Two HUGE Relationship Killers: And How to Stop Your Break-UpOct 12, 2020
by Laura Fine
Two HUGE Relationship Killers: And How to Stop Your Break-Up
Do you just want OUT, but can’t seem to leave?
Do you feel your partner brings out yourself at worst and you’re filled with grief because that’s not who you know yourself to be?
Are you fed up and filled with self-loathing because you find yourself repeating the same fights over and over?
There’s a way out of this self-sabotaging pattern.
Relationship Killer #1:
Mis-placing your center in the other person
My partner procrastinates doing anything around the house. I have to beg him to help until he blows up, yells, screams and hurls verbal abuses at me. I’m tired of begging for help only to get demeaned.
When we’re confused, tired, frustrated and STUCK we have most likely fallen into the trap of mis-placing our center in the other person. This happens when we look to our partner to respond, agree or have the same priorities and communication style we have. When they can’t provide that, what follows is blame, anger, frustration and ultimately deep disappointment. When we lose or confuse our center, (our Essential Self), by looking to another person to meet our expectations, we have given over our power.
WHY do we do that?
Seems like what we are requesting is reasonable, at least to us. It can feel like they are intentionally being non-cooperative. Why is it so hard to set and adhere to a boundary or maintain our calm and dignity instead of getting reactive?
When we find ourselves in a reaction, it's likely because we are trying to avoid a subconscious emotional sensation that doesn’t feel safe to feel. That sensation is typically associated with one of power. As a child, if your household was filled with fighting you may have learned to both fight for and fear feelings of power. You may have learned to avoid confrontation or resentfully stay quiet. Now, as an adult it may be (subconsciously) frightening and unknown to you how to express and assert your power in a healthy, gracious way.
If the distribution of power modeled by your family of origin was unhealthy, claiming it now could feel awkward, ugly, mean or ineffective. No wonder it's confusing, scary and immobilizing!
Solution #1: How do we break out of this pattern?!
Step 1: When fighting and frustrations run high, the first step is to take a PAUSE.
When emotions run high, we are often in a FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE survival response. Our rational mind will not be on board and it's best to stop any efforts to have reasonable communication until we have access to our cognitive functioning. Simply PAUSE for at least 20 minutes to an hour to let the survival stress response begin to relax.
Make an appointment for a conversation. Too often in our hurried lives we try to solve conflicts with our partner, “on the fly.” Find a time when you can both sit down, uninterruptedly and give each other your full respect and attention.
Watch for Relationship Killer #2 and How to Stop the Breakup in our next newsletter and blog post.
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