Actions vs. Intention

Actions vs. Intention

Are you in a relationship where you are trying to get your partner’s behaviour to match their intentions? Are you constantly making excuses for your partner’s behaviour? Do they often say they will do something, they have very good intentions but their behaviours don’t match and then you make excuses for them? Are you getting frustrated and angry and finding yourself complaining to your friends about how your partner doesn’t do what they say they are going to do and yet you continue to stay with them?

One of the things that gets addressed in therapy is understanding intentions versus outcome or behaviour. There are certain type of people that need to develop skills to learn how to deal with their feelings in the face of reality when it comes to experiencing bad feelings.

What happens is people who are often focused on their partner’s intentions will make excuses for their partner in order to avoid dealing with the reality of who they’re with or how that person feels about them. When I meet these people they are often talking that their partner has really good intentions, they mean really well but then the person never ever does what they say they are gonna do and the person is constantly trying to get their partner’s behaviour to match their intention.

They often feel angry and frustrated and have lots of fights. The intention could come around having difficult conversations, having sex, doing certain work around the house or with kids. It could have to do with going on vacations or holidays. The person will often have very good intentions but they never are able to push through those intentions. Their behaviours don’t match.

If you are somebody like this, who is often frustrated and angry with your partner, you like what your partner says but they don’t do what they say that they are gonna do, the issue isn’t necessarily the other person and may be something that you need to look at.

Oftentimes, people are making excuses for their partner’s behavior because they don’t want to deal with the reality of who they are living with because that produces really negative feelings. You may feel trapped or unhappy because you want to be in a relationship with this person but this person, because their intensions and their behavior don’t match, make it very very difficult.

And then that creates a dilemma for you because to stay in the relationship means your needs won’t be met, you will be constantly frustrated and disappointed but the alternative to end the relationship is extremly scary and unappealing. Therefore, you feel trapped, you feel scared and then you often will try to get your partner’s behavior to match their intention which results in a lot of unproductive conflict.

The real issue here that you may want to ask yourself is how good are you at being able to deal with the reality and your feelings with reality. This is often a person who is struggling with boundaries, who doesn’t have good boundaries and doesn’t know how to process this information. They may have an understanding or belief that they can make somebody better by trying to set them up or fix them.

This just often results in high conflict relationships, misunderstandings and just kind of overall unhappiness.

If this sounds something like you and it would be something you would want to explore, even though you may feel afraid, therapy helps people learn how to set boundaries, deal with negative feelings, learn how to see people better and get healthier happier relationships in which you find people who value you the way you should be valued.

All in the Family Counselling has been helping people for just under two decades. Tammy Fontana, lead therapist at All in the Family Counselling, has extensive experience working with complex cases, difficult cases. She is also a clinical sex therapist. She helps individuals and couples develop the skills they need to have happy healthy relationships.

If you would like to learn more contact us at +65 9030 7239 or email us at

All in the Family Counselling Center has been providing therapy to individuals and couples in Southeast Asia for just under two decades. We work in communication, intimacy, sexual issues, couples, marriage, divorce, infidelity, anxiety and depression and other issues. Contact us to learn more.

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