By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.
That other relationship of yours.
Every one of us has other relationships that can at times interfere with our primary partner relationship. Now some of you already jumped to the conclusion that this has to do with affairs or cheating on your spouse. It is much worse than that.
We all have far more relationships during our lifetime than we recognize. Each of those relationships takes up time and space in our existence. Let these other relationships get out of whack and your primary, romantic relationship will suffer.
Family of origin relationships.
We all have families we grew up in. For some people, this is messier than for others. Even if you never knew your biological parents, you had foster parents, group homes or other relatives you stayed with.
We all take the lessons learned and the unresolved conflicts from those old relationships with us into the new ones. If you came from an unloving non-affirming family you may find it impossible to accept compliments. You may also settle for anyone out there who will love you. That puts you at risk to be victimized by someone who gives you a little love and then takes more than they gave.
If you were abused or neglected you can take that distrust along for the rest of your life. Scars from childhood influence our choice of relationship partners.
Relationships with Exes.
We have all kinds of Exes. Ex-bosses, ex-teachers, and ex-partners. Even if you are with your first love there are likely to be the ones you had a crush on who got away.
All those past relationships throw long shadows onto the current relationships. You are at risk to relate to the one you are with the way you learned to relate to others in your past. Make sure you are over those exes.
Balancing relations with children and partners.
Children are lifelong relationships. This is a special problem in blended families. How healthy your relationship is with your children and their other parent can seriously affect your new relationship. If you have not worked out your issues with your children and their other parent do so before it ruins the chances of a successful new relationship.
Work relationships impact home relationships.
Employers know that many of the problems their employees have on the job they brought to work with them. A fight with a spouse or children carries over into the workday. So do substance abuse problems and exes.
This connection between home and work problems works the other way also. If you are unhappy on the job it will make you stressed and tired when you go home.
Work on finding a job you love or on making the job you have more enjoyable. Sometimes just giving up the disappointment struggle and practicing radical acceptance is the best solution.
Substances or Interests.
Anyone who has lived with a substance abuser is likely to have felt like their partner was having an affair. I wrote a post a while back about how partners of substance abusers can get caught up in a Threesome.
We all create relationships with things as well as people. Some things we like, some things we hate. Some of those relationships are healthy and supportive others can become sick or dysfunctional.
If you have a relationship with a thing or a substance that has gone beyond a preference and is becoming a must-have, consider that your needy relationship with that substance or activity has probably already impacted your primary love relationship.
Partners of internet or porn addicts will tell you that they have lost their partner to an affair with imaginary pixels.
Spiritual and religious practices.
This issue runs the gamut. Some people have a rigid position on the “correct faith.” While they were fine with dating and falling in love with someone who did not believe as they did they feel the continued need to change and convert their partner.
At the other end of the spectrum are those people who have no particular religious or spiritual tradition and who wish their partner did not either. They try to make the partner chose between their faith and the relationship.
The solutions for all these other relationships? Begin by recognizing that you and your partner have other relationships in your lives. Work on learning to keep those other connections in their proper balance.
Some of you will have others, family, and friends who so intrude on your primary relationship you will need to distance yourself from that former relationship.
Good partner communication and a belief that whatever the challenges, your significant other is committed to this partner relationship will go a long way in keeping those other relationships from damaging your couple’s relationship.
- When your mind magnifies your problems (counselorssoapbox.com)
- What do several failed relationships mean? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Are you a Functional Alcoholic? Do you know someone with an Alcohol Use Disorder? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Could you use some help? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Fairytales end at the wedding – Marriage and Divorce (counselorssoapbox.com)
- More on how to be happy (counselorssoapbox.com)
- Do emotional problems, depression, and anxiety, time travel? (counselorssoapbox.com)
- The voices in your head – depression, anxiety, and fear – they lie (counselorssoapbox.com)
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!
My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.
Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.
Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.
As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.
Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.
Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.
Planned Accidents The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.
Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.
What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?
Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.
For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller
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