What You’ll Learn Today:

  1. The 5 signs you’re in an unhealthy relationship
  2. The 5 ways to fix your unhealthy relationship

Top Take-A-Ways:

How do you know if you’re in an unhealthy relationship? You can remember the 5 signs with the acronym: CRAVE.

Unhealthy Sign #1: Criticism

If you’re always criticizing your partner, or if they’re often criticizing you, it’s a problem. If you or your partner are constantly evaluating, reviewing or judging, it’s going to create a rift in your relationship. Why the focus on the other persons behavior? Who died and made you (or your partner) boss? When any of us get in a position of believing were right and then go about cutting down another person, it leads to resentment, anger and hurt.

Unhealthy Sign #2: Reading Minds

Don’t expect anyone to read your mind and remember that you can’t read anyone else’s mind either! Don’t think: I know what she’s going to say, or I shouldn’t have to say it, he should know. No, you don’t know (yeah, I said it). And if you are so sure what the other person is going to say, why aren’t you trying a different approach, so you can get a different response? Why are you using it as an excuse to not say anything yourself and let things stay the same? Also, if you’re expecting someone else to read your mind, forget it. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t set other people up to prove their love for you. It’s not fair and it’s really not nice. Set others up to win: let them know what you’re thinking.

Unhealthy Sign #3: Attack and Blame

When you attack and blame someone else, who has the power? Is it you? No, it’s the other person. When you’re so angry that you attack and blame them, they now have all your power. The control belongs to them because attacking and blaming others avoids personal
responsibility. You’re basically putting the other person on the defensive, deciding that it’s all their fault (or mostly) and the focus and attention is off of you and what you can do and on to them and what they’re doing (or not doing).

Unhealthy Sign #4: Victim

You’re not a victim in this world. Yes, you might have been victimized. The world can be a difficult and unfair place and most of the people I meet have been victimized at some point in their lives, in some way. So, being victimized is often unavoidable but, acting like a victim, is optional. Never think poor me. This type of thinking does nothing to help you move forward in your life or relationship. I’m not saying you can never have yourself a little pity party. When bad stuff happens, it’s important to take a step back and lick our wounds. What’s also important is not to live in that place the rest of your life. Take the time to grieve, mourn or feel bad and then find a time to move on.

Unhealthy Sign #5: Entitled

The last sign that you’re in an unhealthy relationship? It’s when you or your partner are acting entitled. Here’s the stark truth: No one owes you anything: not your partner, not your parents and not your friends. Thinking that there’s something that should come your way is an issue (whether it’s you thinking it or your partner). Feeling you’re owed sets the other person up for failure because you’re focusing on what they should do instead of what they are doing.

If you want a healthy relationship, you can’t CRAVE (and neither can the other person) Instead, here are five things to create a connected, happy and fulfilled relationship.  You can remember these strategies by bringing some FLAIR to every one of your relationships:

Sign #1 Your Relationship Rocks: Focus on the Here and Now

If you want an awesome relationship, you’ve got to be in the here and now, often. This means you need to be present and focused on what’s happening now. Don’t think about what happened yesterday or what you’re worried will happen tomorrow. Each day take what your partner does on the face value of that day only. Don’t think, well sure, he’s acting nice today but it’s only a matter of time until he starts being a jerk again. This type of thinking only sets your partner up to not even try. You’re right, their behavior wont magically change overnight. But, do you think they’ll continue to try if you never give any credit or props for those times they get it right? If you only focus on when they get it wrong, they’re going to stop trying to get it right. They’ll think, Why bother? I want you to draw a line in the sand and start with TODAY. What are you and your partner doing today? That’s what counts.

Sign #2 Your Relationship Rocks: Love

You can’t make someone love you, but you can love them. If you want to see more love in your relationship, be more loving. I say this over and over again to the couples I work with. If you’re acting nasty, fearful and angry all the time, how do you expect a love relationship to grow? Love begets love. It’s as simple (and hard) as that. It’s easy to act loving to your partner when you’re both in a loving place. What’s tough, is to act loving when your partner isn’t! But, isn’t that when you need love the most? On a daily basis, act out of love, not fear, in your relationship.

Sign #3 Your Relationship Rocks: Ask Questions

I tell people all the time that it’s important not to SAC your relationship. This means, don’t make Suggestions, give Advice or Criticize. The next thing I hear from my clients is, Well, what’s left?! What’s left is the most important thing you can do to create an open, intimate and healthy relationship. I want you to start asking questions instead of making statements. Don’t assume you know. Instead, listen like you’re wrong (yes, I said that too). If you were wrong, wouldn’t you be asking questions, so you could figure out how to get it right or understand what the other person was saying? It’s an awesome tool for all your relationships.

Sign #4 Your Relationship Rocks: Invest 100%

One of the most critical things you can do in your relationship is put in 100% effort. I say this all the time: If you put in 50% effort at a job, would you expect raises and promotions? No, of course not. So, why do you think it’s OK to put in 50% in your relationship? If you want to get intimacy, laughter, connection and awesome sex out of your relationship, you’ve got to look at what you’re putting into your relationship. The key to this is to focus on your 100%, not the other persons effort! Don’t worry about them putting in their 100% and never make your 100% effort contingent on your partner doing the same. That’s called keeping score and, as I like to say, if you’re keeping score in your relationship, you’re going to lose. Give 100% of yourself, with love, and watch the magic happen!

Sign #5 Your Relationship Rocks: Responsibility

At the end of the day, this is the thing you must do if you want a healthy relationship. You need to take responsibility for your part. Remember, you’re not a victim and your partner doesn’t do anything to you. If you hear yourself using this language, I want you to stop and take a breath. Now, think of one thing (no matter how small) that you could do to move the situation forward. That’s taking responsibility. It doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t also have responsibility. The problem is: you can’t control that (yeah, I said it)! You can’t control your partner or what they do (nor should you try). In any situation with your partner, I want you to ask yourself, what part of this is mine? What could you do differently moving forward? What’s one action you could take?

Resources and Links:

Read more from the blog: The 5 Signs You’re in an Unhealthy Relationship


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