September 2, 2021

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Great Info On Recognizing Negative Patterns In Your Relationship And What It Means

It is never our intention to develop negative patterns or cycles in our relationship, of course.  Every couple, however, can easily develop negative ways of relating to one another.  Below are ten negative patterns that could damage, or even sink, your relationship if not addressed and corrected:

  1. Blaming your partner.  If you find yourself wanting to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your relationship, or even your life, you could be harboring resentment against them.  It could be that you had expectations that they did not fulfill.  Perhaps there is some wrong that they have done for which you have not forgiven them.   It could also be that your insecurity drives your need never to be wrong, so you must find someone to blame.  Whatever the root of the blaming behavior, it is unhealthy and will drive a wedge between the two of you. 
  1. Believing that your partner should complete you. While this is a romantic, Hollywood-type notion, it isLove Recon unrealistic and unhealthy.  No person can complete another person.  Two incomplete people do not make a complete person. They make two incomplete and needy people. Spiritually, two people can become “one”; however, it is not the other person who completes each one, but God. Two whole and healthy people form a healthy and functional relationship. According to the law of attraction, we attract who we are, not who we would like to be.  In other words, an immature and needy individual will attract a similarly immature and needy individual.
  1. Being unwilling to make sacrifices or compromise. In any healthy relationship, sacrifices and compromises must be made by both partners, or one person will become a “doormat.” Conflict is inevitable because no two people are identical regarding opinions, feelings, wants, or needs. Sacrificing for the good or benefit of another is a sign of love.  To be willing to give up your right to be right, even when you believe you are right, demonstrates that the relationship is more important to you than getting your way. 
  1. Judging and belittling your mate. This behavior shows little respect for the other person. Usually, this means that you assume that you know what they are going to say or do and pre-judge them accordingly. Your attitude gives no opportunity for them to express themselves and be heard and validated.  This is a serious sign of the deterioration of a relationship. 
  1. Inequality in the relationship. While most couples today would agree that there should be equality in their relationship, it is easy to fall into patterns of inequality. For example, if both partners work outside the home, it is often common for the wife to still carry most of the weight for domestic duties.   One person may take on the role of decision-maker and not consider their partner’s thoughts and feelings to make a joint decision.  In parenting, one partner may unilaterally deal with the children and not share in their discipline and training. Even in sex, the couple may fall into the pattern of the male always initiating with the female acquiescing and the male usually being satisfied and the female usually not.

Recognizing Negative Patterns In Your Relationship

  1. Shutting down feelings. Being able to share feelings and what is bothering you is essential for your health and the health of the relationship. Shutting down shuts your partner out.  Shutting down will also lead to outbursts of anger, which can do more harm than if you had shared your feelings in the first place.  Depression is also a typical result of unexpressed emotions.  Depression has been described as “anger turned inward.” 
  1. Using social media to compensate. Beware of a constant stream of posts declaring how wonderful your relationship is.  Posting pictures of you and your partner, always smiling and living the good life, can be a way to compensate for the negative and broken parts of your relationship. But, unfortunately, it can be a form of denial and unwillingness to face the hard truths and deal with what’s going on. 
  1. Fighting over nothing. It is easy to fall into a combative pattern of relating to each other.  When this happens, you argue over anything and everything, which is really over nothing.  You may think it’s “just the way we are together,” but it is not a benign behavior. On the contrary, it is malignant behavior, just like a cancer that continues to spread until it has reached every part of the body.  Jabs and word bombs will wound you both. 
  1. Being clingy. It is easy for some couples to become enmeshed and, thus, too dependent on each other. However, knowing who you are apart from your partner is critical to your own emotional health and well-being. 
  1. Being a loner. It’s not healthy to be too independent of your partner, either. Doing life together as two equal individuals who love each other and partner together in mutually satisfying and beneficial ways is the goal.

There is good news if one or more of these negative patterns or cycles are evident in your relationship!  Any pattern can be changed, and any cycle can be broken.  Read the subsequent blog to this one for ideas on how to accomplish this.  Recon Coaching and Love Recon seminars also provide professional help should you need it. So call us today and schedule your free appointment.

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.

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