It Takes Two to Tango 

More than one of my friends over the past couple of months has informed me their personal relationship was at a crossroads, and the other party wanted out. When sharing their stories, they had already taken the presumed route of seeking advice from paid advisors and rallying friends, only to discover those others take sides or hide. This leaves the abandoned partner to become their own defender of their significant other, whom they still love and desire to reconcile with. Sadly, often friends and paid advisors pass judgment on the partner who is not present in the discussion, leaving only one side presented of the relationship status. The hope to fight for the relationship remains with the person who chose to engage in the relationship in the first place; if hope doesn’t exist, it is definitely over.

Owning Your Choices in a Relationship

Over time, and most likely because of my profession as a workplace mediator and my own relationship challenges over the years, I have learned unmistakably, regardless of the outward events, “it takes two to tango.”

This simply means when you blame one side in a relationship for something that must have required the participation of two people, then both partners had investment and choice in the given circumstances. Owning that choice goes a long way in either repairing the situation or moving on. Either outcome requires self-reflection and forgiveness of the other person to not find yourself back in another unhealthy relationship or unwilling to enter a new relationship because of fear of repeating the past.

In my first marriage, during the pre-marriage period, I chose to engage in the relationship despite the many glaring signs that it would not be healthy. Looking back, I clearly see that my enablement was just as toxic as his irresponsible behaviors. It was my will and not God’s will each time I fixed something to ease my pain or protect my image, instead of holding him accountable and me being accountable for my own actions that were not fixing the situation but only prolonging the inevitable. I was an active participant in the relationship I chose to engage in.

It doesn’t matter whether a personal or business relationship; if a commitment is made, both parties choose to

  • engage with one another;
  • communicate for success or not;
  • set boundaries or not;
  • serve the other and be helped; and
  • live in fantasy or reality throughout the relationship.

Discovering Your Genuinity in Relationships

My new book, Happily Married to Your Employer, helps people discover their genuinity and, in doing so, have better overall relationships, particularly in the workplace. For over twenty-five years, I have watched individuals enter new workplace relationships, justifying their reasons and communicating that they weren’t worried because they were prepared to fix it when the inevitable happened.

Workplace Relationships and Their Impact on Success

A recent individual told me they were taking a position they knew was highly volatile because the company was offering them a lucrative pay raise to leave their current employer. As I asked questions, this individual was complimenting his current boss while hyperbolizing challenges at his current employer that were general industry challenges and not company challenges that would follow if he went to the new employer. In further inquiry, he stated that the money would solve the rent increase issues and pressures from his spouse he was facing.

I will be praying he takes time to find the right working relationship or get bold to work things out with his current employer rather than accepting a new working relationship by whitewashing the obvious risks. A layoff from the new job will cause a domino effect for future financial and personal relationship challenges. I did suggest he ask for severance to buy time because he will be at a higher compensation rate. He is right now choosing not to work on the behavioral challenges that have followed his career and limit his options for employment. After all, the employer is opening the gambling door by buying a candidate they have never worked with, so why not sweeten the deal further, as the employer can let him go without notice. The candidate does know this role has had significant turnover at the company.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Partner

Ironically, the word tango comes from the word tambo, which was used to describe a region around the river and to describe the musical gatherings of slaves. The tango dance is known for its stealthy, cat-like moves and the poignant attitudes of the dancers. It certainly takes two to tango. Choosing your partner wisely through a process of dating, whether for a job or a personal relationship, with mutuality in mind will determine whether you become a slave to the relationship or stay aligned for success—even if you step on each other’s toes once and a while.

Building Hope in a Failing Relationship through Accountability

If you are in a relationship right now where one side wants out, yet it has not officially ended and you still have hope, combining that hope with accountability for your choices to date and forgiveness of the other party will prepare your heart for a future better than you could ever imagine. After all, you owned your choices and behaviors.

The tango, danced with two people in alignment, is rather captivating and not enslaving at all. Your relationships can be the same.

To Your Right Choices,

Suzanne Breistol


Leave a reply

Your email addres will not be published.
Required fields are marked with

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.