What Is Codependency?

The traditional definition of codependency is a relationship that is focused on one person fixing and/or controlling another person resulting in their own lack of self-care. “If you are ok, I am ok”. Controlling, nurturing and maintaining the existence of another individual who is emotionally and/or chemically dependent on and engages in undesirable behaviors is a relational recipe for disaster.

Codependency: What Is It And What Are The Signs?

As an example, a classic codependency model is an alcoholic husband and his enabling wife.
Among the core characteristics of codependency is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and a sense of identity and worth.

Understanding Codependency

Codependents are individuals who give of themselves to others and compromise their ability to care for self. Although the act of giving more of themselves make codependents believe they are “loving more” than the other person, this is not healthy behavior. Love and codependency are far from being the same thing.
Why? Because this leads to enabling. Enabling is a destabilizing behavior to the codependent person because it brings intense feelings of anxiety and fear that a loved one will not be ok. This becomes a difficult feeling to tolerate.
Codependent people often experience an array of conflicting emotions such as anger, guilt, grief, fear and shame. This is because they feel powerless over not being able to change, control, or help another person, which leads to feeling destabilized.

What Are The Signs Of Codependency?

If you’re wondering if you or a loved one is showing some codependency signs, here’s what you should look out for.

Most Common Codependency Symptoms:

  • Feel most comfortable when they are giving
  • Try to please others instead of themselves
  • Have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility
  • Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem
  • Try to be all things to all people all the time
  • Unable to say “no”
  • Seek out chaos and then complain about it
  • Get angry when somebody refuses their help
  • A tendency to have their self-esteem connected to “doing”
  • Try to prove they are good enough to be loved
  • Try to be perfect, and expect others to be perfect
  • Have self-blame and put themselves down
  • Can express signs of control issues
  • Feel victimized by the “selfishness” of others

What Causes Codependency?

As children, we are vulnerable and utterly dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. However, if you have suffered abandonment issues or grew up with an unavailable parent, then it means you may have taken the role of caretaker and/or enabler.
In other words, you have put your parent’s needs first, above your own.
What’s more, dysfunctional families don’t acknowledge that a problem exists, and as a result, the family members respond by repressing emotions and disregarding their own needs.
When the child becomes an adult, this leads to repeating the same behavior in their adult relationships.

Can Codependency Be Treated?

Treatment for codependency starts with exploring childhood issues and being aware of dysfunctional behavior patterns.
It is about healing deep-rooted feelings of hurt, loss, and anger from past wounds. Healing allows you to reconnect to yourself with self-compassion and self-love.
We recommend that you seek support from professionals and talk about the pain that’s inside of you.

How To Overcome Codependency In Relationships

While overcoming codependency is no simple task, there are techniques you can use to minimize its effects. Here’s what you can do to heal from codependency:

  • Practice independence.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Keep your expectations in check.
  • Make peace with past mistakes.
  • Set healthy boundaries.

Remember, you are worthy of happiness and love and a healthy relationship. You can have relational freedom and say farewell to your relationship problems. And we can help!

PIVOT: Your Key To Breaking Codependency Patterns

Our PIVOT coaches will provide you with support and healing. We help codependents by focusing on creating healthy boundaries, building self-esteem, learning how to say “no” without guilt, and cultivating deep self-care.
Our clients include family members and spouses of addicts of all kinds. We also get individuals who struggle in the workplace or in the home with codependency, as well as individuals dealing with depression symptoms.
Attend intensive workshops at our retreat: The Glass House, or schedule a one-on-one session with a PIVOT Advocate who will create an individual coaching program designed to repair and restore relational challenges. We’re here to help.

Common Relationship Problems: How To Resolve Them?

Both new and long-term relationships bring a fair share of challenges. Learning how to identify both relationship problems and solutions is one of the key steps to establishing emotional intimacy with your partner. However, revealing the underlying problem and coping with it in a healthy, constructive way is far from easy.
In fact, some individuals avoid addressing certain issues with their partners because they don’t want to admit that the problem exists in the first place. Others believe that by showing that something bothers them in their partners’ behavior, their vulnerability will be interpreted as a weakness.
However, to maintain a healthy, strong relationship, you need to learn how to recognize a problem and prevent it from causing a conflict with your partner. Only then will you be certain that you’ve found the right person and have a relationship worth fighting for.

What Are The Most Common Problems In A Relationship?

Whether you and your partner argue frequently or almost never get into conflict, you probably still experience certain obstacles in your relationship. While some of these issues may seem irrelevant or temporary, they may be triggered by serious underlying problems. Leaving them unresolved can truly sabotage your relationship and even cause you to become depressed.
So, the first step in overcoming relationship challenges is detecting and understanding the problem.

5 Most Common Problems In A Relationship

If you’re not certain what exactly has come between you and your partner, take a look at some common problems individuals often experience in their relationships:

  • Inability to communicate with each other

Maintaining an open, honest communication can be difficult when you’re emotionally involved with someone. For some people, expressing their feelings or confronting their partner is truly challenging as it puts them in an uncomfortable situation. Additionally, some couples who’ve been in a long relationship may let their previous problems prevent them from truly listening to each other.

