Ask Alison March 2010

Some of you may know I am studying for an MA in relationship therapy. It is fascinating! Something that is a recurrent phenomena is patterns of behaviour. What is most interesting is that the individuals themselves are often unaware of these patterns. Consequently they are unable to change them.

With this in mind I have some questions to help you identify your own potentially limiting patterns:

What did you learn from your parents about showing love and affection?
Is that how you show your love to your partner now?

What did you learn from your parents about commitment?
Do you show the same or different levels of commitment in your relationship?

In past relationships did you do all the giving?
Is it the same for you now?

In past relationships did you expect your man to make you ‘feel’ loved?
Do you still expect that now?

How do you respond to criticism at work?
Is that response the same in your relationship?

Do you feel previous partners didn’t live up to your expectations?
Does your current partner?

Do you feel a need to be appreciated?
Do you get that affirmation?

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about your own patterns of thinking and behaviour. Often we keep wanting our partners to be something they are not because we have unfulfilled needs which we unconsciously want them to meet. The trick is to identify our own needs and address them rather than expect our partner to ‘fix’ us.

As Christian women we have the best husband of all – Jesus- he loved us so much that he gave his life for us- awesome or what! For our human husbands that’s a tough act to follow isn’t it? Let’s give them a little room, ask our spiritual husband, Jesus, to help us and work on becoming whole and complete in HIm.

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