Society teaches us that if someone has done us a wrong we have a right to punish them. We are taught from a very young age that wrongs get punished, parents punish, schools punish, laws are there to punish.
So punishing our partner when they upset us is OK right!? You might want to rethink this one…
The challenge this punishment model provides is this: In our personal relationships it actually creates a destructive effect rather than a positive corrective one. This usually creates the reverse of what the person punishing actually wants.
You see if you punish your partner, their instinctive response will be to run away from you. Even if they don’t physically, there is a good chance they will emotionally.
If a person is consistently punished they will detach from the relationship and so getting through to them will become harder.
So if you want your partner to stop doing whats hurting you the key is to understand them better and learn to communicate with each other.
It is very likely that your partner is not trying to hurt you on purpose, discover what their intention is behind their actions. This means putting yourself in their shoes and learning what it’s like to be them.
Once you start to see what the world is like through their eyes what you could start to discover is you both actually want the same thing you are just going about it differently.
The best way to approach this is for both of you to communicate what you are feeling and experiencing and to understand the goals you are trying to move towards.
The goal could be as simple as “…I just wanted us to have a great weekend…” the fact you didn’t have a good weekend didn’t mean you didn’t share that same goal.
Instead of going to blame, why not look at the goal you wanted to achieve and work on the same side to achieve it.
Sharing the goal and then understanding how you could have been a team working towards those goals will help you both to learn how you think differently and how you can use those differences as a strength in your relationship.
For example one of you could be a creative risk taker and the other a more security focused analysts.
This is potentially a great team.
Find the strength in your differences, put yourselves in each others shoes, master your communications skills together.
You will be happier, more relaxed together, and from this place you can plan an exciting adventure through life.
What kind of relationship would you rather have?