by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.
Copyright 2006-2018 All Rights Reserved
Before you even think about dating or moving onto another relationship, you have to take inventory about your last relationship and figure out what worked, what didn’t and what you need to change in the future. Ten questions to ask to figure out if your relationship was good for you and what you need to do to change it:
- Safety: Were you physically, mentally, emotionally or verbally harmed? Were there times you were afraid of what your partner would do or say? Were there times you just dreaded seeing this person?
- Self-esteem: Did you feel guilty, “less-than”, not good enough, not worthy in your relationship? Does your partner or ex-partner criticize your behavior, your looks, or any other traits and qualities? Do you own that criticism and internalize it? Do you beat yourself up because of what you’ve done or continue to do? Are you taking the blame for the failures in the relationship? Has your partner broken up with you more than once because you haven’t changed or haven’t changed enough and you’ve been searching for the magic solution to make this person stay once and for all? Have you jumped through emotional hoops for your partner because he or she never seems to be happy with you? Have you ever hated yourself for being a fool for your partner?
- Job/career: Did you call in sick because of being emotionally upset? Did you miss work to do things for your partner that he or she would not take care of? Did you neglect your job or career for your relationship? Did you obsess about your relationship to the detriment of your professional life?
- Children: Were your children neglected when you were arguing with your mate? Were you frustrated or too upset to do things with/for your children? Did you swing between neglect and over-indulgence of your children out of guilt? Have you left your kids too long at a sitter or daycare because you needed to do something with your partner? Are you irritable or emotionally unavailable for your children because of the drain of your relationship? Do your children act rude to you because you’ve had no boundaries with your partner or you’ve been such as doormat for everyone, your children see you as one? Have you ever thought that your children may be rude to you because they don’t respect you and they don’t respect you because of the role you play in relationships?
- Finances: Did you spend money on the relationship that you did not have? Did your partner siphon money off from you? Did your partner ask you “lend” him or her money and you loaned it even though you knew he or she did not have the means to pay it back? Do you spend money on self-improvement because your partner is critical of certain areas? Do you spend money on gym memberships or diet programs because your partner is critical of your weight? Do you spend above your means to be more attractive? Do you pay for things that your partner should pay for or help you pay for? Are you financially frustrated with your partner?
- Stamina: Does the relationship drain you physically, mentally, or emotionally? Do you lose sleep or neglect your health because of the relationship trauma/drama? Do you have trouble sleeping or turning off your thoughts and that results in being a mess the next day?
- Legal: Did you ever do anything in your relationship that could get you into legal trouble? Are you so wiped out that you forget small things like getting your car inspected or you are upset and speed or you become so upset you drink and drive? Are there things you are doing that could get you in big or small legal trouble that you would not be doing if not for this relationship?
- Physical: Did you partner cheat on you and bring the possibility of an STD into your relationship? Did you neglect doctor and dentist appointments? Did your partner coerce you into sex when you weren’t feeling well? Did your partner fail to care about you when you were ill? Did you neglect your diet, your exercise, your daily vitamins? Did you lose interest in your self-care regiment?
- Knowing what a good relationship entails: Have you forgotten that healthy relationships involve give and take, compromise, caring for and about the other person, acting in accordance with what you say you feel, acting with love and affection, nurturing and encouraging another person, being your partner’s best friend, helping and encouraging a partner to expand their horizons (not narrowing them), being a good and constant support for the closest person in your life. Have you forgotten all that?
- Love: Have you forgotten that true love is reciprocal, unconditional love? Have you forgotten that love is an action? Have you given up ever finding reciprocal, unconditional love?
You’ve probably guessed that yes answers mean it was not good for you. The more yes answers the worse the relationship but even one yes answer is bad news and less than you deserve.
Use this checklist to think about and assess your relationship and what you want/need/deserve in the future. What you deserve are all NO answers. In my first book, Getting Past Your Breakup, (link to Amazon US) there is the Relationship Inventory and this is very important to access your relationship.
In my second book: Getting Back Out There, (link to book on Amazon), I detail the Standards and Boundaries Inventories to help you decide what you must have in your next relationship, what is negotiable and non-negotiable. Use this list and that inventory to get yourself in physical, mental and emotional readiness and become willing to walk away the minute a NO answer comes into play.
Do NOT listen to people who say no relationship is perfect, everyone has problems…yadda, yadda…that is NOT true. There are happy, healthy couples who know that 1-10 are absolutely UNACCEPTABLE every day of the week. Do not settle for less.
Decide NOW that the only relationship you’re willing to be in is one that is good for you and that you will never put up with a NO answer again!
Copyright 2007-2018 Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.
All Rights Reserved No Duplication is Allowed Without Explicit Permission of the Author
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