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Who's in the Driver's Seat of Your Relationship?

relationships Jun 07, 2019

Every day we make choices on how to feel about everything. When we wake up we can decide we are happy about it or upset by it but it is only our thoughts about it that makes it so. For example, I know a lot of people who hate Monday’s but “Karen” thinks of it as just another day. Allowing herself to be upset by a day of the week does not make sense to her so when Monday rolls around she’s the only one in the office who is cheerful.


You can apply this to your relationships too. Living from the narrow and distorted view of your Inner Critic in your romantic relationship will have you looking for what’s wrong, broken and isn’t working rather than what’s right, good and already working. You have to make the conscious choice to kick your inner critic to the curb...or at least the couch.

How can you become the driver in your relationship again?


There are four common ways your Inner Critic is sabotaging your relationships. I want to give you the tools to stop this from happening. You are the only one who can make the changes necessary to take back control of how you see and participate in your relationship.


On this day of love, you have the opportunity to make a choice about how you want to maintain your relationship


#1 - Nag, nag, nag...nothing is ever good enough for your Inner Critic


How many times does this happen in a day? Your Inner Critic convinces you something is wrong with you and your relationship -- even in the most benign situations. When your partner leaves wet towels on the bathroom floor, it can make you feel like what’s important to you doesn’t matter to him or her. It may be one thing that annoyed you but now your Inner Critic is nitpicking at everything and nagging you to change or to change your partner.


This leads to a choice: Do you want to keep looking at your relationship through the lens of your Inner Critic, or do you want to search for all that’s right?

#2 - Your Inner Critic always expects unrealistic standards.


One automatic behavior of your Inner Critic is called a “comparison hold” when your Inner Critic compares your partner to a standard that may not be based in reality.


As an example: Your partner didn’t bring you roses, and although he or she cleaned the whole house for you, your Inner Critic will focus on the flowers.


I once watched a friend repeatedly receive elaborate gifts on Valentine’s Day. That friend’s partner was always looking for the next big gift for her friend.


My Inner Critic automatically focused on how my friend’s partner was better than my own because he gave her elaborate gifts and my partner didn’t. You can imagine how that made me feel. When I, with the support of the Dethroning work, connected to my higher commitment in partnership, I reeled myself back in. I saw with 20/20 vision that my husband shows me his love with hugs, kisses, and words of adoration.

#3 - Your Inner Critic tells you how your relationship should be instead of enjoying the moment


This example is a reminder of how you can receive and give love in ways that are specific and meaningful to your relationship. In fact, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman shows how you receive love can be different from other people. You can uncover what makes you feel loved whether it’s words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service and, yes, receiving gifts.


Even knowing this, your Inner Critic will still tell you how your relationship should be, which can have you criticizing your partner.


The way a romantic relationship should be is a pervasive concept in our culture. You compare your relationship to this standard and look for how it measures up to that ideal.

#4 - Your Inner Critic is like an overzealous prosecutor who wants a guilty verdict regardless of the evidence


When your Inner Critic is running the show, you’re on autopilot and collecting evidence for all that’s wrong in your relationship -- and you don’t even know you’re doing it. You just keep throwing things in the “guilty” box not realizing there isn’t even a box for “innocent”.


While you may want your Inner Critic to pack her bags and stop being the third wheel in your relationship, she’s never going away.


You can’t banish her or change what she’s saying.


What you can do:

When you can, take notice your Inner Critic is more focused on what’s wrong and not looking for what’s right. When you stop listening to what’s wrong, the quality of your entire relationship will be transformed. YOU can make the conscious choice to look for what’s right.

Don’t compare apples to oranges, make sure you know exactly what you want in a relationship


One crucial way to do this in your own relationship: Find your Relationship GPS.

Ask yourself: What’s your vision for your relationship and what are you committed to? You’re making the choice when you’re not listening to your Inner Critic and you’re creating your own relationship.


Your Relationship GPS is your North Star, helping you see what you’re doing instead of what your partner is doing. Your Inner Critic wants you to focus on what your partner is or isn’t doing.


Is your Inner Critic your GPS? Who’s really in the driver seat of your relationship?  

Use your Relationship GPS to direct what you really see and want.


Remember: Your Inner Critic is so committed to making your partner wrong you forget that what you’re committed to is a happy, healthy relationship. This Relationship GPS will help you remember this even when you’re in the grips of your Inner Critic. Be able to ask yourself, “Would I rather be right or would I rather be connected?”

I hope you enjoy the day with the person you love!


Do you have a way of subduing your Inner Critic that could help others? Need help figuring out exactly what you want in a relationship? Comment below or email me, other readers and I would love to hear from you!



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