Improve Your Relationship: Relationship Detox Part I
Do you make your love relationship a priority? Do you make the time to nurture it? To grow in it? To meet your lover’s needs? Maybe you feel too tired in the day to allow time for your partner. I get it...we can all get busy and our priorities shift. Have they shifted at the expense of your relationship? When your relationship starts to slip down the priority list, the relationship will suffer. You can shift your priorities often enough to keep things balanced, but this may be too difficult to keep track of. Plus, who wants to keep a running account of how much you give to your relationship.
Besides lack of time and priorities, certain behaviors can create distance and unhappiness in a relationship. Behaviors that are unhealthy and repeated over and over, can become toxic. A relationship in which there is physical and emotional abuse is a clear toxic relationship, but I am talking about specific behaviors that start to break down the relationship. These types of toxic behaviors accumulate and hurt your relationship.
Consider your relationship like a bank account for a moment. This is not about keeping score but keeping it abundant. Wouldn’t you love to have a bank account that was full, that when you needed to make a withdraw or if you were in a bind, it would not feel so hard when it happened? It would ease you, it would bring peace to your life. Now, think about your relationship in the same way. Imagine it abundant and full of positivity. When your relationship account is full and you have a disagreement or even a bigger conflict, it will not deplete your account. By seeing it this way, you can be mindful that when you do withdraw, it is important to make deposits to bring the account back up again.
In light of the new year and spring shortly upon us, I thought it would be interesting to challenge you to a relationship detox-ridding your relationship of any toxicity. Just like a body detox, that strengthens your immune system functioning and fights off infection, a relationship detox will help to strengthen your relationship and ward off negativity.
What about your relationship? Could your relationship use a detox?
Why not rid your relationship of any toxicity? I want to invite you to join me in this detoxification. You may feel your relationship is pretty good or even great. Hey, I am a pretty healthy person. I am mindful of what I eat. I am dairy and gluten free. I eat mostly organic and I exercise regularly. I still can benefit from a detox. Your relationship will, too!
You may not contribute to a lot of toxicity in your relationship but there may be one or two behaviors that are toxic and your partner may do some, too. You both play a part in this relationship but it only takes one person to change it.
In Part I of Relationship Detox, you will gain a better idea about which behaviors are toxic and begin examining your own relationship, taking note of what it is you can begin to change. In Part II, you will be given action steps to take to rid your relationship of toxic behaviors and instill behaviors that will strengthen your relationship.
Here are some examples of toxic behaviors. There are more but these are common pitfalls a couple can fall into.
1) Passive-aggressive communication. This happens when you are angry or bothered, but not direct about your emotions. You may walk around the issue leaving little hints but never really saying what is really on your mind. This type of anger is destructive. It is easy to get off of the same page, so hoping your partner will figure out what it is you need is a sure way to trap yourselves in the pitfall of relationship hell. Say what is on your mind! Demonstrate healthy boundaries and make yourself heard by being clear and direct.
2) Threatening to End the Relationship. When things are not going well, it may sound like, “I don’t think I can do this anymore,” “If we don’t figure this out, I don’t think we will make it,” “I can’t be with someone that does this or won’t do this.” This type of behavior makes a mountain out of a mole hill. It does not allow for resolution and it just creates ill feelings among one another. It is important that you both make the time to talk about the problems and work through it until you can find a solution. Make a date just for talking about issues--an Executive Meeting. This meeting is only for bringing issues to the table, are done outside of the home in a public place to lessen the possibility of a blow up. Table issues throughout the week until your meeting. This will give both of you a chance to bring up issues and it is expected.
3) Avoiding time together. It may feel easier to just avoid talking with your partner about issues or time together. The uneasiness accumulates and breaks down communication even further. A hobby, kids, work, television, social media, and the internet are all ways that one can avoid time with their partner. Making the time to talk, connect and just be present for is important to the health of your relationship.
4) Bringing up the past. Do you remind your partner of something that happened in the past? Are you unable to forgive and let go? When past hurts are brought up in the present, the other person may feel hopeless, frustrated, even guilty about what had happened. It blocks any growth in the relationship. If you want to rebuild, it is time to forgive yourself for what had happened, to find a way to learn as a couple from the past, and come up with ideas for rebuilding trust into the relationship that you both can commit to.
5) Keeping score. In a low-level relationship, one person is usually keeping score. Making sure each person gets fair treatment. If you hurt me, I hurt you. If you get to do this, then I get that. It is all about me and making sure I am not losing or getting hurt. It is hard to be vulnerable and build an intimate relationship when there is competition in the relationship. Competitiveness may be more apparent in a young relationship where two individual people get together and working to form a “We.” The task of letting go of just taking care of self and learning to care and love your partner unconditionally comes with maturity of the relationship, and person, when one is committed to creating a conscious relationship.
6) Lying and manipulating. By withholding the truth, being dishonest or finding ways to make the relationship work only in your favor, are all surefire ways to deplete your relationship account quickly. Building and maintaining trust is an important skill for a couple to learn for the health and longevity of the relationship.
This is just a short list of behaviors. What other behaviors can you think of that can be toxic to a relationship? Share them here, on my Facebook page and/or via E-Mail.
Which behaviors do you do or have? Start this week by reviewing your own part. When you learn about your own self and patterns that contribute to the toxicity build-up in your relationship, and begin to do something better, you and your relationship will grow.
Looking forward to detoxifying our relationships together!
If you are dealing with a relationship struggle and want support, reach out to me for a FREE 55 minute Discovery Call. Email me Now!