by Niara Eans, LMFT Associate, LPC Associate, NCC
Time to read: 5 minutes
This blog post serves as the beginning of our six part series featuring the Cornerstones of a Healthy relationship. You can find the list and links to the blog posts for the rest of the series below.
•Many people allow themselves to get lost when they enter into a relationship.
•Remembering to nurture the pieces of yourself that make you who you are can actually improve your relationship.
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship wondering "How did we get here?"
Things started out great! You couldn't wait to see and talk to each other everyday. Slowly, you got more comfortable with each other and began to argue more. Now you have both said things that were hurtful and are trying to figure out if the relationship is even worth fighting for anymore. You barely even recognize yourself when you look in the mirror. What happened to you?
Somehow along the way, you have lost yourself. You don't even know who you are anymore or what you need. You have allowed your cup to be drained and emptied. How can you be a good partner to someone else when you don't know how to love and care for yourself? The short answer is...you can't.
Low self esteem encourages us to view the relationship as being either all good or all bad. This makes it challenging for us to perceive our relationship for what it is and communicate effectively.
If your goal is to have a healthy relationship, you have to be healthy as an individual. That means that it is your responsibility to ensure that you are doing what is needed for your cup to remain filled. A relationship is going to require your attention, love, dedication, and commitment. All of which, slowly begin to drain liquid from your cup. If the majority of things in your life are draining your cup and you are not actively seeking to refill it, you will burn out. Listening to your partner talk about her day will be exhausting. What should have been a minor disagreement, will become a blown out argument. Striving to give your partner the attention she needs and deserves is admirable, but refusing to focus on the aspects of your life that are screaming for attention will always be your stumbling block. How long will you continue to ignore the destruction in your life?
You are doing it for selfless reasons, but you are setting yourself up to live a lifeless existence. You are responsible for teaching others how to treat you. Are you treating yourself with the love, respect, and appreciation that you want from others? If not, it is time for change and this change begins with you.
Next week's blog: Communication