Even the most blissful of relationships have their ups and downs, but taking care of yourself while in a relationship is one of the best things you can do — not just for yourself, but for the relationship as well. Typically, people think of self-care as eating well, exercising and going in for an aromatherapy massage once in a while, but there is so much more to it. In the context of romantic relationships, self-care also includes being sure to take time apart from your partner, communicating well and being honest about what’s working and what’s not, being true to yourself, setting healthy boundaries, and recognizing when a relationship brings you more pain than pleasure. This type of self-care can do wonders for your relationship. Here are the top ways that self-care can help solve your relationship problems.
1. When you make time for self-care, you don’t risk losing yourself. It’s all too easy to get so involved with someone that you have a hard time parsing out whose beliefs are whose — “I” becomes “we.” This is dangerous because it causes you to lose your sense of self and because it causes you to put unfair pressure on your partner to hold you up. Maintain your own inner reserves and you’ll both be able to face life’s problems as strong individuals — having the other person around will make everything easier, but you won’t rely wholly on that person.
2. If you don’t represent your own point of view, no one will. Part of self-care is taking your own position in an argument. If you constantly allow your partner to “win” an argument because you’d rather keep the peace, you’re stifling your own point of view. Instead, find ways to talk over your differences without getting vicious but while still making sure you’re heard. This prevents you from developing resentments toward your partner that can build up to dangerous levels and then come out in unhealthy ways.
3. Taking time away from a conflict can give you new perspective. Some relationship conflicts escalate only because both parties entrench themselves deeper and deeper in their position without stepping away for a breather. Let a conflict go for a while, do something that makes you feel good, and see how you feel when you return. You may well be able to better understand your partner’s position, or be better able to articulate your own.
4. Self-care can help you realize your true motivations and wounds. We all bring wounds from the past into our relationships, and when we’re upset with our partner it can sometimes be hard to recognize why we’re having the reaction we are. Is what your partner did really that upsetting, or are you upset because what he or she did reminds you of something that happened in the past? It’s only by taking a step back from the situation and journaling, talking with a therapist or friend, or engaging in some other form of self-care that we can begin to parse out why we’re feeling how we are.
5. Recognizing that your feelings are as valid as anyone else’s strengthens your self-esteem. Self-care helps you to acknowledge your own worth, and how can you respect your partner for wanting to be with you if you don’t respect yourself? By learning to speak up in your relationship, you’re telling yourself and your partner that you are a worthy person deserving of love.
6. Reciprocity makes for a healthy relationship. Part of self-care in the context of a relationship is making sure you’re heard and that your partner is heard. You should both consider each other’s feelings, ideas, beliefs and interests of equal value, and you should both give and receive emotional support.
About the Author:
Gwen Stewart is a marketing guru for clients of Outbounding.com. She works far too many hours, but has made a personal goal of eliminating Sunday from her work week. Her vision for the Fall includes one hour of yoga 4 times each week, homemade soup, saving for retirement, and time off work. She also believes that nose surgery can transform and empower a soul.
November 1, 2012 – 10:23 AM - | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Six Important Ways Self-Care Can Solve Your Relationship Problems