Procrastinate on building quality into your intimate relationship, and the chances are that you are either in a love rut or are heading in that direction.
Procrastination may be one of the greatest relationship killers. Mates irritate each other all the time when one procrastinates on what the other wants to do. Relationship procrastination is different. This is putting offtaking the needed steps to keep love, affection, companionship and your sex life lively.
All forms of procrastination have at least one diversionary distraction. The blame game is a procrastination distraction that comes like stealth. You substitute blaming and complaining for actions to improve your relationship. "Holding back" is a form of procrastinating. Indeed, both procrastination and blame are infectious and destructive. It's sometimes hard to know which is worse.
Let's start with how to stop the blame game. Then we'll look at seven building blocks forbuilding a solid relationship.
Stop the Procrastination-Blame Game
If you are in a love rut, is your mate to blame? It doesn't matter who deserves the credit for the blame. It's more important to start taking corrective actions.
Blame games put rot spots on your intimate relationship. This rot is at the core of many needless relationship problems that continue despite each person's promises to do better next time. If you want to improve your relationship now, it's wise to figure out what form of blame is at the heart of your love rut, work at stopping blaming, and take corrective actions to get out of your love rut.
Harmful blame comes in many disruptive forms, such as externalizing, internalizing, and blame extensions. Externalized blame is where you finger your mate for your troubles. If you're not perpetually blissful, your mate doesn't give you what you need. If you are not getting ahead on your job, your mate's not supportive enough. If you are not easily aroused, your mate isn't sexy enough. Come on, your mate is not responsible for making your life perfect.
You slip into the internalized blame trap when you think that whatever goes wrong is your fault. If only you were a better partner. If only you were more loving. If you believe that by controlling yourself you can influence what the other person does, you have found a partial truth. There is another part of the story. A quality relationship is reciprocal. One person may do more than the other at different times. However, building a relationship is not a one-way-street. It takes two to tangle, and also two to tango.
Add extensions to blame, and you have an intimacy killer. Here is the process: 1. You demand that your partner act the way that you expect. 2. You condemn your partner for not meeting your expectations. 3. You feel justified in punishing your partner for failing short on what you insist.
Punishment takes different forms. You withhold sex. You defame your mate with labels, such as "You're worthless." Can you think of a quicker way to douse the flames of intimacy than by extensions of blame thinking or by being the recipient of this blame?
Rejecting Blame Extensions
It's simplier to work things out with your mate when you also do work on yourself. You may not be able to control what your mate thinks or does, but you can influence a positive outcome when you are in command of yourself.
If you catch yourself thinking in extensions, and you want to stop straining yourself and your relationship, start with separating perfectionist expectations from realistic expectancies.
Perfectionist expectations are emotionally toned demands, such as "You must do what I expect." As your mate is likely to resist bowing down before this irrational claim, this is a prescription for stress and strain.
Expectancy thinking is radically different. Rather than think in terms of demands and absolutes, you look at the variances in your relationship. Taking this extra step can buy time to generate good sense of perspective.
You may prefer something or other from your mate, such as spending more quality time with you. This softer preferential way of thinking can influence the result you seek.
Without being straightjacked by inflexible insistances, you are on your way to develop confident composure, which is a belief that you can only be in charge of yourself, and you choose to do so. With that belief in mind, paradoxically, you are better able to command the controllable events that take place around you.
With confident composure you acknowledge your responsibility to self-improve and to contribute your gifts and resources to build a solid intimate relationship with your mate. You are more likely to experience reciprocity.
Seven Stepping Stones to a Solid Relationship
The following seven relationship building blocks are course-changing ways to act with confident composure as you build a sturdy, quality, relationship. Try them and see.
1. Practice active intimacy. You are likely to find that when you are sexually responsive to your mate, this is likely to be reciprocated.
2. Find ways to enjoy your partner. Treat your partner as someone you like to be near. Initiate mutually desirable joint activities. Your partner is likely to reciprocate.
3. Build bonds of trust. A deserved showing of confidence in your mate's integrity is likely to grow and to be returned with dividends.
4. Emphasize empathy. By getting in your partner's shoes, you may better understand his or her emotional perspective. You don't have to agree, but understanding often goes a long way in the direction of avoiding or resolving conflicts.
5. Work to maintain care, concern, and positive regard for your partner. This active act of positive acceptance reflects an attitude that helps promotes stability, openness, authenticity, and reciprocity.
6. Communicate quickly about what is important. It's easy to put off talking about something uncomfortable. However, if sooner or later you'll have that talk, why not pick a sooner time?
7. Engage Common Causes. The couples I've seen who have a special relationship have a common cause, such as advancing a political agenda, rehabilitating old houses, or raising healthy and happy children. Bickering and blame detract from the cause and so these distractions are fewer in number.
If you want to know how to curb blame at home, at work, and whenever blame surrounds you, see Knaus, Take Charge Now: Powerful Techniques for Breaking the Blame Habit @ http://www.amazon.com/Take-Charge-Now-Powerful-Techniques/dp/0471325635/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1309086099&sr=1-1
Dr. Bill Knaus