  • Feeling bored and stuck 

This is a common problem among long-term partners who feel that their relationship has nothing new to offer. They feel as if they’re stuck in a rut, always doing the same things and knowing almost everything about each other. If you’ve experienced the same problem, you may have wondered whether you’re with the right person.

  • Growing apart from each other

If you’ve been with your partner for years, you’ve probably shared numerous experiences. However, the problem arises when one of you has changed significantly over the years, while the other person remained the same. Whether it comes to gaining new interests, achieving business success, or simply adopting new habits, you or your partner may feel as if the other person has “changed too much”, which can affect your relationship.

  • Experiencing trust issues

Whether because of negative relationship history or a problem that has occurred between you and your partner, you may lose trust in your partner or have a problem establishing it in the first place. This can lead to a great number of other problems as trust is the foundation of every relationship.

  • Having trouble committing

If you or your partner have commitment issues, you may find it hard to maintain or even enter a relationship. This is a common problem among individuals who have an ambivalent or avoidant type of attachment style.

What Causes Problems In Relationships?

These issues are both a problem and a cause. For instance, trust issues can be a cause of jealousy in a relationship. However, you also have to consider what has led to these trust issues in the first place. Have you experienced infidelity in the previous relationship? Do your trust issues stem from your relationship with your parents?
Finding the exact reason behind certain problems will help you overcome them and help you build an even stronger relationship with your partner. If you want to understand yourself and your partner better and find a solution to your relationship obstacles, start by gaining a deeper insight into their cause.

  • Self-abandonment: It’s natural to put your relationship before some personal wishes after carefully considering your unique situation. However, completely neglecting yourself and focusing solely on your partner can result in a range of different problems, including resentment, anger, low self-esteem, and even depression.
  • Intimacy issues: If you and your partner have the fear of intimacy, you may be reluctant to commit fully to each other or experience serious communication problems. You may find it difficult to talk about your feelings or concerns, not wanting to get too close to your partner.
  • Incompatibility: Some people are simply not compatible in one or more aspects. Whether it comes to your sexual relationship, personal goals, personalities, or attachment styles, compatibility problems can sabotage or damage your relationship.
  • Codependency: Being in a codependent relationship is unhealthy for both partners. It leads to completely neglecting yourself, experiencing self-worth issues and self-criticism, and constantly seeking validation from your partner.

However, it’s important to mention that a relationship problem can be a result of multiple causes. It’s not always easy to discern what exactly triggered an issue between you and your partner. This is particularly common among individuals who are in a long-term relationship because numerous factors are in play.

How Do You Know If You Are The Problem In A Relationship?

It’s easy to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your relationship and it’s far from easy to take responsibility for certain problems. However, two people are responsible for keeping a relationship healthy, so you have to ask yourself whether you’re causing certain issues.
Of course, if you’re the problem, it doesn’t mean that you’re sabotaging your relationship on purpose. Some behavioral patterns and previous experiences may be affecting your attitude toward your partner and preventing you from resolving certain conflicts.

Signs That You’re The Problem

So, if you’re wondering whether you’re the reason why your relationship has hit the wall, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you often go off topic when arguing with your partner?
  • Do you think you’re superior to your partner in any way?
  • Do you lash out easily regardless of the problem?
  • Do you avoid admitting you’re wrong?
  • Do you have a problem saying sorry?
  • Are you happy with yourself?

How Do You Fix Relationship Problems?

Overcoming relationship challenges requires a lot of effort and work since there’s no single solution you can try. However, if you’ve found a person you truly love and want to see your relationship work, you will work on resolving your issues together and support each other along the way. Here’s how you can start:

  • Work on yourself. To be truly happy with your partner, you need to be happy and satisfied with yourself. From changing negative behavior and habits to working on your personal growth, taking steps to improve yourself will reflect on your relationship.
  • Nurture your communication. Communication is the key to resolving problems and conflicts. Don’t hesitate to speak up when something bothers you and truly listen to your partner. Discuss your issues openly and avoid criticizing your partner.
  • Stay honest, open, and calm. It’s important to stay calm during an argument to resolve a problem. Try to control your anger and express it in a healthy way. Additionally, stick to your promises and be honest – always.
  • Show appreciation. If you notice that your partner is really trying to change and work on your relationship, express your appreciation. Make sure to do the same for other gestures they do for you. If your partner feels unappreciated, this can really affect your relationship and their self-esteem.
  • Be patient. Resolving relationship problems is a process that takes time, especially if you need to change some well-established behaviors.
  • Consider relationship coaching. If you feel that you’re not making any progress or cannot identify the exact problem in your relationship, consider seeking help from a coach or joining an intensive workshop.

