame than take ownership of our choices. It is hard to do, but if we want to be happy in our relationships, career, life, and everything else we need to be aware of how our choices are impacting those things and realize we have the choice to change direction.

      I loved the reference to the fact that it could have easily been a lesbian relationship. It points to the belief (at least for me) that blaming others is just deflecting the truth. Depending on our circumstances, we make blame 'work' for us so we don't have to take ownership. Love that insight.


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