With a divorce rate in this country that approaches
50%, and a fairly sizable percentage of marriages that
aren’t particularly blissful, it’s difficult to avoid
searching for the answer to the battle of the sexes.
Would you like to stop searching?
We’ve moved through the old paradigm of getting
your needs met in relationships, and it has proven
itself to be a miserable failure.
Attempting to get your needs met in your relationship
causes some troublesome things to happen. First, it
causes you to focus mainly on your needs and not
on the desires of your partner. Secondly, it sets you
up for disaster, because it has you believing you
deserve something that may well not be delivered.
All across this great country of ours, battles are
raging between men and women: she needs to talk and
connect, and he needs his space and independence.
Who wins here?
The answer, of course, is that both lose because of a
flawed view of what a successful relationship is all
about. What also happens is that both people start to
blame the other for not meeting their needs.
For those who are really serious about success in
their relationships, it’s important to understand how
blaming your partner is an enormous problem itself. It
creates a bigger problem, and has you convinced that
you’re not part of the problem.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Blaming has never worked and never will. It may have
you feeling justified in your position, but it will
always hurt your relationship.
It’s particularly important to develop the realization
that your feelings can deceive you in your
relationship with your partner. This can be difficult
for people raised during the “honor your feelings” era
of relationships. Your feelings tell you things like,
“I can’t believe she could do something like that to
me,” or, “How could she treat me so badly?” These
feelings are the result of your own low self-esteem
and your own personal history of victimization.
While it’s true that your partner may treat you in a
way you don’t like sometimes, it’s not true that you
need to react to it with strong negative feelings.
These strong negative feelings are a reflection of
your own esteem issues.
These feelings also have a way of keeping your partner
engaged in the struggle with you so that you can
continue to blame each other. When you’re both engaged
in the struggle, you’ll believe that she needs to be
fixed. She’ll think the same of you. Nobody wins and
This isn’t very smart or effective.
What would happen for people in their important
relationships if they gave up defending themselves and
believing their needs needed to be met? What would
happen if they worked at being kind and caring with
I’ll tell you what would happen. They’d have great
relationships! After all, the only thing that you can
do to improve a relationship is to improve you.
So stop looking over at your partner and seeing all of
the flaws. Stop blaming them. They have issues just
like we all do. But if you see that person as a
collection of flaws, you’ll have no chance at a
And it’s successful relationships in life that make us