Resolve Your Relationship Problems With Life-Changing PIVOT

Strengthening your relationship through problem and conflict resolution is truly rewarding. However, it requires you and your partner to overcome numerous challenges and face your problems honestly, which can be difficult and emotionally exhausting.
Fortunately, you can find the help and support you need with us. Our experienced PIVOT advocates are here to help you gain a deeper understanding of your relationship, reveal the problems that have been sabotaging it, and finally reach the resolution you need.
The PIVOT process is carefully devised to help you alter the negative behavioral patterns by addressing the underlying issues. By reaching out to us, you’ll have an opportunity to join our high-result intensive coaching retreat at the Glass House or work on your personal growth and self-improvement through our individual PIVOT coaching. Start your personal and relational transformation today!

How Do I Recognize And Enhance Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship?

Are you feeling uncertain about the level of emotional intimacy in your relationship? Are there any indications of emotional intimacy issues that you’re somehow missing? How can you tell if you and your partner have established genuine emotional intimacy? If so, how do you build on it?
Read on to find out whether you have managed to build an intimate connection with your partner and learn how to improve intimacy in a relationship and further enhance the closeness between you and your partner.

What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Intimate With Someone?

First of all, relationships are not easy nor simple. Falling in love with someone may be spontaneous and come natural, but things in a relationship might not go as smoothly. It takes hard work to form a lasting, meaningful connection with someone, develop intimacy and build a relationship that has the potential to last a lifetime.

What Is Considered Intimacy?

Intimacy is manifested through emotional, mental and physical closeness between two people in a relationship. Passion and physical intimacy are certainly exciting. But it is emotional intimacy, closely intertwined with mental intimacy, that is an absolutely necessary part and the basis of a lasting relationship.
Having genuine emotional intimacy with a partner means that you have a relationship built on mutual understanding, support, love, and care. You are always there for each other, but you don’t pressure each other into opening up about things you’re uncomfortable with until you’re ready. Your relationship is built on patience, empathy, and kindness. As a couple, you are in-sync and ready to overcome any challenge you may be facing down the line.
They say couples who laugh together, stay together. Couples who stay together also tend to:

  • Show affection physically,
  • Express loving emotions verbally,
  • Have intellectual discussions,
  • Share experiences with each other.

What Are The Four Types Of Intimacy?

Intimacy comes in four main forms, all of which are important for building a healthy and long-lasting relationship. These are:

  • Emotional intimacy: being emotionally intimate with someone means being able to share your deepest feelings, insecurities, and dreams without fearing judgment. You should feel valued and understood by your partner.
  • Physical intimacy: while most people associate physical intimacy with sexual intercourse, it actually involves much more than that. It is about sensual expression and activity that brings you closer.
  • Intellectual intimacy: discussing your viewpoints and beliefs with your partner without fear can help deepen intellectual or cognitive intimacy. Both of you should feel like your opinions and thoughts are valued in the relationship.
  • Experiential intimacy: this form of intimacy is built by sharing experiences and activities with your partner. Whether it’s traveling together or enjoying a nice dinner at your favorite restaurant, shared experiences can deepen your bond immensely.

Can A Relationship Survive A Lack Of Intimacy?

Love and affection are basic human needs. Lacking intimacy in a relationship can bring about a wide range of problems for you and your partner, especially if you used to be closer or if one of you is more willing to work on building intimacy.
A relationship without intimacy can survive only if both partners are ready to put in some effort to create a deeper bond. If you both decide to work together to rebuild intimacy, then, yes, your relationship will most likely survive and may even transform into something entirely new and beautiful.

How Can I Improve My Partners Intimacy?

If you feel like your partner is no longer as intimate with you, don’t despair. There are numerous ways in which you can rebuild the connection between you two. Here’s how you can build intimacy in your marriage:

  • Provide emotional support
  • Share your thoughts
  • Spend more time together
  • Share exciting experiences
  • Spend less time on your phone/computer
  • Show appreciation with loving gestures

Signs Of Emotional Intimacy

There are several signs of emotional intimacy that you can easily recognize:

  • You’re not trying to change each other: you accept your partner for who they are, and they reciprocate. If this lasts past the honeymoon phase, you can rest assured that the love you have for each other is unconditional, which is a sign of a healthy relationship in which both partners are free to be who they really are.
  • You make each other better humans. You push each other to be better. It’s as if the purity of the love you have for each other is making you kinder.
  • You are compatible with each other in the sense that matters most: the core principles and values you both uphold. If you share a similar life philosophy and moral standards and feel like you’re each other’s intellectual equals, you are on the same wavelength and you have a relationship that’s built to last.
  • You communicate on a deep, meaningful level. You are always having conversations that revolve around expressing and sharing innermost feelings and emotions and it feels natural. Honesty and openness between partners are the cornerstones of a healthy relationship.
  • You are still the same independent individuals as before. Unlike two people in a codependent relationship, you two are in love with each other independently and perfectly comfortable being apart. By being careful not to suffocate each other, you’re giving yourselves the space to breathe and a chance at a happily ever after.

Can A Relationship Coach Help Me Build Emotional Intimacy?

