Host: Who is responsible for the overall success of a relationship?
Gloria MacDonald: You are responsible. You are 100% responsible for the overall success of your relationships. It is like playing a game of tennis. If you go out there on the court and you lose, you can not blame your opponent. You need to take responsibility for the fact that you missed a serve or your backhand was not so great today or whatever it was. It is your responsibility for your game of tennis and it is your responsibility for the relationship. Now, having said that, we have spoken before about how women are wired for relationships. They are wired for that bonding and men are wired for competition, for winning. So, I think overall, women are the ones who are going to determine the success or failure of a relationship. There is a great story in a book I read a while ago, I do not remember what book it was, but it talked about a woman who was in her early twenties and she was going to her grandparents' 50th anniversary. She could not believe how happy they were because she had been through a series of relationships and they just had not worked. So, she said to her grandmother, "50 years of marriage and you are still so happy and you look like you are teenagers dating. What is your key to success?
" Her grandmother said, "I let your grandfather win at canasta.
" She said, "He is not the world's best card player, but I want him to feel like he is the king. So, I let him win. No matter what your grandfather did, he was not the world's most phenomenal businessman, but I always wanted him to feel like a king. I wanted him to feel like he was the world's best businessman, so I told him he was.
" The grandmother took responsibility for the success of that relationship. She knew that it was really important for her husband to feel good about himself and the more she gave to him, the more she got back from him naturally. It was not playing a game but that grandmother truly understood, the success of her relationship depended upon her deciding that she was going to make this successful and make her husband feel wonderful about himself. As human beings, when someone else makes us feel wonderful about ourselves, we naturally respond in a really positive way and we give back. It just makes sense. So, I think women tend to be more responsible for the success or failure of a relationship, but I do not think that is letting anyone off the hook. I think each and every one of us has to take 100% responsibility for the success or failure of our relationships.