How Unhealthy Patterns Wreck Relationships & How to Create Healthy Patterns.

by Diane Rooker

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Creating Healthy Patterns and Boundaries

How to Create Healthy Patterns in Relationships

I want to examine how unhealthy patterns play havoc for couples in their relationship and how new healthy ones can be created through couples’ counselling.  Every couple I see is different with their own unique experiences and patterns, however, there is a common thread that connects the majority of couples regardless of their circumstance.  After working with hundreds of couples, there seems to be a similar sequence that is evident in couples. Even though all couples are unique when they come to me their current situations are very similar.  This is why I devised a package of 6 sessions.  There is a step-by-step process I apply when working with my couples. Each couple’s issues are still treated uniquely whilst working through the process.

Have you heard the saying “people are their patterns” This is true for individuals as well as within a relationship. Couples repeat the same pattern over and over, same issue different week, and this can be quite destructive to the relationship and somewhat frustrating to the couples.

Our Neural pathways

As humans when we repeat behaviours we are also creating a strong muscle for that behaviour which is called a neural pathway. Neural pathways are imperative for all individuals to be able to perform daily tasks without it being too much of an effort.  An example of this can be taken back to when a human is born this baby is totally dependent on getting all of its needs met by someone else. The majority of the time this will be the parents role.  A baby cannot feed or dress itself, it can’t walk or talk, but over time repeating the same behaviours or actions develop the neural pathway for this particular action, and soon enough no thought needs to go into this action again. 

Observe how many things you do throughout your day without having to think of how to do them, it’s done automatically, or unconsciously and this is because the neural pathways for these actions are fully formed. This is why people with brain injuries may need to learn these actions all over again. 

 

Why Couples can’t stop Patterning within the Relationship?

Well firstly, the patterns are very strong they are now running subconsciously and secondly, even if they wanted to do it differently they don’t know where to start.  It can be quite difficult as there are a variety of new actions and tools that need to be applied in sequence to help couples not only rid themselves of the old patterns but to create new healthy ones, new behaviours that the couples would like to achieve.  

There are so many anomalies that come into play when entering a relationship, cultures, past experiences, how they were parented,  sexes, and love languages, there is so much involved within and between a couple that has the potential to affect their relationship, it’s no wonder when people run into stressful situations it’s difficult to manage things.  Many couples begin to notice issues arise when there is more stress in their lives and one of the major stressors is starting a family. As once again there are so many changes that occur, hormones, lack of sleep, and parenting styles all of which can cause the couple to disconnect. Stressors can cause people to change and we need to learn to adapt to these daily changes.

Couples Counselling is a great resource to support all relationships. Or listen to or read the Transform Relationships podcast.

 

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