If you have decided to work on your emotional intimacy issues, speaking with a relationship coach would be the best course of action. Here’s how an intimacy coach can help:

  • They will encourage you to share positive feelings with your partner. This may include telling your partner you love them more frequently, or simply showing appreciation for the actions that your partner does. No matter what exact words you use, sharing these positive feelings will help deepen the bond between you and your partner.
  • An intimacy coach will teach you to speak about your fears. If you want to deepen intimacy with your partner, they should be allowed to see the parts of you that you deem unacceptable or shameful. By showing these aspects of yourself and sitting with your vulnerability, you will find it much easier to feel relaxed and accepted.
  • They will teach you how to accept and acknowledge your shortcomings. In order to create closer bonds with people, you will have to learn how not to be defensive about the parts of you that may be seen as weaknesses. An intimacy coach will encourage you to admit your faults and help you be more direct and honest when sharing with others.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy With A Partner?

Spicing things up in the bedroom is relationship 101. But working on building emotional intimacy with someone takes a more subtle approach. Now gorging on spicy baby back ribs while watching a Conan McGreggor fight may not be your ideal way to spend date night, but if your partner’s into it, rest assured it’s one way to spice things up at a deeper level.
Remember that it’s the little things that count. You’re showing that you care enough for your partner to listen and remember the things they like and care about.
Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

  • Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities together.
  • Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding.
  • Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy.
  • Compliment each other and remind each other of all the things you love and appreciate about each other.
  • Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive.
  • Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable: avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy.
  • Create an atmosphere of emotional safety.

7 Ways To Build Intimacy In Your Relationship

Both you and your partner should make a conscious effort to do the following:

1. Share experiences

Take part in meaningful, connection-deepening activities with your partner. Trying something new can bring you closer together and help you create new memories that you will cherish for years to come.

2. Don’t fear conflict

Discuss issues that you disagree on to boost empathy and understanding instead of avoiding all forms of conflict. Both you and your partner should strive to create healthy boundaries and feel free to talk about your concerns and fears.

3. Express yourself

Boost intimacy with meaningful gestures that will make your partner happy. Showing your love and appreciation without fear will make your partner feel safe and loved, as well as deepen your connection.

4. Give compliments

As time goes by, many couples stop giving compliments to each other because they feel like everything has been said. Make sure to remind your partner of all the things you love and appreciate about them.

5. Love yourself

Work on yourself individually and your relationship will thrive. Self-care can come in many forms, whether it’s taking up a new hobby, achieving career goals, or simply finding more time to spend with your friends.

6. Be vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. In fact, avoidance is the archenemy of intimacy. Guarding your feelings will only distance you from your partner instead of bringing you closer together. Make sure to speak up about your fears and insecurities.

7. Provide support

Let your partner know that they can rely on you for love and support. Create an atmosphere of emotional safety and try to be a good listener. If your partner feels cared for, they will surely reciprocate.

Restoring And Improving Emotional Intimacy

Building emotional intimacy with a partner requires ongoing work from both partners. Trying to rebuild and restore emotional intimacy takes even more hard work, patience and dedication. Whether you’re attempting to save a relationship that lost its spark or start a healing process after a critical period, difficult times may lie ahead. But to quote Elvis Presley: Let’s not let a good thing die.
So what can you do to restore and improve emotional intimacy?

  • Focus on your personal growth,
  • Improve your communication and practise active listening,
  • Spend quality time with your significant other,
  • Romance isn’t dead: even the smallest romantic gestures can go a long way in helping you rebuild intimacy.

How To Build Emotional Intimacy In A New Relationship?

Maybe your partner is just having a bad day, but you’ve already started seeing red flags and having terrifying visions of the worst-case scenario where you have drifted apart and damaged your relationship beyond repair.
Sometimes when you’re in a new relationship, things can get really awkward really fast. We’ve all been there. The ebb and flow of relationships is frightening, especially if you’re just starting to get emotionally intimate with someone. You may start to feel that you’re growing distant from your partner. On the other hand, you’re afraid to address the topic because you don’t want to put a strain on your partner or come off as overbearing or paranoid.
But instead of fearing what the future may bring, be proactive. Just because you’re in a new relationship doesn’t mean you have to walk on eggshells. In fact, if you want to make a relationship work, you have to have an honest approach from day one and feel free to express any concerns, fears or suspicions you may have. This is as important as taking affirmative action and expressing the love and appreciation you have for each other.

Emotional Intimacy Does Not Equal Perfect Harmony

As with any relationship, conflicts are inevitable, especially once partners in a budding relationship have taken off their rose-colored glasses. But partners who want to make their relationship work and who are putting their time and energy into building emotional intimacy may avoid getting into conflict with each other for the first time for fear of losing their partner.
Surprisingly enough, conflicts in a relationship can prove useful: they can help clear the air and help you and your partner reach a higher level of mutual understanding and intimacy.

