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8 Unfailing Steps For Healing Your Relationships


By Dr. Brenda Shoshanna February 2006


Many times we begin to feel stuck in our relationships, as though it’s impossible to make the changes we want to make. Old habits reappear frequently. Past memories block the warmth and happiness we’re hoping for. Common knowledge tells us that it is difficult to overcome our obstacles.

However, the truth is that there are easy, unfailing steps we can take to healing our relationship right now. These steps are easy, enjoyable and life giving, both for ourselves and others. We do not have to learn anything special techniques, probe our unconscious for hidden complexes or suffer great pains along the way. All that is needed is a willingness to put these simple steps into action one by one, this very day.

These steps will open new doors for you, clear you mind and lift your spirits. This very day upset will fade and you will feel brand new.

Step 1: Take responsibility for whatever’s happening. Realize that for things to be different, you must be different.

Many try to change their relationships by finding what’s wrong in their partner, fixing it, talking things over endlessly or if that doesn’t work, finding someone new. They do not realize that whatever is happening, they are participating in it, and wherever they go, whatever new relationship they start, they take themselves along.

In order to create the relationship you want, you must first take time to become new. Commit to spending even 15 minutes a day, every day, in this endeavor. Commitment is the first step. Putting time aside daily to do this makes the commitment active in your life. Doing this on a daily basis, builds much needed momentum. What you focus upon increases in your life. Carve out a few minutes each day that belong only to you.

During this personal time, take complete responsibility for what is happening in the relationship. This does not mean “blaming yourself”. It means take a good look at what you are doing to keep the patterns going, and what benefits you are getting out of the situation as it is right now. Give up blaming anyone. Just take a good hard look. When you see your part in the situation you become empowered to make real changes.


Step 2: How you think affects how you feel, and how others respond to you.

Our thoughts are not really secret or silent. When we either secretly or loudly blame, criticize or want to change another, we create an atmosphere around us which pushes the person away. Stop indulging in negative thinking. Realize this is a choice you make. You have the power to change the way you think. You can choose positive, loving thoughts. You can stop the endless stream of inner and outer negativity that assaults each of us daily. Watch which thoughts you are dwelling upon. Choose to turn them around. Replace each negative thought with a positive one. Do this for a short, but concentrated period throughout the day.

When you look at your partner consciously focus upon the beauty within them. Say to yourself, “I salute the goodness in you.” On some level they will hear you, feel uplifted and respond. What you are really doing here is calling forth the best in them. And in yourself as well.


Step 3: Do What You Love Together

What we love has power in our lives. Most of us think it’s impractical to take time out simply to do what they love. Nothing could be further from the truth. Doing what we love is medicine. It makes us happy, inspires us and stimulates the imagination. As we do what we love, we connect with that which is deepest and most creative in ourselves.

Take time to do what you love together. Find activities and places you both find meaningful and uplifting. Make sure you share them. Many relationships become stuck because the partners are spending more time alone doing what they care about than together. Bonds are built through action and through sharing meaningful times. Most people wait to be happy – making it depend upon the way their partner behaves. But, when you do what you love, you are happy each moment, just with the doing itself. This is a wonderful way to be together – not dependent upon what happens in the future - just fulfilled with each moment as it comes along.


Step 4: Give Up Anger, Day by Day

The most self-destructive habit many of us have is our indulging in anger, grudges, resentment and revenge. Not only does this take our own health, joy and well being away, but it actively disrupts our ability to have the life we want the most. Giving up anger is the number one best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship. There are 24 forms of anger and they camouflage themselves in many ways. Find out how this is working in your life, and then take the time to pulls these weeds out of your relationship. Take Dr. Shoshanna's Anger Diet. Go on a diet from anger. You will be delighted at how much lighter, calmer and happier you feel.


Step 5: Let the Past Be The Past

We often carry around so much baggage that it is amazing we can even take another step. Many of us feel that past events are unresolved or unfinished until we work them out. However, it is wonderful to realize that everything works out the way it does. At any moment we have the power to declare things fine and complete. At any moment we can stop trying to change and control the way life has happened thus far. Make that moment now. Put down old baggage. Let go of old events in your relationship and accept that things work out the way they do. Resolve to start fresh together. This is a new day.


Step 6: Think of Your Partner Before Yourself

Usually we approach relationships wondering what we can get out of them, how they will enhance our lives. This attitude creates a great deal of tension in us and opposition in others as well. In order to find happiness in all your relationships, just turn this around. Think of the other person first. When with them, ask yourself, how can I serve you today? What can I do to make your day wonderful? Not only will the person feel the change in your approach to them, but you will feel wonderful and fulfilled. Your sense of greed, deprivation, self-absorption and upset will vanish as you fill yourself with thoughts and deeds of service to others.


Step 7: Open Your Heart To Loving Others

So many say they can’t find a relationship that works, they are lonely, without love. But the truth is, each of us already has all the love we will ever need, right inside of us. And what’s more we can experience this love all day long. Each day find someone you can give some love to – a child, neighbor, merchant, anyone you meet along the way. There is no end to the people who appear in your life who can benefit from some warmth and love. A smile, a kind word, a moment of acknowledgment. Try it out and see. Practice love and watch what happens to all your relationships. The more you are filled with love, the more your relationship will bloom.


Step 8: Find Three Things To Be Grateful For

Appreciate all you are given by your partner each day. Usually our focus turns to what is going wrong, to what we do not have and to the mistakes we make. It’s very important to take charge of our focus and turn this around. In fact, we are all receiving endless gifts from the moment we wake up. We must become aware of what we are receiving, moment by moment, and be grateful for it. And, then, it is crucial to take time to offer thanks. If you fill your day with appreciation, with noticing what you are being given and making the effort to acknowledge it and offer thanks, you will soon discover that depression and gratitude cannot live in the same person at the same time. Give up depression and upset and welcome the gifts you are receiving right now.


Discover the surprising truths about love that will save your relationships, in Dr. Shoshanna’s new e-book Save Your Relationship (21 Basic Laws of Successful Relationships).

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, relationships expert on, speaker, and author of many books, including The Anger Diet, (30 Days To Stress Free Living), Zen And The Art of Falling In Love, (Simon and Schuster), Why Men Leave (Putnam), and many others.  You can contact her, or visit her personal website.


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