How what you need from your partner changes as you get healthier and more secure within yourself and your relationships.

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Some of us have a very strong sense of wanting to be needed by our partner. I can relate to that.

I wanted to be needed but I was also acutely aware of needing my partner. And that need did not feel good. It was more like an uncontrolled craving. A pain I sought relief from. Back then, he seemed like the only possible answer.

Since then what I want from my partner in my romantic relationship has shifted very, VERY much.

This shift has resulted in me feeling more secure than I could have ever anticipated.

The jealousy and…


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Is it luck?

No.

Is it fate?

No.

Is it my communication style?

No.

Is it my partner?

Not quite.

Come on, Marlena. What is it?

It’s your relationship mindset.

My what?!

Your relationship mindset determines how happy and healthy your relationship is.

I am doomed then because I don’t have a clue what that is!

I can reassure you that you’re most definitely NOT doomed.

But maybe there is something you’ve got to learn …

Relationship mindset is a term that describes what you believe to be true about relationships. It consists of your relationship expectations, the standards you set, the choices you make and the role you take on.


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A what? Come on Marlena … what’s up with all the new words?!

I know, I know. I like new words and terms.

But I do think this one REALLY fits!

Let me explain:

Setting up this business means having to learn A LOT of new stuff I have never come across. It kinda feels like I spent the last 10 years training to become a psychotherapist and just as I am as highly qualified as possible, I am starting all over with something new (business!).

But anyway, it’s really cool and I love it because I love to learn…


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So many people crave love and connection and yet, they feel utterly disconnected in every relationship they’re in.

And maybe that’s something you have experienced too — I know that I have. It didn’t matter who I was with or what I did, I just didn’t feel how I knew I was meant to feel, how I knew I could feel. Deep down I just knew this wasn’t it … but I had no idea how to get there or what I was doing wrong.

At the beginning of a new relationship, I was excited because I was hoping and…


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A few people have now asked me why other people panic. It seems bizarre to them that anyone would worry about getting the flu especially if they are not in the at-risk group.

To them, the measures being taken to stop the virus from spreading seem over the top. Why risk the whole economy to prevent everyone from getting an illness they most certainly will be getting anyway?

I don’t pretend to have the medical or scientific knowledge necessary to explain the logic behind it all.

But what I can explain is people’s emotional reaction to what’s going on in…


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Thousands of books are written every year trying to make us better parents. We are inundated with expert advice and we lap it up because we are scared of doing it wrong. We should be doing this and we shouldn’t be doing that. This expert says this but that one disagrees. This is good for kids but that is bad. Judgement after judgement. It’s overwhelming and confusing. Who should we trust? How should we parent?

Emotional Connection Matters

Going back to basics will help us regain some perspective. The most important part of parenting is to create a secure emotional bond between us…


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Having an external focus is one of the main characteristics of codependency. It means that we focus our attention away from ourselves and onto other people and activities. We do this to avoid ourselves. Focusing on others is a distraction from our uncomfortable feelings and internal struggles.

We naturally want to end our own suffering when we struggle to deal with our own experience. As children we learnt that focusing outwards provides some relief and so we continue to use this strategy.

Sadly, what helped to keep us safe and sane as children, negatively impacts us as adults.

The Cost of an External Focus

Many people…


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Someone in my Codependency Today group on Facebook recently posted about struggling with the idea that loving yourself first is the only way to have a healthy relationship. Considering that it’s very hard for most codependents to learn to like or love themselves, it feels like this condition makes our dream of being in a loving relationship impossible. And that is just depressing.

I think that the main issue with putting it like that is that it looks like there is a cut-off point at which self-love is achieved. To me, this feels like chasing the illusion of the perfect…


How Being an Unsupportive Partner Damages Your Relationship

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It is important to maintain a sense of separation and autonomy relationships. Just because we have agreed to share our life with someone else, doesn’t mean that we have to merge with them in an attempt to become one person. Doing so is unhealthy and called codependent enmeshment. It is also boring.

There is joy in discovering and exploring our differences. There is so much we can learn from each other and so it makes no sense to hide or cut off the bits of us that are different from those of our partner.

Boundaries help us to clarify where…


Photo by Nathan Walker on Unsplash

I work with a lot of couples which almost always consist of two very lovely and perfectly likable people. Together, however, they are often harmful to each other. They don’t want to be in the situation they are in but they struggle to relate to each other in healthy, respectful and loving ways.

There are numerous theories on why we attract the partners we attract ranging from healing childhood wounds to their strengths balancing out our weaknesses and vice versa. …

Marlena Tillhon MSc

Create amazing, healthy & conscious relationships through inner change work, self-love & self-empowerment. Find me at linktr.ee/marlena & on IG lovewithclarity

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