Most adults seek out connection with others to form intimate relationships that meet their needs and enrich their lives. Healthy relationships are built on love, respect, honesty, trust, support, communication and hopefully some playfulness. Generally our intimate relationships feel fulfilling and help us to manage some of the more challenging issues that we are likely to face during our life time.
Unfortunately if, during your childhood you experienced poor modelling of relationships or there was some dysfunction in the family this can lead you to make poor relationship choices in adulthood. A dysfunctional relationship is generally characterised by one partner doing a lot of the relationship ‘work’.
Some common issues in unhealthy relationships:
- One partner needs lots of attention
- Feeling your partners emotions as if they were your own
- Not taking care of your own needs
- Jealousy and wanting to spend all of your time with your partner
- A feeling of abandonment when you are not with your partner
- Using a great deal of energy to solve the problems of your partner
- A low level of self-acceptance
- Pleasing others and not taking care of yourself
- Poor or no boundaries
- A sense of dependency
- Difficulties with communication
It is important to take an honest look at your behaviour and see what may be causing problems within your relationship and you may need to go back and identify issues from your childhood and address them.
Making changes to the way you ‘do’ your relationship can help to make it more healthy, the most important first step is taking care of yourself. Self-care may feel like a completely alien idea to you but learning to take care of your needs for comfort, support, healthy foods and exercise as well as setting boundaries with others will enable you to give in healthier ways as you move forward.
Learning to say no to your partner or family and friends is also very important but can feel uncomfortable – remember that you do not need to do for others what they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. If you are busy saying yes to others when you need to say no then you can be left feeling resentment and this can lead to relationship conflict.
If you feel you would like to address unhealthy habits within your intimate relationship here are few options available to you:
- You can find support either in person through a support group or online
- Ask your doctor to recommend a professional
- Ask at your local church or community centre for support groups
- There are also a number of online 24/7 support groups that deal with codependency
For entrenched issues it can be very helpful to work with an experienced counsellor. When selecting a counsellor consider the following:
- What are their qualifications?
- How long have they been working in the field?
- Can you get a personal recommendation from family or friends who have worked with the counsellor?
- Do you feel comfortable and safe discussing your issues with them?
If you’d like a copy of my free e-booklet “Is Your Approach to Relationships Healthy? – 7 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself” click the button below.
- Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
- The New Codependency by Melody Beattie (http://melodybeattie.com/melody-beatties-bookstore/)
It is possible to turn things around if both people are committed to doing the work required to rebuild the relationship. Remember that it can take quite some time to change lifelong patterns but if you are willing to work for the change it can happen.
You can make an appointment with me online right now using the scheduler at the bottom right of this page or call or email me.
Alternatively, you can do my six-week online relationship course …
I am also now offering short online courses (duration 30 to 60 minutes). Now you can work with me from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. Learn more … https://debbicarberry.com.au/online-services/
Until next time …