Taking Action In Your Relationship – No More Shame, Blame or Criticism

When people have been in a committed relationship for a number of years, they usually each have a fairly accurate map of how the other needs to grow and change. It’s one of the benefits of being in a longer term relationship; that our partner has this unique perspective on our personal landscape and they do not hesitate to tell us, whether we want to hear it or not. They are often better able to see us than we are able to see ourselves.

We should be eternally grateful to them for their pointed observations. Right?


variety of relationship emotions

The problem is that more often than not, our maps contain “BASEBALL BATS” of shame, blame and criticism, which we use to beat each other up.

“Read my map!”
“No! You read my map!”


We need to take the bats out of our maps and leave them out for good. No more shame, blame or criticism. Then our partners may be able to read our maps, which often are useful and accurate representations of how they need to grow. And who knows? If they do the same, we just may be willing to look at their maps of ourselves as well!

Have you found yourself using the “BASEBALL BATS” of shame, blame and criticism in your relationship? What have you done to stop this action?

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

One response - click here to join the conversation to “Taking Action In Your Relationship – No More Shame, Blame or Criticism”

  1. Yes, I agree with you. In long term relationships each partner has many insights into the nature of each other’s issues. The problem comes in when the one giving the insights is not taking responsibility for their own emotional triggers in the area that they are concerned with. Likely if something is bothering you about your significant other, there is an interlocking issue in yourself that is contributing to the dynamics between you. Therefore, when giving your partner the benefit of your insight, it is best to use “I” statements, and take responsibility for your own experience and feelings, rather than assuming the other person is the cause of whatever doesn’t feel good to you.

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