We are usually mindful of keeping a clean home, garage, car, office, etc. We make efforts at staying clutter free and squeaky clean. We trash, recycle, donate and put our stuff on eBay, bring to consignments shops, have garage sales or send to less fortunate countries. We clean our bodies from within with different detox or cleanse programs. We even clean our minds with different forms of meditation. Some of us put more effort into this than others of course, but fewer of us put this or any effort into cleansing our Relationship! Yes, cleansing our relationship. Your relationship and its vitality have a huge impact on your general health, productivity, life satisfaction and overall wellness. Relationships can be filthy, cluttered and unhealthy with: Bad Habits – Poor hygiene or self-care, cutting the other off when speaking or finishing their sentences, endlessly speaking about oneself and showing no interest in the other’s world, allowing distractions during meals or talks, taking other people’s sides in stories, running late, not keeping promises, not making timely plans and keeping them, not cleaning up after oneself, not showing common courtesies (a call when running late, offering food when getting oneself something, saying thank you, not making noise when the other is sleeping, not leaving dishes in the sink, not leaving hair in the shower or wet towels on the bed, etc.) Chaos – Not having a consistent place for things and putting things away, not having a consistent agreed upon routine, calling insistently and leaving disgruntled messages, reacting to petty things and blowing things out of proportion, not finishing tasks or conversations, juggling a lot of things simultaneously and operating with constant stress, not saying no and allowing multiple demands to tug at you, not setting clear expectations and limits, not having support, now working as a team, undermining each other, operating from own agendas Enmeshment – Doing everything together, not having own interests or personal time, telling each other how to be, behave, think, feel and having a running commentary in one’s mind about this, not allowing for individuality and uniqueness, putting own needs aside consistently for the other, not identifying own needs and being overly caring of the other, worrying about what the other is or is not doing, not having own voice, pushing for “We” at expense of “I” Disconnect – Having a limited repertoire of joint activities, not eating meals together, going to bed at different times, having only personal pursuits, having too much alone or with own group time, not sharing inner world (feelings, thoughts, wishes, dreams, concerns), not sharing one’s activities / world, having more separate plans than joint, not having joint goals, not sharing a calendar, paying bills separately Neglect – Lack of TLC, having a limited repertoire of intimate moves or approach to intimacy, having “sex” less than one time per week, not showing appreciation or acknowledgment, not checking in throughout the day, not greeting each other hello or goodbye and having that include touching, not sharing affection, not being on each other’s priority list, not being thoughtful with little things (getting partner a drink when getting oneself one, using all the hot water, doing only one’s laundry, not picking up the cleaners, not putting in gas in the car, eating the last of a favorite dish or dessert, etc.) Toxic Interactions – Disrespect with yelling, cursing, interrupting, or digging at the other, not supporting activities, wishes, or the other’s uniqueness and needs, undermining by not keeping agreements, setting up interactions not conducive to the task at hand, controlling by “owning” the other, manipulation to get own way or not allow the other to get theirs, passive-aggressiveness in not showing up and being accountable, criticism, banter and jokes at the other’s expense, constant complaining and whining, gossiping about others and leaking energy out of the relationship, lies, cover ups and secrets, resentment, anger and lack of resolution to concerns, not allowing each other to express feelings, not allowing each other to be their own person, being self absorbed If any of these are a part of your relationship, it can stand to have a little Spring Cleaning. Pick a couple of items from above to address and get rid of them pronto! Don’t let them accumulate and deprive you of a healthy, thriving, joyful, satisfying relationship and its benefits! Happy Cleaning!
Copyright (c) 2016 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 a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.