The Best Relationship is Based on Freedom (2)Obligation vs. Freedom

You may have noticed that this month’s theme is focused on the topic of freedom, which is something we ALL want to experience in our lives, right?

When hindered from freely expressing yourself in a way that feels authentic and real, your life may feel more like an obligation than a life of freedom.

Here’s a perfect example: How many people do you know who are fed up with office politics and sick of doing things they don’t really want to do? Whether the job itself doesn’t feel purposeful, or we’re required to work in a way that’s out of integrity with our personal values, feeling like we “have to” do something is certainly not conducive to living a life of freedom and empowerment.

The same concept applies in your romantic relationship. If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t feel purposeful, or you feel obligated to “make it work” in a way that’s out of integrity with your personal values, you’re most likely feeling less than empowered and missing out on the benefits of the healthy relationship you desire.

Obligation feels like a duty, like paying taxes, stopping at red lights, or even taking your dog on a walk when you feel exhausted. But your choice to comply in these situations gives you something in return…like staying out of jail or a happy pet that loves you unconditionally.

When it comes to your romantic relationship, however, you shouldn’t feel obligated to be in it. Sure, a healthy relationship certainly requires commitment, but that commitment was based on your freedom of choice and inspired by love.

In some countries, marriages are arranged and, based on cultural beliefs, the two people getting married don’t get to choose each other. I can’t personally relate to that experience…and neither can marriages that originate from free will.

In most countries though, people do choose their life partner and they do so willingly! Through their freedom of choice, they commit to a long-term relationship in which they will honor and love one another.

Even with the best of intentions, what started out as a loving commitment may turn into a feeling of obligation, particularly when children are involved. And most likely, this is due to unexpected and unresolved conflicts, which easily lead to feelings of frustration and resentment.

I love this quote by marriage and family therapist Sevin Philips: “The best relationship is based on freedom, not obligation.”

Personally, I believe that part of the commitment in a romantic relationship is to keep love in the relationship even when there’s conflict. To do the best you can to resolve the conflict in a way that serves both parties.

IF a couple is not able to resolve the conflict in a way that works, then I still believe it can continue to be handled with love and integrity. After all, the commitment was to love and honor each other in good times and in bad, right?

Conflict is usually a result of disagreement. And disagreement usually arises because of different beliefs or a lack of understanding. If you’re able to resolve that conflict AND still be true to your individual values and beliefs, that’s ideal!

But if you and your partner realize that you’re no longer able to express your individual authenticity without creating conflict within your relationship, you have the freedom to let each other go. It may not be easy, but it does mean you can stay in integrity with your original commitment.

Stay tuned for more mindful messages. Giving you helpful tips and exercises to improve the quality of your life and relationships!

With love and support,

Catherine Dietz
Healthy Relationship Coach
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P.S. If you’re struggling in your relationship and you feel confused about what to do, take advantage of your free Relationship Breakthrough Session by contacting me here. I would love to connect with you and support you in any way I can!

P.P.S. Be sure to stay tuned for details about my transformative program, “The HEALTHY Path Process: 8 Steps to Know…Should I Stay or Should I Go?”. It’s a life-changer!