If you are feeling stuck in your relationship, resentful, cranky, and easily annoyed by your partner, your relationship lens might be a bit smudged… Partners have a tendency to blame their partner for the status of the relationship and how unsatisfied and unhappy they might be… They tend to point fingers, get finicky and demanding or withdrawn and disengaged, and critical of their partner and their ways. Feeling stuck is usually a relationship mindset issue…
What is relationship mindset? Relationship mindset has to do with how you look at your partner and your relationship, what your beliefs are about how partners and relationships should be…
Couples usually have strange ideas of what’s appropriate, expected and required in a relationship and from their partner. They might have very rigid or loose expectations, parameters and desires. And, they might not actually be aware of these, and never mind having them be known to their partner.
This creates unspoken expectations, needs and desires for each partner that the other might not have any clue about. How are they to do right by their partner?
To make matters worse, partners love to be in each other’s Circles, in the other’s business or personal domain… They love to tell each other how to think, feel and behave… When partners impinge on the other’s circle they are not minding their own and are crowding the other’s. This is disempowering to both creating impasses and stuckness…
Between having a messy view of how relationships should be and not having great personal boundary setting skills, the partners set themselves up for disillusion, disappointment and drama.
This work is related to Element 1 of our Successful Couple Strategy™.
Relationship Enrichment Mindset
The Relationship Enrichment Mindset™ has to do with:
- Looking at your partner as your Life Partner, they are your person
- Understanding that your Partner is not perfect and that their imperfections fit perfectly with your sensitivities to give you an opportunity for healing and growth…
- Looking at your relationship as your playground to learn how to play better…
- Embracing your Partner as your Ally in your Journey and that there is inherent synergy in your relationship
- Operating from a heart-compassion-love vs head-ego-fear lens
- Embracing a both/and vs either/or approach
- Giving your Partner the benefit of the doubt, grace and consideration
- Understanding that nothing is static, and your relationship will have ebbs and flows
- Owning your contribution for the status and flavor of the relationship
- Being accountable, transparent, available and engaged
- Pursuing personal development and relationship enrichment as a matter of course
- Having a growth, progress and success approach to life and the relationship
- Deciding what kind of partner you want to be and pursuing that with gusto regardless of where your partner is at
- Implementing a relationship nurturing approach
- Embracing a Relationship Enrichment Lifestyle™
Setting Effective Boundaries
Setting effective boundaries has to do with:
- Staying in your own circle and addressing concerns from your circle
- Knowing what you are willing to accept and tolerate and clearly expressing it
- Knowing what you are not willing to accept and tolerate and clearly expressing it
- Knowing your needs, expectations, desires and wishes and clearly expressing them
- Expressing yourself without making others wrong, stopping the self-righteousness
- Establishing what you’ll do when your boundaries are crossed – other’s impinge in your circle or you are not honored
- Responding moderately and appropriately when you are crossed or wronged in some way
- Taking ownership of your day, schedule, belongings, environment, body, thoughts, feelings and all actions
- Taking responsibility for meeting your own needs
- Taking responsibility for your self-care
- Taking responsibility for investing in your relationship and being the best partner you can beAren’t these concepts beautiful?
Some of them might seem to you farfetched or impossible to implement. I promise that they are all extremely possible and easy to take on, and life and relationship transforming once embraced.
Our couples love the concept of the circles. They find this has been the easiest way for them to learn how to fully own themselves and not their partner… And the easiest way to implement setting effective boundaries.
The boundary setting is on and for us, not our partner… People have the misconception that we set boundaries on others. This is a ludicrous concept as we can’t make others do things and be a certain way!
How are we to implement what others do and effect how they are? It doesn’t even make any sense. And, furthermore, people are taught to apply consequences to others when they cross their boundaries. Let’s think about this for a minute. How do we set a boundary on somebody, and who are we to give them consequences, or worse punish them?
Can you imagine your partner punishing you because you crossed a boundary they set on you?!
This is such a backwards way of looking at boundary setting, not for nothing most people are not great at setting them. Intuitively they know these is the wrong approach.
We don’t set boundaries on others, we don’t give them consequences or doll out punishment…
Aside from the prescription above, the way to set boundaries is to speak from our circle, to make our wishes and desires known and to make mindful and appropriate requests accordingly. Then we decide what we’ll do should the other not respect our wishes, honor our desires, respond to our requests or meet our needs as previously agreed.
You see how much more control and power we have over ourselves and our lives when approaching interactions and situations setting boundaries this way?
Don’t be intimidated about upleveling your relationship mindset and about setting boundaries. Start by taking in the mindset and taking ownership being in your circle and not your partners. You’ll see…
ASSIGNMENT: Take stock of where you can stand to have better boundaries and own yourself more…
1- Make a list of all the areas that need attention and all the people you might need to address…
2- Select one area to tackle and go at it with gusto – implement what you must to own it
3- Select one person you need to address to set better boundaries with them – share what you will no longer accept or do, and what you will do should that thing become an issue again
As with anything, when you bring consciousness, focus and attention to something, Awesomeness happens. I wish this for you in your life and your relationship.
Wishing you much joy, connection and love today and always…
With Much Love & Light!
Copyright (c) 2021 Emma K. Viglucci. All rights reserved.
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and the Successful Couple Strategy™ that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly connection notes in your inbox with Personal Development and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com