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Who’s Really in the Driver’s Seat of Your Relationship?

relationships Feb 14, 2018

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Living from 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.

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

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.

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? 

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.

Emily 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.

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

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.  

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.

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

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?”

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

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