Walking on eggshells in your relationship? Here are 3 tools to change everything.

We all want to feel free to trust and love our other half, but sometimes find it difficult if they’re controlling, scrolling on their phones during “quality time” or making us work hard for the scraps of love and attention we crave.

Sometimes we get to a place in our lives where we wonder how much longer we can be living this way. Most of us have lived enough life to know that yesterday might be starting to look permanent, causing us to wonder, “How do we change our tomorrow?”.

These simple tools, when used correctly, can help improve your relationship and point you on a
path to a greater sense of self:

Transform your habit of thinking:

We all have an inner critic that lives inside of us, made up of fearful thoughts that keep us feeling stuck. These thoughts are not who we are, but have been wired into our subconscious to keep us safe. Who we really are knows we deserve more than what we are getting, but somehow we keep moving back into our old habits. To get the relationship we want, we need to get curious about how our inner critic thinks it’s helping us through presenting the negative, fearful thoughts, and retrain our minds to replace them with faith in ourselves. You are not
your thoughts. You are the one who is aware of your thoughts and has the power to change them to create the life and relationship you know you deserve.

Change where you put your energy:

One of the most terrifying feelings we can experience is the feeling of helplessness. This is especially true in our relationships. To avoid this feeling, our human nature is to try to control external factors outside of our control. We sometimes put a lot of energy into trying to change (or control) our partner, leaving us feeling burnt out and resentful. The fastest way to reclaim our inner peace is by gaining clarity on what we do have control over, and what we do not. Once we realize we only have control over our own actions and choices, the magic begins to happen. Redirecting all of the energy that was once used to try and change our partner, we can focus on building the life we want, and if our partner is willing to come along for the ride, they
will rise to our level.

Train people how to treat you:

We all know the true saying “Actions speak louder than words”, but sometimes this idea gets lost when it comes to our relationships. We may tell our partner that we won’t put up with something anymore or we are going to leave… but then we don’t follow through. We may say, “That’s not okay”, but continue to give them what they want. To get the changes we require, we need to reward our partner with their love language when they show behaviors we want or desire. When unwanted behaviors show up, we limit any reinforcement of that behavior. With the help of a therapist to navigate the intricacies of relationships, we can make a healthy plan to limit our presence and/or attention in a specific way. Over time, if they truly are our person, their behaviors will shift into what we have been asking for but haven’t been following up with our actions until now.

Written by Kellie Hatch – Mental Health Graduate Student