Jakob Wandel

4 Behaviors Keeping You Stuck In Toxic Relationship Patterns

According to Psychology Today, relationship patterns are “consistent patterns of interaction between you and your relationship partner.” While not all relationship patterns are negative, there are some relationship patterns that can be harmful and lead to unhealthy, unbalanced relationships.

Psych Central explains that we may repeat destructive patterns within our relationships for a number of reasons. For example, we may be attempting to heal relationship wounds from our past or may be creating dynamics that are familiar, such as ones we experienced growing up.

All of this said, a relationship is a two-way street and our individual behavior impacts the whole. But by taking control of our actions, we can help create a healthier, more fulfilling relationship. As such, here are four behaviors keeping you stuck in toxic relationship patterns.

1. Valuing independence over healthy attachment.

We live in a highly individualistic society that pushes the idea that independence and “not needing anyone else” are admirable. But the truth is that, while it is important to know how to take care of yourself, it is also crucial to have a solid support system. And if you’re in a serious partnership, they should be part of this support system as well.

Because if you’re going to be in a relationship, a healthy and lasting one at least, you’re going to have to lean on them every now and then. And you’re going to have to be there for them, too.

If you constantly refuse to ask for help, if you insist on doing everything on your own, if you avoid having vulnerable discussions because you’re afraid of being “needy,” you may find yourself resenting your partner, distrusting them, and even feeling deeply lonely. Not to mention, they may end up not feeling comfortable coming to you either.

The truth is that attachment is a normal component of human relationships. It’s okay to need someone else. It’s okay for someone else to need you, too. This is how true intimacy and trust is fostered.

2. Not doing the work you need to do to heal.

If the relationship patterns you keep finding yourself in mimic relational dynamics from your past, it may be because you still haven’t taken the time to heal those old relational wounds. You may be reconstructing these dynamics as a means of processing. But this will never help you feel better, not really. And until you take the necessary time to properly process and move forward from old hurt, you will remain in relationships that feel just as painful.

3. Blaming yourself for every relationship issue that arises.

As the saying goes, it takes two to tango. A dysfunctional relationship is not the result of only one party’s actions. While you can (and should!) take accountability for your role in conflicts or other issues that may arise, you can’t take the entire blame at all times.

4. Staying silent about things that bother you within the relationship in order to “keep the peace.”

Because, believe it or not, those grievances will find a way to reveal themselves, usually in the form of resentment and bitterness. Speaking up about something that pissed you off can be uncomfortable, but you will experience far more discomfort stewing alone in the anguish. The truth is that conflict is a normal component of relationships. No one is perfect, and you both are going to mess up and not always get it right. Learn to communicate and discuss your problems in a healthy and collaborative way, and you will see your relationship improve.