Temptations come in all sizes and shapes (No, we’re not just talking about cheating here)…
And that if acted upon, would feel so good (at least in the moment) but would be so damaging for yourself, your relationships or your marriage.
The fact is that we all have ways of acting that can ruin our relationships and the problem is that even though we may NOT want to fall into those habits, we’re tempted to do it anyway.
The crazy thing is that we do it over and over again and then wonder why our relationship or marriage is in the shape it is in….
Here are a few of those relationship temptations…
1.Playing the “Gotcha” game
The “Gotcha” game is when the two of you try to prove each other wrong and yourselves right. It’s a struggle for control.
This game results in both of you withdrawing from each other–either after escalating, angry words or superior, sarcastic, cutting remarks. You end up punishing each other in stony silence that may last for hours, days or weeks.
It’s really tempting to keep playing the “Gotcha” game because it just feels so good to be right and to make someone else wrong in the moment, even if it’s someone you love.
But it’s one of the most destructive “games” you can unconsciously or even consciously play to get your needs met.
2. Getting caught in the negative story
We all love drama and the negative story can be much more exciting to live in rather than a positive one–even if it kills our relationships.
That’s not to say that what happened to you should be minimized or ignored and buried.
It did happen.
But when you relive the negative story over and over, you stay in that story and not in the possibility of the present moment.
When you stay in your story, you lose the intimacy and connection that can happen when you’re open to something new happening in the moment and not stuck in the past.
3. Taking each other for granted
It can be very tempting to take your partner for granted in part, because our culture says it’s normal in a long-term relationship to do so.
It can be very tempting to excuse habitual, discourteous behavior by justifying it like a woman said to us after we overheard her speaking rudely on the phone–
“I can treat him like that–He’s my husband.”
When you don’t say “thank you” or just assume without making a request, you miss a beautiful opportunity for intimacy and connection.
It can be very tempting to not treat another with respect if you don’t feel that you’re getting any back.
But all that does is make the situation worse between you and masks the real issue that’s being buried.
Okay, so why are you tempted to act in certain ways even though you know your actions aren’t good for your relationship?
We do it out of habit.
We do it because this behavior feels familiar and because it feels comfortable in a weird sort of way.
We do it because doing something else may seem scary and uncertain even though our normal behavior produces the same negative result again and again.
Of course there are many other ways relationship temptations show themselves–like flirting or interacting inappropriately with someone who is not your partner.
Whatever these temptations are in your life, it’s helpful to stand back and get conscious of what’s actually happening and why.
So what can you do to not fall into these relationship temptations that can cause so much havoc in your life?
Identify the behaviors that you are tempted to do that you know do not take you in the direction you want to go.
It might be specific situations that throw you into temptation.
It might be specific actions of other people that trigger you.
Whatever they are, become aware of what takes you down that path.
Keep in mind what you want above all else and question your urge to act in old, unhealthy ways.
If you want a relationship that is filled with love, remember that that is what you want. Interrupt your pattern and ask yourself if what you’re about to do will take you closer to or further from what you want.
You’ll also want to…
Learn how to communicate to ask for what you want instead of complaining about what you want but don’t get.
If you repeatedly focus on what’s wrong, how bad you’ve had it or have it–or if you make yourself wrong at every step of the way…
The results in your life won’t change.
It starts with empowering yourself into right action instead of your habitual action.
Don’t be tempted to keep doing what hasn’t worked in the past.
Take the courage to try some different ways to move toward what you want.
With all this being said, you may be wondering is there a time when so much has happened in your relationship or marriage that it’s time to call it “quits.”
The answer is yes and that’s what we help you discover when you go through our program, “Should You Stay or Should You Go?” that is available here…