Patterns can be found in our relationships just as any other area of life. Each individual has relationship patterns, to some degree or another. These patterns determine three factors: who we choose to be with, how we interact with them, and how we let them treat us.
You’ve likely noticed that you find yourself in the same situation in relationships again and again. You might have read about patterns in relationships, but it can be tricky when trying to figure out – is this my fault or theirs? If we think systematically, or about all people involved as one system, then we can see how everyone contributes to the patterns in relationships. If you imagine cogs in a wheel, and one of the cogs begins to move differently, it changes everything. In this way, one person can also change the patterns in the relationship by making different choices as well.
Whether you are currently in a relationship or not, it can be constructive to identify corresponding patterns. In couples therapy, we often start with the goal of shifting from blaming one another, or even ourselves, to seeking understanding of the pattern that occurs between people. Often this step can be mistaken for “improving communication,” but that’s just the outward facing part of patterns. What couples really need is to increase self awareness and how they & their partners contribute to patterns that are helpful as well as those that aren’t. In this way, we can think about how to work together to improve the relationship.
Here at KCC, we often talk to couples about the elements of their relationship: what each partner brings, and the patterns between them. If you’d like to talk about your relationship patterns with one of our licensed professionals, you can schedule an appointment below.