Sunday, March 22, 2009


It's finally the weekend... We all know how wonderful it feels after another week of work to anticipate the freedom of the weekend. We can sleep in, eat brunch, run errands unhurriedly, pursue our hobbies, visit with friends and enjoy an evening out. What happens when we run into a conflict with our partner? Can we cope with our feelings in a productive way? If we have tools at our disposal, are we using them?

When partners clash during recreational times it can be disappointing. They may start out their time with a relaxing plan of time spent together. If communication is inadequate, the situation may deteriorate from fun to frustration. When one or both partners fail to communicate their desires, the relationship may become unbalanced. One party may be steering the activities without knowing that the other partner is dissatisfied.

In partnerships it is the responsibility of both parties in the relationship to make their needs and wants known. If assumptions are being made by either party that the other knows what their desires are, then there is sure to be disappointment and unmet expectations. Each of us is responsible for communicating our desires. We must not assume that another knows what we think or need. We have an obligation to let our view be known. We may believe we are doing our partners a favor by going along with their plan. In the end, however, we will feel resentful that our needs are not being met. This may lead to hostility and discord.

Should that happen, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We must take responsibility for our lives and use our tools. We owe it to ourselves and our partners to voice our view, to announce our desires, and to ask to have our needs met. When we do this we give our partner the opportunity to validate our importance, as both an individual and as a party to the partnership.

The term partnership implies that we are equals, both important, both having needs to be met. We give our partners the pleasure of meeting our needs, as we have met theirs. We do not need to be wall flowers hiding ourselves from the light of day. We can stretch out our stems and enjoy the sunshine that comes with having our importance validated. We only lose when we don't ask. But when we ask, we give ourselves the opportunity to win. We must use our tools for self care in getting our needs met. As we do, we increase our self esteem. In this way we give ourselves the gift of validation.

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