It takes courage to stop the merry-go-round and honestly analyse our relationships. Those close interactions with family, friends, colleagues and our partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, wife and/or husband). And if you find yourself reading this it is likely that you are questioning the health of one or more of those relationships.
At times it seems as plain as day that the relationship is unhealthy. However there is a difference between unhealthy interactions and unhealthy connections. So if you believe your relationship can be saved, if you hold out hope that things will improve, here is a method for genuinely determining that.
The old adage “it takes two to tango” definitely applies to relationships. Both parties participate in the dynamic, thus there cannot be any blame gaming. In order to preserve themselves, one or both of the due will apportion blame to the other party. Making the other person “wrong” so that they can feel “right” about their own behaviour.
The first step in determining the health of your relationship is to take ownership for how you are specifically contributing to the current dynamic. Now that doesn’t mean that you behaviour is necessarily negative, however what it does mean is that whatever you are or aren’t doing lends to allowing the other’s behaviour.
An common example of how people contribute is by being the the “passive” person in the duo. They often participate by not speaking up and not reinforcing their boundaries. Check out our post regarding boundaries: http://www.theinnersageaustralia.com/?s=boundaries
Stipulating our boundaries is a way for a person to express what is right (and wrong) for them; what they are willing and NOT willing to accept. Such boundaries often include behaviours from your partner which are and aren’t ok for you.
This may be your contribution to the dynamic and if so take time to consider what your boundaries are. If not, then how are you specifically contributing?
Another common theme I have found with people who are in unhealthy relationships is that they often put the other person first and before their own needs. They give so much that they find themselves being drained and often to the point where they are depleted.
In some cases this giving soul feels obligated to giving in order to keep the relationship. They often have self sacrificed to the point that they have lost their identity. Because their needs are not being met in the relationship by their partner or by them self.
So the second step in this process is to determine the equality of the give/take scenario in your relationship. How much do you give in your relationship OR how much do you take? Is it even or is there an imbalance in this equation. Also what part of your identity have you given up to keep the relationship? What part of your soul needs to be reclaimed?
In his book, Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, John Gray advises there are six needs that men and women need to be fulfilled in order to feel loved. When our needs are not being met we don’t feel loved AND we as our cup is now filled, we are not able to love to our full capacity.
The third aspect of this process is now to determine which of your needs are not being met.
Also which of your partner’s needs could you be mindful of meeting? If a woman in a heterosexual relationship, could you genuinely admire your partner more? Could you tell him what he does that you appreciate?
Once you have gotten clarity about your relationship in that you:
- understand your contribution to your relationship’s current status
- have clarified what your boundaries are and any behaviours that are not acceptable to you in a relationship
- are clear on the amount of give/take that is happening
- know which of your needs are not being met and which ones you are not meeting
you’re now in a position to make the changes you need in order for it to be healthy. So one thing to be aware of….
When the dynamic of a person and a relationship changes you may find the other party doesn’t like these changes. You may find that they impede the changes by refusing to participate or behaving in such a way that keeps the status quo.
This is usually because they feel safe with you playing the role that you’ve been playing. Most likely the way things have been makes them feel important and good about themselves. Communication plays such an important part at this stage. Explaining how and why things need to change, the benefits to them as well as yourself.
In the instance this is a healthy relationship your other party will understand and they will be willing to work with you to make the changes. It doesn’t necessarily mean things will go smoothly however they will be willing to try.
On the other hand if this is an unhealthy relationship you will find the changes you desire obstructed and they will show restraint. Now this doesn’t mean you “exit right”, what it does mean that you need to help your other party understand that you are serious about the changes and the consequences of such changes not happening.
If you go to this step, of stipulating consequences you MUST ensure you follow through. It takes courage to step up and it takes even more courage to follow through. However remember you would have given them a fair opportunity to change. You would have explained the importance to you of the reasons this change is important.
In the event you don’t follow through then it adds more dysfunction to the relationship. As in the fable “The boy who cried wolf”, the other party won’t believe you even when you have been pushed past your limit.
Relationships are about growth; either people grow together or they grow apart. If your current friend, partner, work colleague is not willing to grow with you and support you in your growth then know there is someone else out there for you who will.
When you are no longer willing to accept dysfunction and dramatic relationships you raise your self love and respect. You raise our vibration to let the universe know the type of relationship you are willing to accept. When you trust your self and in the Universe you will attract that person who is on the same level as you.