Couples

What Are You Thinking? When It Comes to Your Relationship, It Matters.

Do you think your partner is a good person? Do you think they have your best interest at heart? Do you think they want to make things better in your relationship but just don’t know how? Can you think of at least five things you like about your partner for every one thing you complain about? If not, the first thing you need to do is evaluate how accurate your thoughts are about your partner. If you really think that your partner is mediocre to bad and they are not invested in the relationship, therapy won’t fix that. If you have actually just gotten into a negative pattern of thinking about your partner, the best thing you can do is be aware of it and make your first goal to change your own thinking. Try making a mental (or actual) note of things you like about your partner, and remind yourself of the list regularly. When you are thinking of something that bothers you about your partner, make a conscious effort to reframe their behavior in terms that focus on the circumstances of the problem, not their character or motivations. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt whenever possible, and assume that they want a better relationship with you, too. Give yourself a limit on complaints, and make sure you balance out complaints with focus on the things you like and love about your partner. If there is nothing you like or love about your partner, consider individual counseling before you jump into couples counseling. This can help you sort through your thoughts and feelings and decide what your goals are for yourself in the relationship.