Today I'd like to borrow a term from sports and apply it to relationships. The word is
Too often I've noticed the lack of momentum in relationships; especially marital relationships. After repeated misunderstandings, arguments, and fatal misperceptions, neither spouse is able to maintain an effort to improve the relationship. I noticed couples take turns. One tries to breathe life into the relationship and the other suffocates the effort by failing to respond or by responding with criticism.
In relationships, I've noticed far too frequently that people retreat from their efforts to improve the relationship when their spouses do not respond as they wished.
This is where sports and the concept of momentum is important. For many people, they perceive a winning streak as developing momentum. They equate winning with momentum. The fallacy with this thinking is that losing also results in negative momentum. We must break away from equating momentum with winning or losing.
Now I know that people in relationships are aware of this type of momentum. When things are going well, it is easier to respond with love, laughter and empathy. When things are going poorly, feelings of discouragement, hopelessness, anger and abandonment surface.
For athletes, momentum is the ability to maintain their game plan while playing with high-energy and focus. Momentum is the result of applying one's abilities and game plan repeatedly. Momentum is becoming more capable, competent and confident in one's ability and game plan. Having confidence in one's ability and one's game plan results in momentum. The more we apply or practice our abilities and game plan, the more we generate momentum. From this perspective, winning or losing is irrelevant.
In relationships, it is important to improve our relationship skills and have a game plan for improving our ability to relate. We need to be able to continue to communicate consistently with our skills and game plan even when our significant other is not responding favorably. The ability to maintain communication based upon your skills and game plan results in momentum.
We must evaluate our performance and game plan on the basis of our performance and not on the basis of someone else's reactions to us. If we are able to maintain momentum and our attempts to repair a relationship or connect with our partner, the probability of having a good relationship increases greatly.
I hope that you will set a goal to develop a game plan for relating over time with your significant other. Practice your game plan and apply your game plan under all conditions. Develop momentum by feeling good about yourself and your game plan. Do not give up, get discouraged or angry, when your partner does not respond as you might wish. Just continue with your game plan.
Remember, We Live within the Relationships Created by Our Choices!
Life and Mental Fitness Coach
In my next post, I will talk about game plans.