Learn How To Improve Intimacy In A Relationship At PIVOT

Here at PIVOT, we are all about helping you grow as a person and providing you with the support and guidance you need to form relationships that will last. Whether you decide to attend emotional intimacy coaching sessions by yourself or together with your partner, our PIVOT Advocates are here to promote your personal growth.
You may also benefit greatly from a retreat or building intimacy in a marriage workshop at The Glass House. Consult PIVOT Advocates to get a comprehensive overview of the PIVOT process and all that it has to offer. Contact us today!

Why Feeling “Not Enough” Is Impacting Your Relationship

Do find yourself thinking, “I’m not enough,” “feeling like I’m not good enough” or “I’m not worthy of love?”
Or do you feel that you work hard to be the best, but you should be more, do more or be better? Otherwise, you don’t measure up.
Maybe feeling not good enough triggered if your friend didn’t call when she said she would, or someone rejected your ideas or perhaps your relationship ended.
If this is you, then you may have childhood wounds that haven’t been healed.

Why Do I Feel Like I Am not Good Enough for Anyone?

As children, we are completely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, and boundaries. Most importantly, we want and need to feel loved and accepted by our primary caregivers.
Imagine a baby who’s desperate for attention, but his mother ignores him. Think about how impressionable that is for him. When babies and children don’t have a proper connection, they will crave this and grow up feeling that they are not enough.
For example, if this child was raised by a dysfunctional family, say with a narcissistic parent, then the child does not understand why that parent is not capable of empathy or love. Or an alcoholic parent who is sometimes available and other times is not able to function.
Children who live in these situations may try to fix the problem, by thinking “if I were a better child, my daddy wouldn’t drink.”
This leads them to feel that they need to be better and that somehow, they are not good enough as they are.
As they get older, they’ll continue to feel like they’re not enough, and in later years, they may turn to fixing others, food, alcohol, porn, relationships, or drugs to fill that void.
The good news is that there is hope for changing the negative self-talk of feeling like you’re unworthy or feeling insecure and not good enough.
But first, if you’re in a relationship, here are five signs that feeling this way is impacting your relationship:

Five Signs That Your Relationship Is Affected

If you rely on your partner to feel like you’re ‘enough’ — attractive enough, fun enough, smart enough, kind enough — then you’ll never be entirely happy. And it can impact your relationship because you look to your partner to fix this you.
Here are five signs that your “not good enough” thoughts are impacting your relationship:

1)   You can’t totally trust your partner

Although you crave love, you may be experiencing trust issues that make you unwilling to attach to someone emotionally. If you don’t fully trust your partner, then it’s difficult to open up emotionally, which can stop your relationship from growing.
Trust issues typically come from past hurts or unhealthy family relationships during childhood.

2) You compare yourself to your partner’s ex

It’s natural to be curious about your partner’s ex. But if you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to them or worrying you don’t measure up, then that’s a sign that your feeling of “not good enough” is taking over your relationship.
Remember, your partner chose you. They are not with their ex any longer.

3) You expect your partner to reassure you continually

Everyone wants some reassurance from their partner now and then. But if you constantly need them to validate you, their love or your relationship, then that’s a sign that negative thoughts are taking over your relationship.
This can lead to an increased fear of losing the relationship because you feel dependent on your partner as the “fix.”

4) There’s distance in your relationship

Being in a relationship is healthy when it provides the feeling of being loved, supported and emotionally close with your partner. Healthy relationships give your relationship an intimate connection for you both.
If you have trouble with building emotional intimacy and communicating, or you feel alone, and keep your partner at a distance, then this may be due to you feeling like you are not enough and therefore your relationship will not be healthy.

5) You assume the worst about your partner

No matter what happens, you assume the worst about your partner. If they haven’t answered their phone, it’s because they’re cheating. If they’re not with you, then they must be betraying you.
Feeling not good enough for a partner can make you believe that If they don’t say they love you all the time, then they’re “not into you.”
This changes the focus of your relationship for your partner to need to prove their feelings and their actions.

Am I Good Enough? Healing the Wounds

If you recognize any of the signs above, then just know that you’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with feeling not good enough for someone.
The good news is that you can heal yourself and experience self-acceptance so that you can have a healthy relationship.
As certified relationship coaches and therapists, we encourage our clients to not be hard on themselves. You are not “broken” or flawed.

Wave Your Insecurities Goodbye with PIVOT

The first step to overcoming insecurity is recognizing you feel this way. We recommend that you seek support from professionals to help you explore childhood abandonment issues and focus on healing your wounds with self-love and self-acceptance.
Remember, you are worthy of love, happiness, and a healthy relationship. You don’t need to look outside yourself for happiness and self-worth.
If you are ready to heal your feelings of not enough, then contact PIVOT. We can also help you if you’re struggling with depression, experiencing feelings of anxiety or need help overcoming codependency issues in your relationship.
Apart from individual and personalized solutions, we also provide intensive relationship coaching at our retreat center, The Glass House. We’re here to help.

Are You Repeating the Abandonment Cycle?

