Often times, when facing relationship chaos and life challenges, we can feel as if we do not have any control. This may include the other person in the relationship’s actions and choices, as well as external factors that we simply cannot control.

Although we may not have control over these things, we do have the ability to manage our responses to the chaos and challenges we are facing. A great place to start is to look at what you need to take care of yourself amidst the difficulties you are experiencing. When considering your needs and looking for ways to respond to the situation that promote growth and progress, it is important to evaluate your physical and emotional safety. If you feel unsafe in your relationship, in any way, take the measures necessary to ensure your safety. If you are facing abuse or find yourself in crisis, reach out for help. The following resources are available to help you during these situations: Guilford County Family Justice Center: (336) 641-SAFE (7233) and Family Service of the Piedmont Crisis Line (Greensboro: 336-273-7273; High Point: 336-889-7273).

The questions below can help you process your emotions and determine your needs during relationship challenges:

  • What am I feeling right now? What incidents or experiences led to these feelings?
  • What are my greatest fears about what could happen in this situation?
  • What expectations have I been holding that weren’t met in this relationship? Did the other person know I had this expectation?
  • What do I need and/or want from the other person that I haven’t been getting? How can I ask for this in a way that the other person will be most likely to listen to my concerns?
  • How well am I coping with the stress I’m feeling? What could I do to better manage my stress (e.g., write in a journal, exercise, practice relaxation techniques, or talk with a trusted friend)?
  • What can I do to feel at peace (this week, today, the next hour, the next five minutes)?

An affirming question to ask yourself during relationship chaos and life’s challenging times is, “What can I do to take care of myself in this situation?”


The information in today’s blog was adapted from one of our earlier series, “In the Midst of Relationship Chaos.” To see the original post, check out the following link: http://www.guilfordhri.org/in-the-midst-of-relationship-chaos-step-2-focus-on-yourself/

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