Relationships aren’t instinctual. Unlike breathing, you aren’t born with the natural knowledge to build and maintain a healthy marriage. Parents, family and friends, film and TV, and past relationships shape your view of dating and married life. They are the basis for how you establish relationships.
Here at the Divorce Detox Center, I’m often asked to describe what is a healthy relationship. Many of my clients, all intelligent and high-functioning individuals, have never known a healthy marriage nor felt the ease that characterizes the strongest of relationships.
Recently, while mapping her past relationships, Kelly* (a mother of three and successful project manager) described the relationships of her childhood. Her parents had divorced when she was quite young and often fought when in the same room with each other. Her maternal grandfather had abandoned his family before Kelly was born; she never met him. Her paternal grandparents were married their whole lives but argued constantly.
Arguments, alcohol, and resentment were Kelly’s examples for creating a “normal relationship”. These same dynamics played out in her dating and married life. Early relationships were marked with arguments and her marriage deteriorated around a mixture of addiction and resentment.
Mapping the past is a powerful component of the Relationship Cleanse and has helped Kelly and many others see patterns not only in their relationships but also in the very beliefs used to establish those connections. By understanding the past, Kelly is now moving forward and learning what a healthy relationship looks like.
A healthy couple
▪ Respects and admires each other
▪ Shows caring and affection instead of criticism
▪ Considers each other’s perspectives and feelings
▪ Makes the relationship a priority
▪ Works together as a team
▪ Supports one another
Whether single, married, separated or divorced, you have the opportunity to reframe your life and the relationships you fill it with. You, like Kelly, can overcome the patterns of negativity and create the relationship and future of your dreams.
*names have been changed for privacy