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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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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When One Partner Stays Mad

Sometimes our partner stays mad at us, leaving us disconnected and upset like the couple pictured.

It is not uncommon for two people in a relationship to argue or disagree with each other. In fact it should be expected. We do not live in our partner’s head and we can’t always know when we step on a sensitive area.

These sensitive areas can release a big reaction and that can create a problem between two people who care about each other.

As a counselor I try and help people understand what happens during these instances. First we look at what happened but I always try and identify what the feelings were that prompted the reaction.

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When We Build Walls in Our Relationships

We all start out loving our mates. This is just how all relationships begin. Everything is perfect for a time and then things start to get more difficult.

This happens to all relationships. When the difficulty begins, that’s a signal that each person has to do some adjusting to make the relationship work. Only most of us have been single before we got into our relationship and we know how to be single a lot better than we know how to be a couple.

So, when we start to get our feelings hurt, some of us build a safety wall around ourselves so we don’t get hurt anymore…

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It’s Not How You Fight; It’s How You Come Back to Each Other

It's not how you fight, it's how you come back.

All couples on the planet sometimes misunderstand each other. This is normal. After all we are in our heads and our partners are in theirs. They think their thoughts and we think ours. And sometimes we don’t read each other right and then you have a misunderstanding.

This is common among couples. Ask any couple you know and they will tell you that sometimes there are challenges understanding each other. In fact, try looking into your own life and see if you can tell me that’s not the case. I can look into my relationship and know in my bones that sometimes we just don’t read the other right or they don’t read us right.

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How Do We Handle The Hard Stuff?

How do you handle the hard stuff?

Sometimes in life we are faced with difficult situations. This is the life all of us will encounter at some point. Many of us know hard experiences already.

Maybe a family member has died. Maybe you have had some cut offs in your life that you regret. These are big experiences that many of us will face.

But what do we do when we get seriously mad at our mate? Do you hold a grudge? Do you blame them and make them pay? Do you internalize your pain and think it is your fault?

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When We Hurt Our Mate

We may feel upset when we hurt our mate.

All of us in relationships will at one time or another hurt the ones we love. We probably don’t mean to do this, but it will happen. It happens because we are not in their heads, we are in our own, and we cannot ever really know how another person will take us until there is a reaction.

So, let’s say you get into a disagreement with the one you love and you say some things that are an exaggeration of what you really feel, but you are maybe so offended or mad that you just let the words and hurts fly.

This also happens in relationships. It also separates people into their own camps, away from each other, disconnected and both feeling terrible about what just happened.

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What Gets in the Way of Your Love?

All of us start out in great love with our partner. It’s so wonderful to fall in love that we might even forget every other aspect of our lives. But as the relationship grows sometimes feelings get hurt and that usually prevents us from being loving to our mates.

All humans get their feelings hurt. Especially if we are in a relationship with another person. Even though they love us dearly there is no guarantee that they will never hurt us emotionally. In fact, because they don’t live in our bodies and minds and how we organized and receive life, they may step on our feelings regularly.

I believe these issues are meant to help us grow and figure out what is bugging us so we can get back to loving our mates again. So, if you have a moment, see if you can identify what gets in the way of your love.

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