12 Ways To Break Bad Relationship Habits

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winter couple
... and live happily ever after.

7. Identify. You can't overcome habits that you have not yet identified. It's okay to have bad habits; we all do. Take an honest look at yourself in  relationships; see what habits you have that contribute to tension or dis-ease in the relationship. It's easy to blame him, but it takes two to tango  No matter what he is doing you are responding in a way that is at least fanning the fire of toxicity. —Amanda Jennings

8. Become aware. Sometimes we know what our toxic habits are, but we don't realize we are engaging in them until it is too late. A way to become aware, in the moment, is to notice the feeling you get when your toxic habit is triggered. Keep it in mind. Then, if you find yourself feeling that feeling, maybe a sinking pain in the pit of your stomach, you know that your behavior may begin to get toxic. —Amanda Jennings


9. Take control of yourself. Once you have identified the habit and become aware of the feeling, it is time to take control of that habit. No one can make you behave in a way you regret. He may trigger this response, but you have control over whether you are going to go toxic. Find a different way to communicate your feelings, one that is kind and more productive, both to you and to him. —Amanda Jennings

10. Stop fussing with your partner and take a break from the action. Most of us go through life on auto-pilot. Realizing how many times we drive somewhere without remembering the journey is startling proof. Changing a bad relationship habit means you have to realize you're screwing up in the first place. Get used to paying attention to thoughts, feelings and behaviors about ordinary things before you tackle the harder stuff. —Kathe Skinner

11. Look at your partner's body language. What do you suppose your body language is saying about you? The truth is, most of our communication is done non-verbally. No matter what we say, our pose gives us away. If your partner's words say "I don’t care" but tears are falling, what's really going on?  By focusing on solving this contradiction, your anger will probably slip away. —Kathe Skinner

12. Listen to what your partner is saying, not to what you think is being said. The bad habit of being reactive comes from an interpretation of what's being said, not necessarily from what is actually being said. Ever play the "Pass It On" game where one person whispers something to the next person and so on until the last person reveals what they heard? Be sure you know what your partner is saying by reflecting back what you've heard. Otherwise, you'll be building an argument based on the assumed truth of "the last whisper." —Kathe Skinner

Article contributed by

Dr. Karen Sherman


Dr. Karen Sherman is a Psychologist and radio host of Your Empowered Relationship as well as the co-author of "Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make it Last" and award winning "Mindfulness and The Art of Choice: Transform Your Life." Her experet advice is sought after in print, radio, and TV. 
Connect with Dr. Karen through her FREE 21-day program or monthly newsletter
Location: Long Island, NY
Credentials: PhD
Website: http://www.DrKarenSherman.com


Location: Plainview, NY
Credentials: MFT, NCC, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues
Advanced Member

Kathe Skinner

Marriage and Family Therapist

Kathe Skinner, M.A.





Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Credentials: LMFT, MA
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