Relationships require work from both parties.  But sometimes one party isn’t willing to work on changing things.  Perhaps only one person in the relationship believes the relationship is broken… Whatever the reason, you may feel it’s an impossible task to work on a relationship by yourself.  Well, good news!  There are things you can do!

If you are not happy in your relationship and your partner is unwilling to enter into therapy with you, are you open to attending individual therapy?  If you are, that’s great.  You are open and perhaps willing to make changes.  Here are 3 tips to help you get the most out of going to individual therapy to work on your relationship.

  1.  Focus on yourself

This is a chance for you to do some introspection on yourself.  Take a look at your relationship and the role you play in it.  How do you handle conflict?  Do you attack, run away, avoid, freeze or stand your ground and defend?  How do you feel in the relationship?  Have you ever felt that way with anyone else before?  Are there things that your partner does or says that are particularly bothersome to you?  How do you respond to them?  Taking the time to investigate your side in the relationship can help you become a better partner.

2. Strengthen yourself

You may have found that you are not good at setting boundaries with your partner or you shut down during conflict.  You may even be mad at yourself for not being able to handle conflict or get your needs met in the relationship.  Setting boundaries and handling conflict in a healthy way are tools we all need in all areas of life – work, friendships, family relationships and romantic relationships.  If you can improve these, you will find that many of your relationships will improve and first and foremost, the relationship with yourself will greatly improve!

3. Work on ALL your relationships

Even though your partner, friends, family or coworkers are not in the therapy room with you, you can still take advantage of having a helpful, knowledgeable, non-judgmental person to help you navigate new ways of being in all of your relationships.  And as mentioned before, the best relationship you can have is with yourself and guess who is in the room with you?  When you can have a healthy relationship with yourself, it will translate into all of your relationships AND the cherry on top is that you will feel better about yourself.