East Bay, Berkeley Relationship Counseling Center (Couples Counseling Therapy)

Do you keep ending up with people who are not good for you? Yes, it’s true the person you are picking is behaving poorly.  Since we cannot change someone else’s behavior, we must examine our own patterns in picking the wrong person. In doing this, we can begin to conceptualize healthy relationships and hold that as our new standard.

Unhealthy Relationships:

  1. We mistake love for physical attraction, neediness and the need to rescue or be rescued. (Examine how your desperation effects your perception)
  2. We choose emotionally and physically unavailable people in relationships. (Examine your fear of intimacy)
  3. We pick people who treat us poorly by being punishing, critical, controlling or demeaning. (Examine your low self-esteem.)
  4. We lose interest in our own personal interests and activities and become enmeshed with the one person and their interests.  (Examine your boundaries.)
  5. We stay in and return to unhealthy relationships. (Examine your fear of loneliness.)
  6. We begin sexual relationships or become emotionally attached without really knowing someone.  (Examine your boundaries.)
  7. We fantasize about who we think someone is and then are crushed when they fall short of that fantasy.  (Examine what is reality vs. fantasy)

Healthy Relationships:

  1. When something is wrong we can talk about it.
  2. We encourage each other to be better people.
  3. Having separate interests and friends isn’t a threat.
  4. We can be vulnerable about feelings with some degree of safety.
  5. We can handle difficult situations as a team.
  6. We both are dedicated to spending quality time with each other.
  7. Trust builds through our growing capacity to be honest with one another.

Remember unhealthy patterns are necessary to learn and grow!

Video Transcription – Couples Counseling Therapy

Hello, this is Sevin Philips and I’m here to talk about getting into healthy marriages. I know many of us want to be with somebody that we truly love, admire and are happy with.

Sometimes we find ourselves searching and not finding the right person or we even get into different marriages, but seem to find the same characteristics in the people that we’re with.

First of all, we really need to examine our own unhealthy relationship patterns. Sometimes we say we say we just didn’t find the right person, but really, we ourselves have to examine why we are choosing these kinds of people.

Here are some common themes that I see. One of them is that we can mistake love for neediness, or even physical attraction or the desire to be rescued.

Sometimes we find ourselves continuing to get into relationships with unavailable people. You might find that you tend to choose people who treat you poorly, whether they’re controlling, or demeaning or critical.

You also might find when you’re single you have all these interests in outside friends, but when you get into a relationship, you lose those along the way. You become enmeshed with one person.

You might find that you know you’re in an unhealthy marriages, yet you just can’t seem to get out of it. Or you do get out of it, only to find yourself returning to that same person.

Sometimes we get sexually connected or even emotionally attached to somebody too soon, before we really know who they are.

Also, we can fantasize about who we think someone is and then we find out later that they weren’t the person we thought they were and then we blame them for not being that person.

These are some common one. But we really need to do is first examine our own shortcomings and take responsibility for our part in picking these people.

You might suffer from low self-esteem or you have a difficult time taking care of yourself and creating healthy boundaries in a relationship. You might find that you’re terrified of being alone or even really desperate to be in a relationship. These things can really cloud your vision and making poor choices.

Also, I think to move forward having examined these relationship patterns, you kind of have to have an idea of what a healthy relationship, one that you can talk to somebody when things get difficult, that when you do talk about your feelings, it’s safe to do so. You might find that you feel like a team when you’re under certain situations that are difficult, and that’s always a good thing. Both people really should protect the marriages as far as the quality time you spend with one another.

What I really like is when both people really encourage each other to be the best people they can be in their lives, whether it’s in their career, their arts or just anything that the person wants to be in their life; just supporting one another in that kind of way.

You can make up your own list. But what’s most important is you have an idea what it looks like for you.

I would love to hear any suggestions you have about relationship patterns that you’ve been in or make any additions at all to the healthy ones that I mentioned. I hope you’re well.

East Bay, Berkeley Relationship Counseling Center – Couples Counseling Therapy

Sevin Philips , Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist