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How to Mend a Dysfunctional Relationship

by Frame of Mind May 13, 2016

Some of your relationships are running smoothly while others may feel prickly. Here’s how to fix a dysfunctional relationship.

Journaling is at the core of the Frame of Mind Coaching™ process. Our clients journal every day for the duration of their coaching period, and receive daily feedback from their coaches. This coupled with a weekly coaching call has proven time and again to have life changing results for our clients.

One client has agreed to share one of her journal entries with you! In her journal entry below, she chose to write about how Frame of Mind Coaching­™ has changed the way she relates to her parents as an adult. We think you’ll agree that it’s pretty inspiring.

journaling“I feel like I have experienced so much personal growth in the past few months that has enabled me to navigate successfully the last couple of weeks with my parents and the recent scare regarding my Dad’s health.

I love my parents, but I think they harbor feelings that I’m not doing enough ‘for me’ and am somehow unfulfilled. That I too easily put others first. That my husband should work harder and contribute more. That I lack political awareness and involvement (read: not strident enough in my support of the right wing Republican establishment).

In the past, their worries have been a source of friction between us and a great source of stress. When I used to visit them, I would feel so relieved once the visit was over. But coaching has reminded me that my focus in spending time with my parents has been to help them. I moved back to Texas to have time to be here – now – at this very moment. And so I have listened, nodded, responded when necessary, changed direction when able and remembered always that what I want is to have a loving relationship with my parents.

What they want is for me to be happy and have what I need. And I am and I do. Their vision of what I need is not mine and their comments come from love. I know this, and so I am settled in it and feel completely centered. ‘Correcting’ them or even trying to discuss much of this at their age and given what’s going on now would be a waste of time. It would also be unnecessary as it would only serve to build a wall I don’t want to build. So I cook and clean and massage and manage meds and do what I can to make them comfortable and they share their ‘concerns’ and insights and I listen and love.

NOTE: I wrote this yesterday in my journal, and in rereading it, I was struck again by how I far I have come in being with my parents comfortably as a result of coaching. In many ways, my parents – and perhaps many parents – have a hard time seeing their children as adults. They have so many concerns for our well-being and as they age, begin to feel the loss of time and the need to share and it doesn’t always hit us right as children.

But I think my coach would be so happy to know that I have found a center that really does keep me grounded and doesn’t give them the keys to my emotional well-being. I can hear things from them now that in the past would have had me almost frantic with frustration. And I am developing this same muscle in other areas of my life as well. I’m sure there will be times that I will lose it, but I do know what to do, how to pivot and make a different choice. I do believe I am worth it.

Yes, I would say if I ever have had my sh*t together it is now, and I am very much looking forward to each day as it comes.”


We can all learn a lesson from what this client had to say. After working with an FOM coach to examine her thinking about her relationship with her parents, she is discovering that she can choose to have a harmonious relationship with them, regardless of what they may say or do.

We can’t control others, but we can control ourselves and how we react. Rather than attempting to fix a dysfunctional relationship, we can address our thinking.

Chances are, some of your relationships are running smoothly, while others may feel prickly. If you would like some insight from a certified FOM coach about this or anything else you may be struggling with, we invite you to start by taking our assessment.

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