Wondering how to fix a relationship? If so, the way you think about your relationship matters. We tend to focus on our behaviors and while what we do is extremely important, our thoughts are more foundational. Our actions come about because of our thoughts.
This is both good and bad news if you want a positive relationship. If you can think correctly as a couple, you’ll drastically increase the likelihood of a happy relationship. What are some destructive thought patterns or relationship lies to avoid in your relationship? Here are a few examples to get you started.
A Great Relationship Should ‘Just Happen’
“If it’s meant to be, my relationship should just click into place. I was thinking this would be more automatic because we were so compatible.”
All good things take ‘elbow grease’. If you want to buy a house, it takes a lot of effort to afford it. If you hope to master surfing, it takes oodles of time and practice. If you desire a nice-looking yard, a garden that produces fresh vegetables or clothes that fit in the right places, that takes plenty of work too.
Somehow, we’re tempted to believe that successful relationships operate under a different set of rules. The truth is they don’t. Sure, you may go through seasons where life is easier than others, but if you want a great relationship, years of time and effort will be involved. Like everything else in life, you’ll get out of it what you put into it.
In his “Psychology Today” article entitled 10 Common Relationship Myths (And Why They’re All Wrong), Guy Winch Ph.D. shares the following valuable advice:
“Of course relationships take work—and lots of it. You’re merging your own life, needs, wants, desires, dreams, and hopes, all of which shift and change over time and in response to various circumstances, with those of another person whose separate needs, wants, desires, and dreams also shift and change.”
My Partner or Spouse Doesn’t Satisfy My Deepest Needs
“Before my committed relationship, I struggled to feel fulfilled. I thought getting into a committed relationship would fix that, but it hasn’t. I thought my partner or spouse would be enough but they’re not.”
Expecting a mere mortal to meet the deepest needs of your life is a heavy weight to lay on someone. No one can live up to that kind of pressure. Eventually they’ll disappoint. It’s inevitable.
You may be tempted to try someone else. You might even feel better for a brief time if you do. But no matter who else you find, they, in and of themselves, aren’t enough.
You have to find peace and fulfillment inside yourself first. Some reach out to a higher power to meet this need. One thing’s for sure, though. Your partner can’t magically make your inner turmoil or emptiness go away. Yes, he or she may numb the pain for a little while or improve your life in certain ways. Eventually, disappointment will be back if you don’t resolve it though.
That’s why it’s so important to address your pain after a breakup or divorce before entering another relationship. Jumping right into a new relationship to “feel better” is the surest way to feel really bad later on.
Having a Baby Will Fix Our Relationship
“I’m so tired of this tumultuous relationship. I’m confident that a new baby would help to resolve our relationship conflict. More than anything, I just want a stable relationship.”
Babies are beautiful gifts. But they aren’t the magic missing ingredient to greater relationship stability. As wonderful as a new child is, you’re in for many nights of poor sleep, increased costs, divided attention in your relationship and more.
The transitional stress of a new child is very real. If there’s instability in your relationship now, a new child will only magnify that instability. And your new child will now feel the same struggles you do but at a much more vulnerable age.
Your best bet is to address why you have an unhappy relationship now. That way, you’ll be able to bring your new bundle of joy into a thriving, committed relationship instead of a negative relationship when that exciting day arrives!
Do You Need to Figure Out How to Fix a Relationship?
Signs of a toxic relationship aren’t always easy to spot since many misconceptions can live in our minds. The reality is we all struggle with unhealthy thought patterns in our romantic relationships to some extent. What was shared in this article is only a small sample of the distorted thinking we can fall prey to, resulting in relationship struggles.
With couples counseling or marriage counseling, you can start thinking differently about your relationship and improve your bond. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can enable you to identify inaccurate thoughts or expectations about your relationship and replace them with something better. We can also assist you with communication in relationships and building better trust in a relationship.
If you’d like to see how the OC Relationship Center can help your significant-other relationship, feel free to get in touch with us to schedule an appointment. We offer counseling in Mission Viejo, CA and counseling in Newport Beach, CA. Our offices are proud to provide couples’ therapy to the Orange County, CA region.