Ayden Hector – Tough Love: How to Manage a Relationship Gone Off

Despite the devastating sound of it, like any living thing, there is a cycle to a relationship. Since a relationship is about the connection between 2 people and is commonly associated with words such as alive, exciting, engaged, passionate, it is sad but ultimately true to admit that cold, dysfunctional and even toxic are also words used to describe the relationships between 2 people, whether its romantic or platonic friendship. 

Living things need work. Consider the house plant in your window. If you were to leave your lily in peace on the shelf and not change its soil, water or feed it, ultimately it will wither and eventually die. This means, like the plant, relationships need some level of maintenance and monitoring. Both these things boil down to one thing: Communication.  One of the first things any marriage counsellor will ask is how well are the couple communicating to each other and equally importantly, to themselves. But after some significant time, it’s possible that the rot has set in. That you are inside a toxic relationship.

Ayden Hector specializes in couples’ therapy for toxic relationships. But rather than saying just leave each other, Ayden offers practical measures that bring some health to the relationship that might allow for improvements and revival. Here are three key areas Ayden Hector describes in his online sessions. 

Tick and Trigger
Make clear boundaries. Whether its behavior or language, be aware of what are the things that make you tick and trigger. To this end –utilize clear and un-emotive communication. First to yourself and then to your partner. Identify certain things that lead to cyclical arguments or general conflicting opinions. It’s ok to not always see eye to eye but if the conversation gets in the way of enjoying a leisurely activity, it’s best avoided since, in the current state of your relationship doesn’t not allow for much negotiation to exorcise the demons in the relationship. 

Low expectation
It might sound doomful but lowering one’s expectations when a relationship has gone sour and resentment looms large under the surface of civility. Since there are many possible disappointments, vesting too much of yourself in the happiness or enjoyment of a shared activity will inevitably lead to arguments, it is advised to keep a personal check on one’s expectations and not future predicted occasions and how they will turn out like with the partner. The same goes for intimacy. Make these occasions spontaneous and focused. This will plant better seeds, so to speak, for future germinations. 

Independent life

It’s very tricky if you are the type to share inner thoughts and wish to have a close relationship with someone. If this is the case, it’s worth considering whether your partner is the right material for the relationship you crave. Regardless of this, nurturing a private life that’s yours alone, where you have separate friends, activities and even your own jokes will provide a level of social engagement necessary for a healthy outlook. This means one is not looking for complete satisfaction for all parts of one’s life and also provides a security of outside support, understanding but also new stimuli for the relationship when things start to improve. 

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