As a professional relationship coach, over the years I have listened as partners pour out their hearts to me, justifying their position to the detriment of the relationship.
There are as many relationship issues as there are people, however if I were going to make a list of the most frequent issues I would say that money, in-laws, sex, control issues, unfulfilled expectations and a lack of effective communication top the list.
It is one thing to know there is a problem and it is quite another to not do anything about it. You must first acknowledge that a problem exists before it can be fixed. Part of the healing is to acknowledge that there are indeed problems that you may be responsible for. Knowing that is not enough. DOING something different is!
Relationship derailment is a troubling phenomenon. However, it’s time for the death of finger pointing. Blame in a love relationship doesn’t work!
There is a payoff for everything you do. The payoff for pointing a finger at your partner and blaming him or her for your relationship condition is: you don’t have to take responsibility for your share of the problem.
Although blaming has no redeeming value, if you must place blame, you would be wise to accept responsibility and know that the blame goes to the person looking back at you in the mirror.
“Sorry seems to be the hardest word” – Elton John
Relationship problems are shared problems. To manage the complexity of a stormy relationship you must accept responsibility for your share of the problem. When you can do that, the problem is half solved. Not only will this change you, it will change your relationship with your partner.
It is time to STOP blaming someone else for the misery you are creating for yourself. It’s time to forgive yourself and your partner so the hurt will heal. The hurts won’t heal until you allow yourself to forgive.
Perhaps your relationship deserves a powerful new focus. The responsibility of both partners is to acknowledge that there is a problem, talk about it in the most loving way you can and reach a conclusion with a workable solution that will benefit both of you.
Ideally, having a partner who understands the concept of team and the responsibility that goes with it contributes greatly to creating a greater attitude of team, which sheds light on solutions instead of keeping the focus on the problem.
True love allows for disagreements. Problems are not there to break you. They help make you a better partner; they help you grow. Acknowledging when you are wrong is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength.
If your relationship is off track, the cost of complacency is obviously substantial. Waiting for your partner to “come around,” may prove futile. Go first. You must take the first step while you are still afraid. Doing so helps to inoculate your relationship against a relapse.
Your relationship priorities are clear now, right? Go first. Say it.
“I was wrong and I am sorry.”
It probably doesn’t need to be said, however I will say it anyway. Saying “I’m sorry” over and over for the same mistake doesn’t work! Not making the same mistake again does. It demonstrates your sincerity and respect for your partner and makes a significant contribution to your relationship.
Do what’s right!
Those seven words will help make your perceptions clearer, your judgments sounder, your relationship and your life work better and you will be closer to your heart’s desire; a healthy love relationship and marriage.
Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right?
Copyright © 2007 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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