In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great developed a list of seven deadly sins. Here now, I will attempt to give a modern slant on these in regard to your relationship with your partner. The first of the deadly sins is pride, which raises its ugly head when you believe your opinions, perspectives or needs are more important than those of your partner. You fall into this trap, by believing your way of seeing things is the only way ...
In the late 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great developed a list of seven deadly sins. Here now, I will attempt to give a modern slant on these in regard to your relationship with your partner.
The first of the deadly sins is pride, which raises its ugly head when you believe your opinions, perspectives or needs are more important than those of your partner. You fall into this trap, by believing your way of seeing things is the only way. You might insist on being heard first or resisting any attempt to demonstrate understanding for your partner's perspective. Refusing to negotiate fair understandings for the future where both you and your partner's perspectives and needs are taken into account is another sure-fire way to practise pride.
Envy is present in relationships when you strongly desire your partner's abilities or situation but do nothing constructive to resolve the dilemma. Perhaps you envy the freedom they have to go to work instead of staying at home with the children. Instead of negotiating something that is more balanced for both, you stew on the unfairness of your situation, and grow increasingly resentful. Stew long enough and these feelings are sure to generate some hostile behaviour.
Gluttony reigns when you demand more than what you actually need. Here, your relationship is seriously out of balance. Your partner feels they are doing a lot of giving in the relationship, but it is not being reciprocated. Gluttony is often expressed through controlling-type behaviours where you attempt to get your partner to comply with what you are wanting or needing, often at the expense of your partner's needs.
Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body. Here you either impose yourself on your partner, neglecting their emotional needs, or you focus on other ways to meet your sexual needs that are disrespectful of the relationship. Throwing yourself into adult materials, internet pornography or cultivating an inappropriate relationship with another person, leads to danger.
The fifth deadly sin for relationships is anger - where you let your frustrations out in disrespectful or aggressive ways. There are two main ways you can practise unhelpful anger. At one extreme you can become very aggressive with your words or actions. At the other extreme, you can withdraw and internalise your frustration. Although not overt, your partner will sense well-enough that you are angry with them. With a bit of practise, you can fluctuate between both of these extremes. Though these behaviours are common in many relationships, it does not have to be this way. The middle ground is to work things out. But to do something different requires you to think before you speak and to act before you lose self-control.
Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, but where other aspects of living are ignored. This is where your life is seriously out-of-balance. Work is the number one priority and the needs of your family or relationship are right down the list. You know you are practising greed when your partner is feeling neglected. Often, you both have a sense that you are not really happy with how you are living. Despite this realisation, often the force of habit keeps you going. But if nothing changes, the consequences are not pretty.
Sloth is the avoidance of the work required to maintain a relationship. Here, you take your relationship for granted. Or you know what is needed to help the relationship, but you just can't be bothered. The old married couples who say relationships are hard work are right. Relationships take constant nurturing and maintenance to keep running relatively smoothly.
Ken Warren, known as ‘The Doctor of Difficult People’, is Australia’s leading speaker on the topic. He can show you how to turn difficult customers and co-workers into pussycats, make great teams even better, and achieve better outcomes with challenging clients. Check out his free resources at www.positivepeoplesolutions.com.au