Many times in life, we tend to blame those around us for our own faults and shortcomings. We try to find excuses by focusing on the actions of others instead of assessing our own reactions. One of the main issues that arise in relationships is that of resentment. It’s when we can’t even look at our partners without thinking of how they are keeping us from reaching our dreams.

Blame shifting in relationships is very complex. You cannot criticize the one without considering the other. Some couples might be so deep in this cycle that they’re not even aware that the relationship is holding them back. As tough as it might sound – you need to start facing the facts, otherwise you are setting yourselves up for years of unhappiness.

In order to assess whether your relationship is holding you back, consider these five signs:

1. Living in the Past

As a couple, if you tend to refer back to issues and fights you had in the past just to hurt the other person it can be very damaging.  Sometimes we try to blame others for our own insecurities. Within a relationship the feeling of inferiority can easily turn into resentment and instead of moving forward we refer back to problems and issues of the past.

2. Your Partner is An Addict

What is meant by ‘addict’ in this sense isn’t necessarily an addiction to drugs – but rather to an unhealthy lifestyle of any form. If you’ve been trying to lose weight or lower your blood pressure, but your other half cannot care less, this might really be holding you back. Not all partners have the same goals, but it’s important to be supportive instead of jeopardizing each others’ goals.

It’s possible to get so blurred by your current lifestyle that you don’t realize your addictions. If your partner is dependent on you in order to practice their addictive habits, it makes it even harder for you to rise above the obstacles.

3. You Don’t Trust Each Other

If you constantly have to check up on your partner and always suspect that they might be dishonest or cheating – this can really hold you back. It one of our basic needs to feel safe, when the person you are spending your life with isn’t concerned with your emotional and physical safety, the relationship won’t be able to blossom.

Apart from not trusting your partner, this distrust within your relationship will flow over in your relationships with other people in your life. Not trusting someone is a poison that will influence every aspect of your life.

4. You Don’t Give Each Other Freedom

Still having time for yourself and your friends is very important in every relationship. Even though, you might sometimes feel the ‘us against the world’ feeling when in love; it’s very important to still surround yourself with a variety of influences and circumstances. If your partner is not allowing you to practice your hobbies or to see your friends, this isn’t a good sign.

5. He/She Is Down-Playing Your Dreams

When the two of you met, you maybe wanted to become an artist. This was something that really intrigued your partner in the beginning – but now it’s used as a tool to attack your dreams. Where they used to praise your creative efforts, your artistic dreams are now the joke at the dinner parties. If your partner isn’t helping you reach your goals, they are most definitely holding you back.

I am a survivor, meditation and mindfulness coach. I have a stepdaughter and live in sunny Cornwall, UK. I broke my neck at the age of 18 which left me paralysed from the chest down with limited our movement.

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