Taking care of yourself is your number one priority. You aren’t taking care of yourself if you’re overwhelmed, fearful, depressed, over-reacting, spending most of your time care-giving, needing others to make you feel okay, living a life of shoulds and have tos, having to have everything perfect, not able to make decisions, and so forth. This list of addictive qualities could go on and on. Yes, these qualities, some of them wonderful, such as being generous and caring, are addictive, if you can’t choose NOT to do them.
Taking care of yourself is about being healthy and balanced, and it’s the most important part of a relationship. It might feel weird at first to take care of yourself, but every human being is automatically worthy of it.
- First of all, stop focusing on everyone else, focus on YOU. If you’re blaming your partner, you’re not focusing on you.
- Know what you can change and what you can’t. You can’t change your partner’s problems. Your partner’s problems are his/hers – not yours. You can be detached from your partner’s issues and still be very caring. If you’re too attached to your partner’s well-being, then your partner has the power to determine whether you’re happy or sad – not you.
Here’s what a life looks like when you’re taking care of yourself: You express your needs and desires. You know that you’re a lovable, worthwhile human being. You express your feelings and opinions, even when they are different from your partner’s. You take responsibility for your health by eating well and exercising, and managing your stress. If you can take care of yourself, you will be learning how to save your relationship.
When you put these lists side-by-side, you’ll get a reality check about how balanced your life is. In the following weeks, try to eliminate what you wrote on your negative list, one item at a time.