by: E.B. Johnson (Image via Twenty20.com)
The beliefs we hold have a direct impact on our relationships and the way in which we see others and connect with them outside of ourselves. It’s hard to have a happy, healthy relationship when you harbor negative personal beliefs that make it impossible for you to open up or trust someone else. In order to build partnerships worth working for, we have to first face up to our beliefs and the ideas we harbor which hold us back.
Our relationships are built on beliefs.
When we think about our beliefs and our values, we often think of things like politics or our religious alignments. The belief systems we build for ourselves permeate into every corner of our lives. They affect the way in which we view ourselves, and the way in which we view others. They also play a major role in how we actively build our relationships and the partners we invest our time and energy into.
What relationships beliefs do you have? What do you think about the power dynamics between two partners? About sharing your feelings and being raw, open, and vulnerable with someone else? Our beliefs are the thoughts we hold on these kinds of topics, and they majorly outline how we will build relationships.
If your intimate relationships aren’t going the way you want them to, then it’s time for you to stop and question the beliefs which are blocking you up or getting in the way. Our beliefs feed our relationships and the dictate how we’ll go about everything from settling down with one another, to arguing with one another. Stop avoiding the obvious. It’s time to peel back the layers and understand your relationship beliefs for what they are.
The 7 beliefs that will destroy any relationship.
Not all the beliefs we hold are good for us, as a matter of fact a number of them can limit us as individuals and destroy our relationships altogether. If you want to avoid a major breakdown or implosion, then you need to be honest about where you’re selling yourself short with your beliefs on life, love, and authentic happiness.
Infidelity is not a foregone conclusion when it comes to our relationships and the lives we piece together. Many with a history of unfaithful partners come to believe that this is a natural action. They assume that all their partners will cheat, and so they come to allow that behavior by expecting it. Infidelity is not something that happens in every relationship. While it’s common, it’s not healthy. It’s a sign there’s a serious disconnect in your relationship.
We shouldn't share our emotions
Are you someone who struggles with their emotions? Do you keep quiet whenever your partner hurts your feelings? Do you think that discussing the way you feel is impolite or somehow going to push your partner away? For our relationships to thrive, we have to share our emotions and we have to be honest about how we feel. If you believe that sharing your emotions is bad or inappropriate, you’re in for a long and unpleasant ride.
It's better to sweep things under the rug
Although many of us like to sweep a problem (or awkward conversation) under the rug, that’s no way to deal with it at all. Problems don’t get solved by ignoring them, they get solved by actively embracing them and their solutions. When we ignore our problems, we only allow them to grow in the darkness, completely unfettered and out of sight until there’s something different about it all.
True love requires good behavior
Love is not something that we should have to earn every single day, like an employee fighting for a raise. Once we have committed ourselves to someone, we’ve committed to love them for who they are and what they want. We don’t get to revoke that love because we want to manipulate them, or we want them to do something for us. When you have to work to prove you’re worthy of the approval and affection of your partner, you’re dealing with weaponized love.
It's not safe to be open
Are you someone who finds it relatively easy to be open and honest with others? Or are you someone who thinks that sharing only leaves you weak and disadvantaged? Like it or not, opening up is a core part of building a stable, trusting, and long-lasting relationship. The longer we stay closed off from our partners, the more difficult it becomes to connect on deeper, more authentic levels.
Power isn't a shared dynamic
Are you someone who believes that one partner should dominate the relationship, while the other relinquishes control? This type of belief is dangerous, because it leaves us vulnerable to those who would use us or take advantage of us. Rather than attracting someone who wants to build a life together, you mind find yourself settling for partners who want to see you build their life for them.
There's no disagreeing in love
There’s this incredibly warped idea that healthy couples never have disagreements or arguments. Those who hold on to these types of outdated beliefs generally become those who hide their feelings and avoid confronting issues at all costs. Over time, this creates even bigger issues in your relationship, as well as a number of negative and corrosive emotions like resentment and self-loathing.
The best ways to build new relationship beliefs.
Letting go of our toxic relationship beliefs is a process, and it’s one which asks us to dig deep, analyze our old patterns, and question where they come from. You need to see your life as a whole and your patterns of connection within it. Then you can ensure you always get what you want
1. Bravely analyze old patterns
Our beliefs come primarily from our experiences in this life, and the way in which our brains choose to see and process those experiences. We fall into patterns unconsciously, and we can fall into bad relationships as a part of those patterns just as unconsciously. We have to shake ourselves awake and we do that by looking at the past and analyzing where our beliefs come from.
