Many couples struggle to overcome negative thought patterns. After all, it’s easy to get caught up in your thoughts. However, it’s important to recognize that what your mind says is not always true. Sometimes cognitive distortions cause negative thought patterns that can ruin a perfectly good relationship.You don’t have to let past negative patterns hurt your healthy relationship, though. If you recognize these 10 negative thought patterns in your relationship, you can work on removing them and guaranteeing relationship happiness.
1. You make a big deal of something small.
Not everything needs to be an argument. Sometimes the small things really are small things. When your partner leaves out a smiley face on a text, don’t read into it. They may have been in a hurry and that’s why it was left out. Choose your battles and enjoy the good times.
2. You assume the worst.
Your partner may not do things the same way you do, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Deciding something will go wrong at the start never has a good ending. Instead, keep an open mind and stay positive.
3. You assign judgemental labels.
Putting negative or mean labels on people and things will make your partner feel defensive. It creates emotional distance in the relationship and makes it harder to connect. For example, stay away from labeling your partner’s best friend as a “loser,” just because you don’t like them. Instead of judging something quickly, try to look at it from different angles first.
4. You refuse to enjoy yourself.
Do you see having fun as a waste of time or unproductive? That may turn your partner off.Spend time laughing together and enjoying the little things. It will help bring you closer as a couple.
5. You blame your partner for everything.
Every time something goes wrong in the relationship, you blame your partner. This will cause resentment. Remember, a relationship is about the “we,” not the “I.” Before you place blame, look at the situation objectively and admit when you make mistakes too.
6. You make your partner responsible for your feelings.
You’re responsible for your actions and emotions — not your partner. You need to be able to self-soothe when you’re in a relationship. Take a bath, read a book, watch a comedy, or write in your journal. This will take the pressure off of your partner.
7. You act entitled.
Believing the same rules that apply to others but not to you is a recipe for disaster. For example: You believe that because you worked all day, you can come home and make a mess in the kitchen and leave it for your partner to clean up. This is not OK.
8. You expect everything to be “fair.”
This is unrealistic. A good example of this is when you watched your child all day on Saturday, and therefore your partner should watch the child all day on Sunday.
This will cause resentment. Life isn’t fair, you need to learn to cope and discuss ways to share your responsibilities together in a way that benefits you both, instead of trying to do an arbitrary exchange.
9. You cling to your own point of view.
You need to be able to see a problem from your partner’s perspective.
Ignoring your partner’s emotional needs or complaining that your partner is too needy when they express their needs is a selfish way to think. It will make your partner feel invalidated and drive you both apart.
10. You hold yourself or your partner to unrealistic expectations.
Don’t “should” yourself or your partner. Do you frequently expect your partner to know what you’re thinking without telling them? This is a quick way to upset you both. They’re not a mind-reader.
You need to state what your wants and needs are and set reachable goals.
Try not beat yourself up for using these cognitive distortions. We’ve all used them. The good news is you can rewire your brain to start using thought patterns that will better serve you.
Start today by changing one negative pattern in your relationship.
It can be small. Catch your partner doing something right in the relationship, rather than something wrong. This will help show appreciation.
It’s also important to spend quality time together. Yes, this means you need to do something romantic.
Start by telling your partner five things you appreciate in them. Make them genuine. It’s important to set time aside for your relationship.
Many couples go through highs and lows in their relationship. You aren’t alone.
Originally Published on YourTango