Healthy, loving relationships are a haven for love, happiness, joy, and security. But what if you find yourself moving from one relationship to another, or feel dissatisfied in your current relationship?
Maybe you’re asking what’s the point of being in a relationship, especially when it seems one-sided or too much like hard work.
Before you decide if relationships are for you or not, consider if you’re caught in a cycle of abandonment anxiety in the relationship. If so, there’s a solution.
But first…

What Is Abandonment?

Feelings of abandonment in a relationship are often thought of as being physically left. It also relates to emotional neglect, brought by not having our needs met in a relationship – including our relationship with ourselves.
But what is abandonment fear exactly and where does it originate? In a nutshell, abandonment feelings can start in our childhood because of the way we were raised. This is often referred to as the abandoned child syndrome.

What causes fear of abandonment?

As children, we are entirely dependent on our parents and caregivers for food, safety, love, and boundaries. Most importantly, we need to feel loved and accepted by both parents.
However, if you didn’t have your basic needs met because you were raised by a workaholic, alcoholic, divorced or absent parent, then you may have suffered neglect and abandonment trauma. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy in relationships, as well as a range of other issues, including severe anxiety symptoms and problems committing to a single partner.

How Does Abandonment Affect a Person?

A story about a recent client of mine perfectly illustrates abandonment issues in relationships.
He’d left his wife and children to pursue a relationship with an old high school crush; however, it didn’t end well.
The new relationship started by sending Facebook messages because he felt abandoned by his wife. This led to him “falling in love” and leaving his family. The hole he felt inside from untreated trauma, was in need of being fulfilled by the attention and feeling of belonging that a new relationship can give temporarily.
The relationship was brief. When it fell apart, he felt abandoned by the woman who he thought was his “soul mate.”
On a deeper level, after the relationship ended, he felt lost and destabilized. After all, he’d flipped his life around to be with this new woman, but once it ended, he still felt the same feelings he had before he started the new relationship… abandoned.
We discussed his childhood, and he revealed that his father left him when he was a little boy. He’d felt abandoned for decades.
Unfortunately, he unrealistically expected another person to heal his deep abandonment wound. When his wife couldn’t, he left her for a new relationship, hoping this would fix him.

The Abandonment Cycle

As adults that have experienced abandonment in childhood, we become scared of intimacy.
To deal with this, we create distance by avoiding being close to others (abandon relationships), or we get into a relationship with someone who avoids intimacy (and feel abandonment).
Either way, we distance ourselves from our partners, which leads to feeling unloved, hopeless or creates perceptions that you are not enough in the relationship. The strange thing about this is – it is familiar and we are drawn to what is familiar regardless of merit.

An endless cycle of fear

When the relationship ends, we feel alone and rejected, which creates more fears of abandonment and intimacy.
This creates a cycle of loneliness, fear of intimacy and abandonment.
If this sounds like the relationships you have, then you may also be experiencing anger, guilt, grief, fear, and shame.
The good news is that you can break the abandonment cycle.

Breaking the Abandonment Cycle

While healing abandonment issues is definitely not easy, it can be done with a bit of courage and a lot of patience. The best way to break the abandonment cycle and release the pattern from childhood is by exploring childhood issues and focus on healing your wounds. Remember, these wounds are deep and often remain hidden, so be patient.

Heal Your Abandonment Wounds with PIVOT

We recommend that you seek support from professionals to help you examine the abandonment pain so you can heal from the impact of the parenting you received.
Break the cycle by being a good parent to yourself. Remember, you are worthy of love, happiness, and a healthy relationship. You don’t need to look outside yourself for happiness and self-worth. You can attach to others securely, without feelings of abandonment, anxiety and depression.
If you are ready to create meaningful connections and break the abandonment cycle, then contact PIVOT. Apart from our individual and personalized coaching that can effectively tackle issues such as abandonment anxiety and codependent relational behaviors, we also provide intensive workshops at our relationship coaching retreat, The Glass House. We’re here to help.

Commitment Issues In Relationships: How To Overcome Them

Many individuals fear commitment and will struggle with situations that require them to establish a long-term connection or obligation to another person.
People with commitment issues or commitment phobia experience great levels of anxiety in relationships. The commitment challenges they face can take a great toll on both parties in the relationship and often the only way to overcome these obstacles is to seek external help, whether it’s in the form of individual coaching or a dating problems workshop.
Read on to learn what commitment issues are, how they occur, and how you can deal with them.

What Are Relationship Commitment Issues?

In order to understand why you or your partner have commitment issues, you first need to know what commitment actually means. In the most basic sense, it can be defined as an obligation or bond to a single person, goal, or cause. Commitment phobia can affect all areas of one’s life, including their romantic relationships, friendships, and professional life.
It’s important to understand here that a person struggling with commitment issues probably craves to establish emotional intimacy and maintain a long-term relationship. However, the intense feelings they experience in the relationship may be more scary to them than to most people, making it hard for them to stay in the situation for long.

What Causes Commitment Issues In Relationships?

