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.
Example: What Happens When We Get Mad?
Let’s say we get angry at our mate when our feelings get hurt. If we notice this when we are not angry, that’s a very good start.
So, let’s just start there. We can begin to look at how we are wired. Someone says something and then we react. Well here is a question, where is the self that makes the decision to react? Are you making a decision? Or are you just reacting?
If we can think about the automatic nature of our emotional responses, we are on our way to changing our habit. There is usually a gap between our intellectual understanding and our everyday experience. If we want to start changing our way of being, we start reflecting on what we said and did.
Reflect on Your Feelings and Effects on Your Partner
When we reflect on what we said to someone we love and how it made them feel, we might get a clue of what our behavior does to them. This is a great place to begin. When we can actually see what we do, then we get to notice some other feelings inside of us.
We might see that we hurt others with our reactions. This is also a good sign. When we notice that our actions actually impact the person we love, we start to understand something else about us. We start to feel empathy for our mates.
We begin to understand that when we get mad, we crush them with our anger, and that hurts them. This is how we can evolve out of our habit. We start to see what our habit does to others.
Anger Disconnects Us
Here is another idea for you. When we are thinking about ourselves, see if you can tell that your mind is contracting. When we think about loving someone or doing something for someone, also witness that your mind expands.
When we are with our mate we are in connection and a lot of other feelings that matter to us. When we are angry, we separate and stay isolated inside of our own story of what happened and how they did that to us and how mad we are. Being this way disconnects us from our loved one, and no one in a relationship wants that.
Disagreements Are Natural, and Your Love Can Overcome Them
Every couple has disagreements. That’s because we live in two separate brains and experiences and perceive the world totally differently, even though we agree on the big things, we will still see things differently.
Can you accept that you are a valued member of the relationship, with all your quirks and ways? Your partner loves you. Love them and protect them, even if you have to save them from yourself.
Connect with Your Partner
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to more effectively communicate with your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel happier, more loved, and even more connected. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.