Maintaining a healthy relationship isn’t easy. But it’s worth pursuing. And everything worth pursuing requires strategy, framework, and good old fashioned effort.
Good as that sounds, the fact is sometimes you just hit bumps in the road. Sometimes the bumps jolt you, and sometimes the bumps cause you to go sideways and get you derailed.
It goes without saying that perpetual distress and conflict in a relationship is harmful to each romantic partner’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Do you find yourself having the same argument over and over? Do you lack clarity in your relationship? Does your partner cause you to doubt your worth?
Maybe you just need a little outside perspective, a couple of parameters that will help you assess where your relationship is at to determine where it needs to go. I’ve seen several clients struggle through these, and I’ve had the honor of helping them “flip the script” and deconstruct and reconstruct their thought patterns to recalibrate their actions and reinvent their relationship.
Trust me, it can be done. And while healing work requires great effort, recalibrating simply starts with identifying problematic thought patterns, such as the following:
When your relationship causes you to constantly doubt your self-worth.
In my line of work, I encounter a barrage of unnecessary negative self-talk and misconstrued perceptions. Low self-esteem, jealousy, mistrust, and loneliness in a relationship are all dangerous to the relationship’s health.
When your relationship causes you to question your ability to perceive reality clearly.
I encourage my clients to become radically disruptive in their thinking so that they can get “unstuck”. When couples discover who they are as individuals and as a unit and what their collective competencies and capabilities are, they’re unstoppable. Many couples have simply forgotten their identity together, and struggle to separate self-doubt from truth.
When your relationship causes you to second-guess healthy decisions. How many of us have ever taken the time to actually observe our patterns? What processes do you have in place that govern, mitigate, or at the very least minimize the impact of poor decision-making? Some couples simply lack the confidence to follow through on healthy boundaries and structure, so they make poor decisions that negatively affect both parties. Boundaries are detrimental to a couple’s success and sustainability. When boundaries go and couples struggle to get them back, it’s time for help.
When your relationship stunts your mental and emotional growth.
In my professional experience guiding couples, I oftentimes witness growth which has been stunted or hasn’t been able to reach its potential. This is evident from stagnant thought-patterns that keep each individual trapped in selfish and insecure thoughts. There is usually stunted emotional growth that stems from each individual lacking clear self-awareness and healthy self-love, and obsessive thinking about their partner on top of that. Stunted growth is a clear indicator that couples need help removing the old tangled roots and branches that aren’t life sustaining; the ones that sometimes appear to be healthy, but are actually draining life out of the healthy parts over time. Yes, we’re talking pruning.
Once you can identify problematic thoughts (which lead to problematic habits) you can pinpoint where you need to focus your energy to fix your problems. You can recode and rewire your brain to replace negative thoughts with empowering language, release unhealthy patterns, reduce negative emotions, and reinvent your relationship narrative.