Think Before You Rock the Boat
Relationships. I can say with confidence that 80-90% of my calls are about relationships. Have you ever asked, “Is my ex coming back, will my partner change, is anyone right for me?” If so, you’re not alone.
Finding a relationship can be challenging, and, once we do, making it work. I read for couples all the time who are on the verge of breaking up. Usually, there isn’t one person at fault, but a series of misunderstandings that got out of hand. Sometimes relationships end, but there are many that might have survived if the couple had asked a few basic questions…
1. When you fight, do you or your partner go into “flashback” mode?
Are you bringing a painful past to the relationship? Example: your partner forgets to phone you that he’s late. You had an ex who did the same thing. Have you told your partner how you feel, or are you carrying old resentments? Sometimes we haven’t given our partners a chance to make their own mistakes.
2. Are you willing to apologize for your part in a fight?
If you still feel your partner is 60% wrong, don’t be afraid to apologize for your 40%. Someone once said, “Would you rather be right or be at peace?”
3. Is your insecurity putting a strain on the relationship?
I’ve spoken to clients so obsessed with cheating that they drive their partner into someone else’s arms. If you feel you can’t trust your partner address that with him, but don’t doubt just because “everyone” says partners cheat.
4. Have you lost yourself in the relationship?
Sometimes we work hard to attract someone when dating, but once in the relationship we let ourselves go. Or we’re independent at the beginning, and needy later on. Reclaim your life and starting taking better care of yourself.
5. Are you and your partner stuck in a rut?
If you find yourself eating the same meals on the same nights, seeing the same friends every week, it’s time to shake things up a bit. Plan to visit a new place or restaurant. Experiment during lovemaking. Sometimes the new person you are looking for is right in front of you.
6. Are you looking for a “soul mate” and disappointed that your partner may not be “the one?“
A soul mate is someone who helps you grow. Soul mates are wonderful, but the most important thing is for your partner to be your friend. Don’t miss out on a great relationship because you’re looking over your partner’s shoulder for your “soul mate.”
7. Have you tried the “10 minute” rule and “I” statements?
During a fight, sit down and allow each person to talk for 10 minutes without interruption. She can say what she wants without judgment, then switch. When you share your thoughts, stay with feelings. Instead of, “You’re a lazy bum,” try, “When I end up cleaning the house alone, I feel unsupported, and that’s painful.”
8. Are you aware that sometimes a break-up can save your relationship?
Occasionally there are issues within a relationship that require us to take a step away from our partner. If your partner takes you for granted, remember: a short break isn’t a bad thing—it may wake them up and keep you together in the long run.
9. Are you willing to ask for outside help?
If you find yourself having the same fight over and over again, it may be time to ask for help. A therapist, a religious advisor, or support group can make a difference. If your partner refuses to go, don’t let that stop you from getting the help you need. If one person changes, the relationship will change.
10. If the relationship must end, say goodbye with dignity, and move on.
Sometimes we “outgrow” a partner, which doesn’t mean we don’t love them anymore. If you reach this point, don’t be cruel: leave the partnership with the same loving intention as when you entered. Bless with love, forgive, and wish them happiness. The sooner you do this, the faster you will have new love in your life.