Making Your Relationship Better All By Yourself

Making Your Relationship Better All By Yourself -03/22/06 – 12:51:25 PM

Many times a client will say they don’t believe their relationship can get better because their partner refuses to change. Whay they don’t realize is that they have the power to change the relationship all by themselves. The key is to alter what you are doing.

Over the years we develop ways of dealing with the people in our lives. We usually use a few behaviors that have been effective at getting us what we want. Unfortunately, sometimes those behaviors quit working but we are so in the habit of using them that we don’t know what else to do. So we end up going round and round over the same ground, making no progress and getting more and more frustrated. If we are part of a couple we have a built in scapegoat to lay the failure of the relationship on. We keep trying to get our partner to see our point of view and they do the same. Neither is really listening to the other. The conversations just get louder and more frustrating until divorce seems the only answer.

What I know is that most relationships can be saved. The good news is it only takes one person to do it. What it takes is somebody to look at his/her behavior, figure out what he/she is doing, and then do something else. This will only work if you understand what triggers your emotional upset and frustration and learn to make different choices.

This isn’t as hard as it sounds. All it takes is paying close attention to your reactions during one of those non-productive conversations. What is the first thing you notice about your body when you start to get upset: Do you clench your jaw or fists? Does your stomach tighten up or your face get flushed? Once you identify the physical symptoms then pay attention to the feeling you have and the way you usually express it. This will allow you to take control of how you express those feelings by doing something different. Our partner may do something that upsets us but what we do once we are upset is our choice. If we escalate the situation then we are doomed to never getting the real problem addressed. If we react, or behave, in a new way, our partner will not be able to continue the old pattern. You will have changed the situation all by yourself.

Being in charge of your relationship is a choice. Most of us would not walk away from our children without exhausting every possibility. Unfortunately, divorce allows us to do just that with our partners. We also usually make that decision when we are upset and do not have a clear understanding of all the consequences. You have the power to make yourself happy if you choose to use it.

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