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In each relationship, the partners play their own game. Even a few. Most serve to break the routine of a married life. Some, however, deeply hurt, provoke passive aggression, lead to betrayal or parting. When to stop them?

Our whole life is based on the game. Every day we put on various masks: at home, at work, among friends. We like to play with our relatives, because in these relationships we allow ourselves more than with strangers. Not only that, we usually choose people who play the same game as partners.

Marriage games: what do people in relationships play?

The rule of every game is inauthenticity. Some of us have a tendency to play in different situations because, for example, we don't want to reveal ourselves to our partner, reveal our weaknesses, and flee from intimacy. Usually, the game has a goal - we want to influence our partner and get what we cannot say directly. This may apply to any of the spheres of the relationship: emotional, material, sexual, division of duties, position in a relationship. We play to, for example, gain the interest of the other party, arouse their sympathy or respect. It happens that by playing, we want to avoid responsibility for what is happening in the relationship or for our own life choices. We can use the game as a tool to express anger, contempt, criticism. Sometimes the game is also used to break the monotony in the relationship, introducing tension as a substitute for feelings.

Why do we like to play? We do not want to open up to our partner, talk honestly about our needs, take responsibility for the relationship. Sometimes the game serves to "justify" our negative feelings (contempt, anger). It can also be a strategy for acquiring something that we do not want to directly ask our partner for. The game is also a way to focus on yourself, but also to fill the void.

Marriage games: conscious or not

Depending on what we want to achieve, we can play the game consciously, e.g. by marrying out of reason, a woman wants to ensure well-being for herself and her family. However, we are often driven by unconscious fears and needs that may have roots in previous family relationships. For example, if a woman had a constantly dissatisfied mother, tried to please her and sought her praise, then she entered into a relationship as a person with a deficit of recognition, so she plays a similar game with her partner - she wants to please him, so that he complements thisdeficit. However, this probably will not happen, because she unknowingly chooses as her partner the incarnation of her dissatisfied mother.

Marriage games are inheritance from parents

According to Eric Berne, author of "What People Play", we learn communication strategies from the family home. By observing parents' relationships, we tend to copy their behavior. We pass these patterns on to our children, although the intensity of games may change from generation to generation. When two family models, especially the extreme ones, meet in a relationship, we use different tools and games to make our relationship similar to that of our parents. Even if our partner is diametrically different from the ideal, we still try to "match" him. A regular battle takes place on this field. We often do not take into account the fact that when we enter into a relationship with another person who has his own needs, aspirations, visions of the world, we have to create a common new pattern, and not pull the rope in each other's direction, because the rope will break sooner or later.

Worth knowing

Playing, we take the role of Victim, Rescuer or Stalker (according to Stephen Karpman). Depending on the situation, we consciously or unconsciously choose one of the roles. However, they may change during the game. For example, it may turn out that the Rescuer becomes the Victim, and the Victim - the Persecutor.

  • Victim - easily influenced. She complains about her fate, feels used and disregarded. He derives many benefits from the attitude of a helpless person, such as the attention and compassion of others.
  • Lifeguard - helps others, relieves them of their duties. However, this support is not disinterested - he wants to confirm that it is needed. He counts on gratitude, but frustration sets in if she doesn't come.
  • Stalker - thinks he is better than the others. It takes advantage of opportunities and people. He forces them to reckon with him by force or manipulation. He criticizes, humiliates, ridicules, hurts.

Marriage games: winners and losers

When all participants in the game agree to it, they don't feel manipulated or exploited - they are all winners. Each side gets what it expects - then the game is like a contract. Often, however, games are based on manipulation, emotional blackmail, humiliation, then they hurt the guts and lead to loosening of the relationship. The very form of communication between partners can prove a failure. If the partners cannot talk to each other, they enter into verbal scuffles, they both fail because neither of them is solving their problems. If we play a really tough game - not necessarily in violent relationships - then there must be two losers.

