Time to Re-evaluate (Part 1) - Your Relationships
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Claudia Anderson PG Dipl Psych, Registered MBACP
6th March, 20120 Comments
Time to Re-evaluate Part 1 – Your Relationship
As the crocuses and daffodils appear to burst into life, for some, spring cleaning the home involves getting rid of clutter, tackling all those awkward nooks and crannies, which metaphorically speaking can be applied to your life. Allowing some light to shed on all those ignored or forgotten areas can bring enlightenment, on doubts and dilemmas. This first article focuses on relationships.
How toxic is your relationship?
Abusive relationships can take many forms. Physical abuse can appear the most visible and harmful, but there are lots of other ways, that a partner may manipulate and take an unfair advantage, by using the relationship as a power tool. This can lead to confusion and self blame. Is your relationship harming you? If you’re uncertain, ask yourself the following questions –
- Has your partner ever been violent towards you – do you feel afraid of him/ her?
- Do you feel as if you have little control, over what is happening in the relationship, or where it is going?
- Does he/ she put you down privately or publicly or use situations you fear to control you?
- Do they make condescending remarks when you discuss your personal/ professional development?
- Are you too scared to leave the relationship?
If you have answered yes, to any of the above, then you are in a damaging relationship, which over time will impact your mental health. You cannot change your partner, but you can change the way that you react to their behaviour by not ‘feeding’ their negativity. Most of all refuse to be a victim. Direct your energies elsewhere, spend time with positive people, who will support and nurture you. If this is difficult, then exploring thoughts and feelings with a third party, like a counsellor may help.
Is your love for your partner unreciprocated?
Do you love your partner, more than you love yourself? Have you ever been described as desperate, clingy or needy? No partner likes to be constantly bombarded with texts or phone calls, or subjected to obsessive behaviour. If you find it hard to be interested in anything without your partner, or are constantly seeking his/ her approval, then you are on the verge of losing your own sense of self and identity. Get out there and get a life. Remember who you were before you entered the relationship; this can only improve the rapport you have with your partner and increase its longevity.
Falling in love, involves creating an ideal image of our love ‘interest’ This ‘magnetic’ projection is enhanced when our ‘interest’ returns our affection. As the relationship develops, we take back our projections, and hopefully see the ‘real’ person (warts and all!) as still loveable. If your love ‘interest’ does not feel the same way, problems can develop. Honest soul searching or an objective friend can help you realise that –
- The ‘magnetic’ power that this person has over you is your own power given away, re – energise yourself.
- Don’t wallow in self pity or become self – depreciating, this will only hamper your confidence and blinker you, from seeing someone who can reciprocate your love.
- Time is a great healer, especially if you are open minded and prudent enough to care about your own needs.
Some people remain stuck ‘in love’ – ‘I loved her with all my heart and soul, but she never loved me back, I’ll never fall in love again’ In fact there are umpteenth songs that have been written about it! There are those who derive strange, masochistic pleasure in this feeling and can hurt others emotionally in the process, i.e. ‘come to think of it he never really got over Louise, I always felt a poor substitute’
If you have fallen foul of ‘projecting’ your love onto someone who does not feel that ‘truly, madly, deeply’ in love with you, or have fallen for someone who is clearly still in love with someone else, then it is time to find other aspects in your life, that can add ‘magic’ and ‘sparkle’.
If any of the issues detailed in this article, has highlighted some of your own personal concerns, professional help may encourage you to explore healthier relationships, not only with others, but most importantly yourself.
Related articles from our experts
Cate Campbell MA, MBACP (Accred), MCOSRT (Accred), MAFT23rd March, 2017
- Reactive and responsive relationships
Graeme Armstrong MBACP21st March, 2017
- How psychodynamic therapy helps to break the cycle of unhealthy relationships
Margery Parsons, d.c.t.p., UKCP reg.20th March, 2017
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