The roots of commitment issues tend to go back to a person’s early childhood. Oftentimes, an individual with commitment issues will have an avoidant or ambivalent attachment style. This means that the relationships the person experienced in early childhood, particularly with parents or caregivers, impacted their adult relationships in a way that makes commitment such a challenge.
Avoidant individuals tend to be wary of being vulnerable in a relationship and showing genuine emotion. This may be because they were hurt in a previous romantic relationship or the issue may go further back to potentially unresponsive or unavailable parents. Either way, a person with an avoidant style will likely perceive most people as unreliable and will go out of their way to avoid pain in their relationships.

Causes Of Commitment Phobia

Naturally, the exact causes of commitment issues will differ from one person to another. Nevertheless, there are certain factors that can influence a person’s commitment phobia. Here are some of them:

  • Unhealthy relationships with abusive, unfaithful or controlling partners
  • Neglectful or unresponsive parental figures
  • Parents’ marital problems or divorce
  • Deeply rooted trust issues
  • Traumatic events in formative years
  • Intense fear of being hurt in a relationship, etc.

Of course, no two individuals will have the exact same background. As a result, commitment issues can manifest in a variety of different ways. While some individuals may struggle with even starting a long-term relationship, others will try to maintain long-term relationships only to sabotage it once their fears become more intense.

Dating Someone With Commitment Issues

Being in a relationship with an individual with commitment phobia can be incredibly stressful. If your partner has trouble committing and showing their true feelings, it’s only natural that you’d feel lost and confused in the relationship.
However, confusion and resentment may not always stem from commitment phobia. Determining if your partner has underlying commitment issues would require them to share their thoughts and feelings and that’s a tough deal for most commitment-phobes.

How To Tell If Your Partner Has Commitment Issues

If you aren’t sure whether your partner struggles with commitment, ask the following questions:

  • What were their previous relationships like? Typically, commitment-phobes tend to have a history of unstable and short-lived relationships. Also, if your partner has never been in a long-term relationship, they may struggle with commitment.
  • Have you met their parents and friends? A person with commitment issues may refrain from including you in their family life. If they aren’t sure that you are here to stay, they may not want you to meet their family and close friends.
  • Are they willing to plan ahead? If your partner only plans for a couple of weeks or months ahead but refuses to make any long-term plans with you, they may be dealing with underlying commitment issues.
  • Do they tell you how they truly feel? An unwillingness to open up and talk about how they feel about you and the relationships is a common characteristic of commitment-phobes, so look out for that.

What Do You Do If Your Partner Has Commitment Issues?

Dealing with commitment phobia is no small feat. If you‘re in a relationship with a person struggling with commitment anxiety, it’s understandable that you may doubt the relationship and contemplate leaving it.
While breaking up may be the best course of action in some cases, you should keep in mind that a commitment-phobe probably desires emotional intimacy but has no idea how to change their ways. Here’s how you can try to deal with commitment issues in your relationship:

  • Give them some space. While you may be afraid of losing your partner, pressuring a commitment-phobe is never a good idea.
  • Be patient. If they truly love you, they will realize that they want to work on the relationship, even if it may take some time.
  • Be honest and show them that they can trust you. Many individuals who struggle with commitment are simply afraid of being hurt.
  • Try to understand why they are the way they are. If you make an effort to be understanding and attentive to your partner’s needs, they will probably appreciate it.
  • Don’t forget to care about yourself. All of this doesn’t mean that you should put your partner’s needs before your own. If your partner doesn’t want to work on themselves, don’t waste all of your energy on trying to change them.
  • Seek professional help. Commitment issues can be hard to deal with. Sometimes, the best course of action is to reach out to experienced relationship coaches for guidance.

Let The PIVOT Advocates Help!

Reaching out to seasoned relationship specialists is often the best path to take if you’re dealing with relationship problems. Our knowledgeable PIVOT Advocates rely on a curriculum built over 15 years that we call the PIVOT process, employing effective methods and techniques to help individuals struggling with personal and relational challenges.
Whether you want to try out couples or individual coaching for your relationship struggles or want to visit a relationship problems and solutions retreat that we offer at The Glass House, you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to us today and change your relationships for the better!

Conflicts in a Relationship: How Much Is Too Much?

Fighting is an integral part of any relationship, no matter how healthy it may be. However, if you and your partner keep butting heads without any kind of resolution, you may be wondering if staying in the relationship is the right decision to make.
Realizing that a relationship is wrong for you can be extremely hard. Still, if your relationship problems keep getting more and more serious, you may find yourself considering breaking up if you want to save both your partner and yourself from getting even more hurt and frustrated.
Thankfully, most relationship struggles can be solved with assistance from a skilled relationship coach. Seasoned relationship experts can be of immense help in a wide range of circumstances, whether you’re struggling with codependency in your relationship or need advice on dealing with anxiety. Couples often need high impact solutions that are customized to their specific needs.  Not just talking and talking about the problem.
Read on to find out more about conflicts in relationships and how to deal with them.

What Causes Relationship Conflicts?