Look back at your past relationships, starting with those you formed in adolescence. How have you traditionally connected with others? How do you like to feel around other people? Or how do other people generally react to you in an intimate way?
Be brutally honest with yourself and watch the replay of your old relationships from a removed and more knowledgeable place. Look for any mistakes you might have made, as well as any red flags that might have occurred. Now compare your beliefs to these actions. What thoughts made you ignore the obvious? What beliefs encouraged you to stay when you should have walked? Radical honesty is key.
2. Don't be afraid to ask questions
After identifying some of the beliefs that kept you in bad places, you have to get to the final root of their origin. We do this — like all good personal growth — by questioning ourselves, our thoughts, and the decisions we’ve made over time. You need to look at where you are now, then look at where you were and where you want to go in love. What got you here and what is going to get you into that ideal relationship?
You should have kept a note of your old patterns in a journal or record on your phone of some kind. Now is the time to refer to it and start questioning the root of your relationship beliefs. Start in your childhood. Question the bonds you formed with your parents and what they taught you about making friends and connecting with an intimate partner.
Did they teach you that it wasn’t safe to show your feelings? Did they make it impossible to express yourself, or live authentically? Skip to the relationships you had later on down the road. If you went into those relationships with an open mind and an open heart, what changed? Where did the doubtful and pessimistic beliefs begin? Follow yourself down the wormhole of questions.
3. Know what you need and want
When you start really breaking down your relationship beliefs, you come to realize that many of them come not from your own place of need — but from others. We absorb a lot of pressure from our families, or friends, and society too. We tend to take on the beliefs and expectations of those around us as a means of fitting or belonging in an increasingly expansive group.
Chasing the ideals of others, though, is always a poor choice for those who want to build a life that is bright and authentic. When you take on the beliefs of others without taking the time to thoroughly question them against your own values, you end up confused and stuck in a world of someone else’s making.
Take some time to step back from all the noise and look at your life for what it is and what you want it to be. What do you want your future to look like? What does the ideal relationship look like to you? The ideal partner? You need to be specific and you need to build a vision that is entirely your own. From that point, you can lean further into your beliefs. Align your life with your integrity and you’ll end up where you need to be.
4. Don't make room for mismatches
Once you’ve formed a better picture of who you are and what you want from your life, you begin to realize what you really believe in. It is at this point that we can allow ourselves to shed our old beliefs and to stand more confidently in the light of who we are. Get rid of the beliefs that no longer suit you and replace them with those that do.
Actively challenge and replace your outdated or toxic relationship beliefs with values which actually align to your happiness. Your integrity is the foundation on which you should approach all things — but especially your connection with intimate partners and loved ones.
It’s time for you to let go of those old decisions and behaviors that were keeping you from finding the people that are going the same way as you. You’ve missed out on a lot if you’ve been clinging to the thoughts and ideals of others over your own. Have the courage to step into the skin of your own life. Get rid of your old beliefs and replace them with the ones that fit.
5. Never lose sight of respect
Respect is a core part of building a happy relationship with anyone, but it’s especially important when it comes to building an intimate relationship with someone. Every relationship belief you hold should start with a focus on respect. You should respect the other person and the things they need, but you have to have a high level of respect and regard for your own needs within that partnership.
Even after forming new beliefs for yourself, never stop questioning them. Am I respecting myself with this thought or this action? Am I respecting my partner and any commitments I have made to them?
When you make respect the starting point, you’ll know that you’re heading in a direction with is aligned with compassion and with good intention. That makes all the difference as we work hard to build something that’s worth the time and the effort it takes. Create healthy boundaries and healthy guidelines for yourselves and follow them.
Putting it all together…
Our beliefs are central to who we become as people, and they are central to the decisions we make for ourselves. This includes the choices we make in life, and the people we choose to surround ourselves with. Beliefs heavily inform the relationships we form, and that’s why it’s so important to question them regularly. Holding on to outdated or negative beliefs can pull us far away from where we’re meant to be and the partners we want to be with.
Analyze your old patterns and look back over the past relationships you’ve been a part of. What went right in those relationships? What went wrong? Look for the repeating habits and lessons that you picked up along the way. Question the root of all these habits and how they are impacting your life and the way you connect with others. When we’re taught not to trust our partners, or to open up to them, it creates complicated beliefs about fidelity and vulnerability later on in life. Figure out what you really want and then work hard to clear your life of the mismatches. Don’t waste your time with people who don’t have what it takes to meet your needs, or those who aren’t heading in the same direction. Above all else, though, start with respect and build from there. When you respect one another, so much more becomes possible.
#relationships #marriage #dating #advice
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