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Let’s Face It, Sometimes Plans Go Awry

Let's face it, sometimes plans go awry | Palm Springs Counseling - Palm Springs, CA

Are you and your partner the type of people who like to plan everything down to the last detail? Do you get frustrated when things don’t go according to plan? Let’s face it, sometimes plans go awry, which can test your relationship. But don’t worry because we’ll talk about how to handle those unexpected curveballs as a couple and come out even stronger on the other side. So, please grab a cup of coffee, snuggle up with your partner, and let’s dive in!

Take a step back to gain perspective and clarity

When something doesn’t go according to plan, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and become overwhelmed by emotions like frustration, disappointment, or anger. You lose sight of the bigger picture. However, by taking a step back and looking at the situation from a different perspective, you and your partner can gain clarity and find a way forward.

So, what does it mean to take a step back as a couple? It can mean different things to different people, but one strategy you can try is practicing mindfulness. When you and your partner feel overwhelmed, try taking deep breaths together or doing a simple mindfulness exercise like observing your surroundings to help you refocus and calm your mind.

Next is to reflect on your emotions. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions. Still, it’s important to take the time to reflect on those emotions and understand where they’re coming from. As partners, acknowledging and discussing your feelings can help you better understand each other’s perspectives and work together to move forward.

Reframe the situation to achieve your goals

Once you’ve taken a step back, the next step is to reframe the situation to achieve your goals. Reframing involves looking at the situation differently and finding a new approach. When plans go awry, it’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset and feel like there’s no way forward. Reframing can help you and your partner shift your focus. 

Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, ask yourselves questions like: 

  • How am I perceiving this situation? (Answer the question, the story I am telling myself about this setback is?
  • How do I feel about this story (stories)? (Answer the question, when I tell myself this story I feel?
  • What can we learn from this situation?
  • How can we use this setback as an opportunity for growth?
  • What small steps can we take right now to move towards our goals?

For example, let’s say you and your partner had planned a romantic weekend getaway, but unexpected circumstances force you to cancel. Instead of feeling disappointed and frustrated, you could reframe the situation and plan a cozy night together, complete with a candlelit dinner and your favorite movie. Or, you could use the opportunity to explore your local area and plan a fun day trip instead. Reframing can help you and your partner build resilience and develop a growth mindset. As a couple, you can become more flexible and adaptable and approach future challenges with a more positive outlook.

Stay positive & grateful

One of the key components of reframing is staying positive and grateful. Staying positive can help you and your partner maintain a sense of optimism and hope.

Staying positive and grateful can involve things like:

Counting your blessings – Take some time to reflect on the things you and your partner are grateful for, even in the midst of a difficult situation. This can be as simple as sharing three things you’re thankful for over dinner or before bed. Focusing on the good in your lives can help shift your focus away from what’s going wrong and toward what’s going right. 

Finding the silver lining – Look for the positive aspects of the situation, no matter how small they may seem. For example, canceling your weekend getaway means you have more time to spend with each other at home.

Practicing self-care – Maintaining your physical and emotional well-being can help you stay positive and resilient. Make sure to prioritize things like exercise, healthy eating, and quality sleep. Feel free to reach out for support when you need it.

By staying positive and grateful, you and your partner can approach setbacks more optimistically. This can help you cope with the immediate situation, strengthen your relationship, and deepen your appreciation for each other.

Seek support

Sometimes, it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Navigating unexpected challenges as a couple can be tricky, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Consider talking to a trusted friend, family member, or couples therapist to gain a fresh perspective. Having someone to talk to and lean on can help you feel less alone and more supported. You might realize that what seemed like a setback is actually an opportunity in disguise or that a minor adjustment to your plans could make a big difference. 

It’s important to take action to move forward after a setback. Instead of getting stuck in a rut, identify concrete steps to achieve your goals.

Take action – identify steps forward for a concrete purpose

Work together to create a plan of action with specific, measurable goals. Break down large goals into smaller, manageable steps and celebrate each milestone along the way. Taking action together can help you both feel empowered and motivated to overcome any obstacle.

If you and your partner are feeling particularly stuck or uncertain about how to move forward, or if you’re experiencing ongoing issues in your relationship that are impacting your well-being, seeking the help of a professional couple or marriage counselor can be a wise choice. They can provide a safe and supportive space for you and your partner to explore your thoughts and feelings, identify your needs and goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.

Ultimately, whether you seek a professional counselor’s help or rely on each other’s support and your support network, remember that unexpected setbacks are a normal part of life. How you respond to them as a couple can either bring you closer together or push you further apart. By taking a step back, reframing the situation, staying positive and grateful, seeking support, and taking action, you can navigate unexpected challenges as a team and emerge stronger on the other side.

Reach out to me for your free 15 minute consultation call where we can begin creating your best, meaningful life.

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