People have disagreements for all kinds of reasons. Most of the common relationship conflicts arise from the fact that the partners in a relationship have different values and personalities that may or may not be compatible.
If two people in a relationship keep getting into fights and can’t seem to find common ground, they will first need to determine the root causes of their conflicts. Here are some of the most common causes of conflict in relationships:

  • Poor communication: If you and your partner can’t fix your arguments using healthy communication patterns, you can expect the same conflicts to reoccur. Listening to your partner’s needs and sharing your own thoughts openly is the only way to move on.
  • Selfishness: We all focus too much on our own needs sometimes. However, if our egoism gets out of hand, we may forget that our partner has needs and desires too. In fact, selfishness is one of the most common causes of conflicts in relationships.
  • High expectations: If our partner fails to meet our expectations of the relationship, we tend to feel betrayed and hurt. That is why we need to keep our demands and expectations in check as much as we can.
  • Criticism: Constructive criticism is one thing, demeaning criticism is something else entirely. Constant criticizing and nagging are bound to lead to conflicts since the criticized party probably feels small, hurt, and resentful.

Does Conflict Strengthen Relationships?

There’s a positive side to conflicts, too. They are a natural part of any relationship and without them, our relationships would never evolve. Through arguments and disagreements, you get to see your partner as a human being with their own wishes and needs.
If you make an effort not to feel attacked when you and your partner disagree and try not to lay blame, you can use the conflict at hand as an opportunity to better understand your partner and find common ground. Stepping back and thinking twice before getting defensive in an argument will enable you to see the situation more clearly and allow you to discuss the core issues that led to the argument without resentment and bitterness.

Positive Effects Of Conflict In Relationships

Here are some of the ways that conflict can be beneficial for your relationship:

  • It can help you build trust in the relationship.
  • It will improve emotional intimacy with your partner.
  • It will make you feel better about both your partner and yourself.
  • It allows you to see the relationship from your partner’s perspective.
  • It helps create healthy boundaries in the relationship.

How Do You Handle Conflict In A Relationship?

The way you go about resolving your arguments can make a world of difference. Shouting, screaming, and insults will only make things worse. Here’s what you should do instead:

  • Be ready to speak honestly. Both parties in a relationship should feel comfortable communicating openly about the way they feel. If that’s not possible, then healthy conflict resolution is out of the question.
  • Try not to get heated. Once a calm argument turns to insults and aggressiveness, conflict resolution will be near impossible. Try staying as patient and reasonable as you can if you want to fix the issue at hand.
  • Determine the root cause of the issue. Conflicts are rarely about what they seem to be about. By taking a step back and asking your partner if there is a larger problem that needs to be fixed, you’ll be much more likely to change the situation for the better.
  • Compromise. If you and your partner care about the relationship enough, you should be able to find a solution that benefits you both. Of course, these compromises shouldn’t feel like sacrifices, but like a healthy, mature agreement between two adults.
  • Pick your battles. If you realize in the middle of an argument that you and your partner are fighting over a trivial thing, consider laughing it off and backing down. Bickering about where you’ll go for dinner isn’t really something you should waste your energy on.
  • Reach out to professionals. Unfortunately, not all couples can resolve their issues without external help. If you and your partner can’t stop fighting over trivialities, consider partaking in a couples workshop for deepening relationships.

How Do You Know When To End A Relationship?

Sometimes, a relationship is simply not meant to be. Trying to salvage a failing relationship isn’t always possible, and that’s okay. But how do you know if the relationship is worth fighting for? Here are some signs you should look out for:

  • You don’t feel like yourself in the relationship. Disliking yourself or feeling like a different person in a relationship is not a good sign.
  • You can’t get over small irritations. Can’t seem to tolerate the little annoying habits your partner has? If small annoyances become too much, it may be time to say goodbye.
  • You feel like you’re carrying the relationship. A relationship that’s severely one-sided can be extremely exhausting and may not be worth the effort.
  • You don’t feel like your partner truly loves you. Naturally, you shouldn’t stay in a relationship in which you don’t feel loved. Be mindful to not mix up your past wounds of abandonment and neglect from childhood into unrealistic expectations from your partner.  In other words, do your attachment work first.
  • You’re not confident in your own feelings. This goes both ways. If you’re not certain that you love your partner, you’d do both of you a favor by leaving the relationship if you have done everything to save it and have reached the end.
  • You make too many sacrifices in the relationship. If your relationship is taking your life away from you, that’s a serious reason to consider breaking up.

Our Experienced Relationship Coaches Are Here to Help

Our relationships can cause both immense happiness and great distress. If we want the positives to outweigh the negatives, we need to put in substantial time and effort into making the relationship work.
Luckily, you don’t have to do everything yourself. With assistance from our seasoned PIVOT Advocates, you can find amazing solutions to your relationship conflicts and discover new ways to enjoy spending time with your partner. e
PIVOT offers both couples and individual relationship coaching, as well as our five-day retreats at The Glass House. Reach out to us today!