Conflictual relationships can be exhausting and daunting. They can put you in paralysis.
Conflictual relationships take out the fun from the most enjoyable situations you could otherwise experience. But why do you choose to suffer? When, in fact, you could be having more of an extraordinary opportunity to create the relationship of your dream?
A conflictual relationship is something I have struggled with in the past, and I promised myself never to experience it again.
However, from time to time, I see myself returning to this “old pattern” of searching for issues in the relationship. Throughout my years of coaching and personal life experience, I have learned valuable communication tools and powerful insights not to fall back into that habit.
These next 10 tips is a short compilation of a bag of tricks that you can experiment immediately with your partner. Take charge of creating the relationship you want versus the one you ended with.
Give them a try, they will work for you too!
Become aware of your internal dialogue.
Do you find yourself overthinking about your relationship, and keep hearing the same record?
Then, take out on a notebook, the top thoughts that keep showing up in your mind. What are you telling yourself about your current relationship? Can you identify the repetitive thoughts you entertain that are not serving you into loving your relationship? Where does the source of your suffering come from? Etc. From this, you will be a lot clearer on what is going on in your mind. This will allow you to reframe the thoughts that will be supporting the intention to have a fulfilling relationship.
Secondly, take each of the thoughts you wrote down and do a turnaround. Behind every negative, there is a positive. Find the positive outlook behind all the negative thoughts you wrote down. From there, start to read this new list daily to reprogram your internal dialogue.
Take time to slow down and better understand what you are personally that is not working in the relationship. It’s easy to point the finger at your partner, yet it takes real courage to acknowledge the role that you play in not making the high road to a fulfilling relationship.
For that, identity the words that you are using when you speak to your partner. Do you say “thank you” and “please” when asking for something? Do you appreciate the small daily gesture that he/she does (cooking a meal, driving you somewhere, etc.)
When you start to be more aware of your behavior, speech, action, and attitude toward your partner, you can make the necessary adjustments to stay in a loving interaction.
Become an observer of what is happening from a third-person perspective, without having the need to judge, criticize, or blame. In other words, be present in your relationship (and in life in general) and only state what is really essential. Learn essential communication skills that will enable you to speak your truth in a gentle and constructively manner. In other words, as the author Don Miguel Ruiz states in his short insightful book The Four Agreements – Be impeccable with your words.
Stop chasing perfection.
All relationships have their set of issues, no matter what! Always remember this. Chasing perfection is pointless because once you achieve this “perfect state,” you’ll search for something else. Living with a perfectionist mindset is detrimental to your overall well-being. Instead, expect to show up as the best version of yourself. It can lead your partner to step up to this challenge and offer the best version of themselves to you.
Know your limitations
Identify the main issue that is pushing your limits and, at times, make you reconsider this relationship. Put some real value to what you are feeling, and once you are very clear, tell your partner what is affecting you without attacking him/her, but by simply sharing your emotion. Knowing your limitations and expressing them in a constructive way to your partner is practicing self-love and going for what you want.
Pick your battle.
When in need of addressing issues in your relationship, make sure to choose what is of utmost importance to you. (maybe your limitations?) When there is finally an opportunity to have a calm conversation with your partner, only bring one issue at the time and stay on the subject. Your chance to be heard will be higher if you address one problem at a time, rather than pouring out all the things that are not working at once.
Take mindful action.
It’s impossible to constructively move things forward without mindful effort. Yet, most actions taken are done in a mindless way and/or during an argument. Often saying things you don’t mean or doing something you will regret.
Instead, schedule a time where you both sit down and have a mindful conversation about the relationship. It is then a perfect time to bring forth more critical issues.
Another essential aspect of a mindful conversation is listening to your partner, without the constant need to interject. We are so often invested in our suffering we omit to listen to what is happening for our partner. Make sure to wait until your partner finishes sentences, and ask at least one curious questions about what they just said before sharing what is happening for you. They will feel heard and more inclined to then listen to you fully.
Look and feel your best
It’s not because you are in a relationship that the game of attraction and flirtation should stop. Taking great care of your body and your physical appearance is not being superficial in a relationship.
Staying attractive confirms you have a clear intention to practice self-love, which is essential for healthy relationships. Exercise, do yoga, go on a long walk, dance, or anything else that creates movement and flow of energy into your body.
Furthermore, when we are in good shape and healthy, we feel confident, sexy, and alive, and we emanate this energy towards our partner. It’s a beautiful message saying, “I love myself.”
Always keep learning and rediscovering your highest potential emotionally, intellectually, and physically. It maintains the freshness of the relationship and creates attraction.
Make your relationship a priority.
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. The most significant relationship is the one with your current life partner. It is a wealth of information on your inferiority complexes, fears, and addictions to specific patterns. The relationship opens your eyes that your partner is actually, in so many ways, you in the mirror.
When you make that relationship an absolute priority and have a clear intention to create a loving relationship, it can become the “playground of your soul.” It reflects back to you how much love, confidence, and beauty there is within yourselves if you learn to embrace it fully.
Set clear boundaries
If you show up with healthy boundaries, a clear understanding of what you choose to experience or not, a commitment to make it work, and a drop of courage, you can learn from each other and about yourselves every moment. You can learn to share a life together filled with love, intimacy, and kindness.
So, you are never “stuck” in a conflictual relationship. Being in a relationship is a choice to continuously work on yourselves, your shadows, and patterns. For the most part, you have learned to behave a certain way from modeling your parents and surroundings. And most of what you struggle with does belong to the past.
When you become aware that being in a relationship is mainly an individual journey to a better self, you can finally learn to co-exist as two separate entities making conscious choices. With self-reflection, clear communication skills, and the ability to speak your truth authentically and constructively, a lot can be shifted.
How fantastic could it be for two co-committed people to support each other to reach their highest potential through emotional support, compassion, understanding, and unconditional love?
To your extraordinary relationships!
If you’re interested in further information on communication skills, clear boundaries, and the possibility of a healthy relationship, take a look at the course my husband and I have specially created for our community called TRANSFORMATIVE COMMUNICATION —4-hour guidance into an empowering way to START living your relationship from a new angle. Click here to see more information.