mind by design



Understanding Your Relationship Patterns

For the sake of love

     Identifying and breaking unhealthy relationship patterns can feel like a daunting task, but it is essential for your mental and emotional health. Many people find themselves stuck in a cycle of toxic relationships and wonder how they ended up in this situation yet again. If you can relate to this, it’s important to know that you are not alone. The first step towards breaking these patterns is to recognize them.

Common Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

Unhealthy relationships can come in many forms and can include behaviors such as:

  • Controlling behaviors
  • Lack of Respect for Boundaries
  • Lack of Accountability
  • Lack of Trust
  • Bullying/Threatening
  • Verbal and Physical Abuse
  • Manipulation/Gaslighting/Blame

If you find yourself in unhealthy cycles with your partner or past partners, it may be worth examining your thoughts and behaviors to identify any unhelpful patterns that may be keeping you stuck. It can be helpful to consult with a therapist for extra support.

unhealthy relationship break up message
woman unhappy about relationship patterns

Understanding Your Role in Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

There are many reasons why people may find themselves in unhealthy relationships. For some, it may be related to their upbringing and what they learned from their parents or family members. For example, if you grew up in a household where conflict was avoided, you may feel more anxious when conflict arises. This tends to lead to resentment, hurt feelings and being emotionally withdrawn during conflict resolution.

For others, it may not be at all related to their upbringing, and may be due to other reasons such as shared finances or having children with a partner. In some cases, self-esteem and feelings of self-worth play a role in how relationship patterns are established. This is where individual therapy could help to process challenges and plan for change.

Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

Breaking the cycle of unhealthy relationship patterns may feel overwhelming, but there are few things you can do to get started:

Recognize the unhealthy patterns

This includes “red flag” behaviors such as manipulation, control, belittling language/name calling and/or manipulative/controlling behavior by you or your partner

Take responsibility for your role

Taking ownership of your behaviors will open up opportunities for change. It may also show your partner that you are invested in the health of the relationship.

Develop healthy boundaries

Setting boundaries is essential in any relationship, but  is especially important when trying to break unhealthy patterns. Learning how to set your own boundaries and respect the boundaries of your partner can create a stronger sense of security and trust.

Practice self-care

It may seem obvious, however, many people don’t consistently participate in self care. It’s important to prioritize self care to make sure your needs are met and you are at your best to handle any stress that comes your way.

Seek support

Breaking the cycle of unhealthy relationship patterns can be challenging so it’s important to have a good support system to help you. This may include finding an individual therapist, attending support groups or talking to trusted friends/family members.

If you are looking to make healthy changes for yourself and your relationships, talk to one of our therapists today!
Our team of experts can help you strengthen your self-awareness, be more accountable to loved ones and enjoy healthier, more fulfilling relationships!

Rebecca Sidoti, LCSW

Rebecca Sidoti, LCSW

Rebecca is the founder of Mind by Design Counseling. She is an expert in the treatment of anxiety disorders, and has a knack for working with high-intensity, driven individuals who are seeking the ever-elusive balance of professional and personal wellness.