Strategies to get healthier relationships
If you have noticed that you have a destructive pattern when it comes to relationships, here are a few things that you can think about. Some of the suggestions will be more helpful for people with an abandonment schema, but some suggestions can be good anyways. I teach them to my patients.
1. Sit down and think about if you can see a pattern ín your past relationships. Think about what usually attracts you to a man/woman. A possibility is for example that you get attracted to the fact that the person you get attracted to is good at taking initiatives and at giving you compliments. May be you have had some other men/women to choose among but you didn´t because you perceived them as weak or boring compared to the carismatic partners you have chosen.
This was just an example, you can sit down and analyze your patterns.
2. If you see some kind of pattern try to analyze what happened with the relationship later. What kind of traits did you find in your partner that proved to be bad for you? Do you see some kind of pattern here?
3. Is there a a possibility that ”the good parts” of your partner that you saw from the beginning made you suppress other traits that you noticed, but chose not to pay attention to? Was your partner for example good at keeping his/her word when you decided something?, was he/she interested in what you had to say about different things and did she/he remember that later?, did he/she have enough time for you or did you come after work, tennis or friends?
4. If you notice things that you should have paid attention to, it is very important information for you next relationship. This is the first step, the next step is to act on what you have learned when you meet a partner and this is easier said than done. So, be prepared that you will get impulses to choose destructive behaviors again and if you have an abandonment schema you will probably feel very drawn to destructive behaviors so it is also important to put energy on the fact that it will be hard to resist.
If you have a abandonment schema, it is also important to see what you do once you have a healthy relationship. May be you have a hard time being by yourself even if your partner behaves well. In that case, you should analyze things in life that you do, or have done that have been good for you and then do them more often in order to become more independent. You can also try to take a class and that way look for behaviors that make you feel good and competent.
5. If you meet a good person and suddenly start feeling bored, it might be because this person is available for you and then you start seeing details that you find annoying. If, this is the case, don´t leave the person immediately. Try first to analyze the situation.
To be continued…
Coginitve behaviour Psycholgist Monica Emanell