How To Recognize Chronic Patterns in your Relationships: The Signs You're in a Rut


Our relationships with others can become a pattern that we find difficult to break from. This can happen in any relationship - friendships, family, romantic partners, etc. We may notice that over time we have started to take for granted certain interactions or behaviors of the other person. We may start to find ourselves doing the same things or expecting the same responses from this person. We may also feel as if we are not able to express certain needs or feelings to this person because they have come to expect a particular response from us. The more we repeat these patterns with someone, the stronger they will grow and the more difficult it will be to break them.


What are chronic patterns?


Chronic patterns are negative relationship patterns that become ingrained over time. If you're in a relationship rut, it's likely that you've developed some chronic patterns that are sabotaging your connection.


One common chronic pattern is criticism. If you're constantly nitpicking your partner or putting them down, it will take a toll on your relationship. Another common chronic pattern is avoidance. If you're always trying to avoid conflict or difficult conversations, it can prevent you from working through important issues.


If you're in a relationship rut, take a close look at your behavior and see if any of these chronic patterns are present. If so, make a conscious effort to break the cycle and create a healthier, more positive relationship dynamic.


How do chronic patterns form?


Chronic patterns form when we get stuck in unhealthy behavioral patterns that become our default way of relating to others. Over time, these patterns can become so ingrained that we may not even be aware of them. If you find yourself in a relationship rut, it may be because you're repeating the same unhealthy patterns over and over again.


There are a few common chronic patterns that can show up in relationships:


1. The blamer: This is the person who always seems to find someone else to blame for their problems. They may have a hard time taking responsibility for their own actions and choices.


2. The avoider: This is the person who tends to avoid conflict or any difficult conversations. They may bottle up their feelings until they explode later on.


3. The controller: This is the person who likes to be in control of everything and everyone around them. They may have a need to be right all the time and can be very manipulative in order to get what they want.


4. The victim: This is the person who feels like they're always being victimized by others. They may play the victim card in order to gain sympathy or attention from others.


If you find yourself falling into any of these chronic patterns, it's important to take some time to reflect on why you're doing it and what needs you're trying to meet by behaving this way. Are you afraid of intimacy? Do you feel like you need to be in control in order to feel safe?


Once you understand the root of your problem, you can start to work on changing your behavior. If you're not sure how to do this, consider seeking out therapy or counseling. A professional can help you identify your unhealthy patterns and teach you how to break them.


Why You May Struggle with Chronic Patterns in Relationships


If you find yourself repeatedly getting into the same types of relationships with the same types of people, it may be time to take a step back and assess your relationship patterns. Do you often find yourself in relationships that are short-lived, tumultuous, or otherwise unfulfilling? Do you have a hard time letting go of relationships even when it's clear they're not good for you? If so, you may be caught in a chronic pattern with relationships.


There are several signs that you may be in a chronic pattern with relationships:


1. You're attracted to the wrong type of person: If you find yourself consistently attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable, manipulative, or otherwise toxic, it's time to reassess your attraction patterns. It's possible that you're attracted to these types of people because they reflect some unresolved issues within yourself. If you can't seem to break out of this pattern, it may be time to seek professional help.


2. Your relationships are short-lived: If your relationships never seem to last very long, it could be a sign that you're not ready or able to commit to someone long-term. It's possible that you're afraid of intimacy or have other issues that prevent you from sustaining a healthy, lasting relationship. If this is the case, again, professional help may be necessary to help you overcome these obstacles.


3. You have a hard time let go: Even when a relationship is clearly no good


Tips for breaking out of a chronic pattern


If you're in a chronic pattern, it can be difficult to break out of it. Here are some tips to help you:


1. Recognize the signs that you're in a chronic pattern.


2. Be willing to change.


3. Be patient with yourself.


4. Seek professional help if needed.


5. Make a plan to change your behavior.


6. Follow through with your plan.


7. Reward yourself for making changes.


If you find yourself identifying with this blog post but need support working on the action steps above, we can help you! At Georgetown Counseling and Wellness, our team of therapists are trained to help identify unhealthy patterns in relationships and assist you with developing a game plan for overcoming those patterns. Whether you are seeking support in your current relationship or as an individual who wants to improve your relationships overall, we would love to help you on your journey to healthier and happier relationships.


At Georgetown Counseling and Wellness, we provide a compassionate space for you to tell your story and fully acknowledge your reality, utilizing proven treatment techniques. Our clinicians are trained to help you or your loved one navigate and overcome struggles with depression and anxiety and develop healthy and positive life changes. In light of COVID-19, we offer telehealth sessions over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. We also offer in-person sessions. If you want to know more about our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out. (512) 400-4247.


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