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Games Not to Play (continued)

Thoughtcatalog.com has some great takes on games not to play (for either gender)

20-Talking To Her Friends Instead Of Her Partner

After a hard day, it makes sense for you to want to relax and talk about everything that happened. If you’re always going out with the girls instead of talking about things with your partner, odds are your relationship isn’t as “real” as you might be assuming. Your partner is there for your emotional needs, so if you can’t turn to them at least every now and then, the relationship may be on thin ice. Consider why you choose to share with your friends instead and recognize that your partner is just as important as they are, and he probably really does want to hear about your day anyway.

Me: I have a friend who was trying to convince me (couples counselor) that romantic relationships are not meant to provide emotional support. So, what if I told you that most of your needs you are going to get met outside your relationship? There are a few you must get met inside the relationship, according to the partners we interviewed. If you are not getting your needs met by your partner, are you desperate? No, because most of your needs are met. At the end of the day, you are responsible for getting your needs met. Ask better, ask more forcefully and make sure the needs you are trying to get met are not needs you can get met better elsewhere.

19-Stop Taking Everything He Says So Seriously

Even when he’s joking, he’s got to hold back because you take everything out of his mouth straight to the heart. What he considers a joke, you consider a hurtful or embarrassing comment. While the chemistry obviously isn’t quite there with this sort of disconnect, it’s still possible to make things right. Learn to relax around him and recognize when he’s joking. Loosen up and roll with the punches, or better yet, try joking right back with him. Friendly banter is an important part of any relationship as it allows people to learn the limits of conversation with each other.

Me: So where’s the line between friendly banter and cutting, hurtful remarks? Talk about it with your partner and let your partner know your preferences. If he is super sarcastic, if that is not a deal breaker for you, then learn his language. If the sarcasm is really sideways anger and he is pretending it is humor, that is another story.

18-Alternatively, It’s Important To Recognize When He’s Trying To Be Real

So your partner is a joker, okay. You laugh at everything out of his mouth and life is good – so what happens when he’s trying to be serious and you’re laughing at him as if he didn’t just open his heart to you? There’s a time and a place for everything, and knowing how to communicate with your partner is a huge deal for any relationship. A good relationship includes two people who know how to speak to one another, but a great relationship is one built on a level of communication where each person actually hears what the other is saying and understands.

Me: Do you connect with your partner? Do you make sure you demonstrate value? Do you let your partner know that you heard what was said and are not being judgmental with it? That is incredibly valuable.

17-Try Not To Be Jealous

It’s so easy to be jealous of the pretty waitress making eyes at your partner or feel the gut-wrenching anger when your partner is talking up a group of admirers. It’s hard not to be so possessive over the person you love, but if you try to keep them all to yourself, you’ll be taking away their freedom to speak with whomever they like. Don’t pressure your partner to stop befriending people – learn to hold a healthy amount of jealousy without making it cloud your judgment or raise suspicions when there is no reason for it.

Me: John Gottman, PhD writes about the cascade toward betrayal and how jealousy can be helpful when you have done a threat assessment and found there to be a true threat. When there are lines being crossed, you say something about it before it gets physical. Make sure you have talked about emotional affairs and physical affairs.


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