We all have a tendency to fall into unhealthy routines and patterns, and our relationships with others, are no exception.
To help remain comitted to strong and healthy relationships here are a few suggestions I offer when working with couples and their families:
- Be willing to look at your own part in the problem. All too often we are focused on the other person and how they have played a part in our relationship problems. When was the last time you took an honest look at your own contribution to the problem? Perhaps an honest reflection upon yourself would help you recognize your own part in contributing to a relationship problem. We need not be so concerned on what needs to be changed in the other person, but rather on what needs to be changed in ourselves. Once you see how you may be impacting relationship problems you will be in a much better position to do something about it.
- Focus on the positives. Negative thinking can impact our relationships. Remember, in order to have a healthy relationship with others we need to have a healthy relationship with ourselves. How do you communicate with yourself? How have you been treating yourself lately? Remember, self talk and how you treat yourself can have a direct impact on how you talk with and treat a loved one.
- Communicate honestly and openly. Consider what you are needing in your relationship and be willing to ask for what you need. A common pitfall for couples is the old "mind-reading" trap. Remember, as much as we think we know what each other needs, we are not mind readers and we cannot fill the needs of our partners if we don't know what is needed.
- Consider what your are willing to do for your relationship. Notice the word "willing". Another trap we may fall into is the old "resentment" trap, which could impede our willingness to do something for our loved one or meet their needs. Resentments can grow toxic. What happens if you don't take your garbage out? It's going to overflow and get rather smelly right? So be sure to keep taking out your "trash", letting go of that which has been upsetting you.
- Remember relationships take work. But work doesn't have to feel like we're trudging through the mud with an army back pack. Keep things light. Have fun. Nurture yourselves and one another. When was the last time you had a hearty laugh with your loved one? When was the last time you cooked a meal together, or worked on a household project and got playful as you did? We don't have to be
Remember too, relationships change and grow just as we do as individuals. Be willing to allow the change and growth in your relationship. Challenges can be a part of some natural change. But relationships shouldn't be filled with only trials and tribulations. To help get your relationship back on a healthy track consider these suggestions and consult with me if you feel your relationship might need more professional attention.
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