Changing Our Harmful Relationship Habits

Changing harmful habits can help your relationship thrive, leaving you less concerned than the woman pictured worrying about her relationship.

All of us have habits we bring into our relationships. Some of them are very good, but some of them can bring about pain and hardship to our partners. And if we have those bad habits, what can we do about them?

Plenty! But the first thing we have to do is understand what it is we are doing.

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How Our Habits Crush Our Connections

How our developmental habits get in the way of our romantic connection, depicted by a couple closed off from one another.

All of us in a relationship savor when we get along with our mates. We love the times when we are connected and when nothing pulls us away from that connection.

But when our feelings get hurt… well, that is usually another story altogether. We often just stew in our own discomfort and stay isolated from the one we love. This is very common with couples. I have even experienced it in my own relationship.

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Try Starting Over

Make a new beginning for yourself like nature making a new beginning via this plant sprouting in a concrete crack.

All of us are good people. We all intend to do well with people we love. Sometimes we are not our best and that is when difficulty can arise.

Here is a way to remember your goodness and it is a practice that might work for you. Let’s say you got into an argument with your partner. You might start to tell yourself something about your behavior, or their behavior and stay angry for a time.

This is suffering. Yes, an argument did happen. That’s what occurred. But the difficulty is inside your mind where you might be rehashing what happened, why it happened, and how you could do better or how your partner could do better.

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How We Learn to Trust Again After Infidelity

How do we learn to trust again after infidelity in a relationship?

Sometimes in a relationship there is a difficulty where one of the partners might be attracted to someone other than the mate. This can also lead to some flirtation, some exchange of emotion, and even even more.

When this happens, there is a big rift between partners. The one who was cheated on often feels betrayed and can’t believe their mate would do that to them. Their heart feels torn and they might even wonder, “How in the world can I heal from this?”

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Do You Turn Away When Angry? Why Not Create Something New?

Do you turn away when angry? Here's what you can do to make things better...

One of the hardest things to teach someone in a relationship is to stop getting angry at their mate. I know because this is how I grew up and this is the response I used every time I got my feelings hurt.

I know there are many, many people who suffer from this and it is a big problem for those of us who get mad. But there are ways of understanding what we do and helping ourselves do something different.

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Try Closing the Emotional Gap

Closing the emotional gap helps you come together instead of fighting.

Often when couples fight there is a whole swirl of emotions from each partner. And if it is a big argument then there might be a lot of distance between the two as each person soothes their hurt feelings.

It sometimes takes days or weeks for some couples to come back together again, and when they do it’s likely they don’t talk about what happened that tore them apart in the first place.

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When We Wait for Something Better

Waiting for better can leave us in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction in our relationship, like the woman pictured feeling trapped and pensive.

Many of us in our lives end up in situations that we hadn’t expected. We find ourselves just planted in a life and we might even wonder, “How did I get here?”

This is not uncommon, especially in relationships. We enter the relationship with the highest of expectations. And it might sound like, “I love this person. They love me. We are so happy. I have never felt like this before.”

This is a wonderful feeling. The problem comes when it changes and then we wonder what we were thinking. “Was it really so great I didn’t notice things about my mate that I should have seen? Did I miss some of these important cues?”

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We Relate to Our Partner With Love and Fear

We Relate to Our Partner With Love and Fear

All of us have the capacity to love our partners. And there are times when we do and feel so close to them. There are also times when we can’t feel any further away because we got our feelings hurt.

Many of us in relationships vacillate between loving our mate and wishing they were different because the part that we don’t like keeps grating on us.

This is pretty common. Many of us wish we could design our partner to be just what we want so we can be completely comfortable. Some of us don’t even want to hear what they have to say because our needs are not getting met.

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When Couples Can’t Listen to Each Other

Sometimes when I work with couples, I see something that is hard to see. Two people who love each other who can’t hear each other. This often happens when there are two strong willed people in the relationship.

I know I am very strong willed. When I met my husband-to-be, I had been working on myself in my own personal counseling and I was pretty sure I was ready to meet my soulmate. And I did.

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When Couples Argue: Breaking the Cycle of Anger

Sometimes when we get our feelings hurt, we want to lash out at the one who caused us to feel bad. This is pretty common for some of us. I know it was for me.

I grew up in a household where my mother was overwhelmed and released her frustration by yelling at her children. I know she loved us, but as a child I learned that this is what you do when you don’t like something: you yell.

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