Takiman example can be quiet days, which are a form of escape, closing. If the partners are unable to resolve the conflict openly, the situation at home becomes tense, anger and suffering arise. Such passive aggression can lead to indifference towards oneself, and from there it is only a step to parting. Women often seem to be victorious in games in the sexual sphere that are their domain. They feel they win when they make conditions, but in the long run they are rather losers, as a manipulated and punished partner may "secure" sex elsewhere, or withdraw from the relationship because he is not happy in it.

In games where one of the parties (or both) uses a child, three people can be the loser. The child becomes a tool in the game, but also takes the blows himself.

Marriage games: when to quit?

It's worth leaving games, especially those that cause us problems and make us both losers - be it in the short term or in the long term. The key to this is realizing that we are playing the game at all, what it is and what it is for. For example, if a woman uses emotional blackmail when a man goes out with friends, then an honest conversation, revealing his feelings and needs, is often enough to get out of the game. However, if a woman has a lot of emotional baggage - e.g. her parents divorced and therefore has a disturbed sense of security, or e.g. her ex-partner cheated on her - then if her current man leaves the house, he reacts with panic.

In such a situation, the help of a psychologist may be necessary. When one game ends, another may start. Such games can be played throughout life. What's more, parting with a partner does not mean that we will not play games in the next relationship. On the contrary - it is almost a guarantee that we will duplicate the pattern. Lack of communication is the first essential game that leads to confusion and over-interpretation. Relationships cannot be mended without honest conversations. Therefore, when we recognize that a partner is trying to involve us in a game, provoking us in a familiar way, we should not play. Better to ask directly what he means. Honesty rules out the game.

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The most popular marriage games

What do we play the most? The repertoire of marriage games is rich. Women are more experienced players, but men can also rise to the heights.

"IF NOT YOU …"- is a favorite game of people who are afraid to take responsibility for their lives. It often affects couples where the man earns money and the wife looks after the house and stays inmy husband's shadow. So he reminds his partner that it is because of him that he is not making a career. He feels guilty and tries to compensate her for this situation. She has satisfaction.

"YOU ARE HAPPY"- is a game played by men who feel discomfort with resourcefulness and women's ambitions. By criticizing or demeaning his wife, a husband masks low self-esteem and tries to reduce his tension. Out of jealousy, it "hits" her self-esteem.

"HAPPY"- in this game, the wife takes on all the household chores and even asks for more. She tries to please the whole family. In addition, she tolerates the mood of her husband, who from time to time criticizes her work. However, due to exhaustion, at some point the woman fails, stops taking care of herself, begins to complain about her he alth.

"I WILL CHANGE YOU"- the game is that one person wants to change the other. A woman, saying that she is "raising her husband", automatically enters the role of an adult, mothers him. Who will win? It would rather be like in a joke: a woman thinks that a man will change after marriage, and he does not; the man thinks that the woman will not change and she does.

"WARM AND COLD"- the tools in this game are sex and eroticism. First, the woman refuses to have sex with the man. When he tries to get close to her, she deliberately avoids affection, saying that he only cares about one thing. When a man gives up, the woman starts provoking him, e.g. with a sexy outfit in which she parades around the house. When he tries again, she rejects him again. After all, the man can't stand it. The game usually ends with betrayal.

"GUESS-GUESS"- in this game, one side would like the other to read their thoughts and desires. When this is not the case, complaints arise, for example, the wife is unhappy that she does not get flowers, hears no compliments, etc. When the husband immediately corrects a mistake, she receives the comment: “Now that doesn't count! It was supposed to be spontaneous! " However, spontaneous attempts to please the partner do not guarantee improvement either. Game Final? If a husband is unable to meet his wife's needs, he does not deserve a reward such as tenderness.

"RATING AUDIENCE"- this game requires an audience. He and she tell family or friends about different situations that have happened in their relationship and expect them to be right.

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