Couples oftentimes look to change the “other.” “If only” the other would make these changes, or do as I say, our relationship would be great. We tend to focus on the other. We tend to focus on changing the other. We tend to focus on the other’s negative behavior. Couples like to report what their spouse/partner is doing and how they are contributing to their unhappiness. As we focus and ruminate about the “other,” we are no longer able to take ownership regarding our own part in the relationship. How am I adding to this problem in our relationship? What can I do to change my own behavior?
A relationship is a set of inter-dependent parts and therefore, if you change one part and keep it consistent, within time the other may change. It is not necessary to treat “a couple” in order to promote change. Change in one person, oftentimes results in change in the couple and the entire family system. If you begin to respond differently to the relationship, you will see a change in the interaction.
It is often not so simple to look to “Self.” We often have to understand what is underneath the knee jerk reactions we have with our spouse/partner. What triggers do they evoke? Most of the time, 90 percent of what we react to, has to do with the past, and 10 percent with the present. For example: do I have a past history of loss? If so, how does that play out in my current relationship? Our past experiences oftentimes influence how we behave today. Understanding “Self” is a lifelong process. Getting to know yourself well and understanding your triggers and what works and doesn’t work for you, can lead to feelings of happiness and self-fulfillment.
Change your focus. It’s not about him/her. It’s about you! Change you and you will see remarkable improvements.
At The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ, we have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours. Call us at 908-322-0112, or visit us at www.hellenictherapy.com, FB