No matter how strong your relationship is, it will face some challenges along the way. Does that mean you should break up? Not at all. While it's true that some problems are beyond solving, you can work through the rough patches.
We discuss 7 relationship problems and how to solve them without breaking up or leaving a negative air between yourself and your partner.
Take responsibility for your faults
If there's a breach of trust, you should not leave the issue unaddressed. Instead, take responsibility for it. If you have done something to hurt your partner, admit it responsibly.
It's common for people to get defensive when they make a mistake, and someone holds them accountable. Don't fall into that pattern, as it may push your partner away.
Take full responsibility. Don't shift the blame onto your partner or anyone else.
Communicate with your partner
Whatever it is, talk to your partner about it. It builds respect between you two and allows you to understand your partner's point of view. More importantly, it takes the guesswork out.
If you don't talk to your partner, you may overthink what is going on in their mind. Instead, if you ask them, you'll have clear answers to all the questions you have.
Communicating also improves your mood because it makes you feel closer to your partner.
Get professional help
If you think communication cannot solve your relationship issues, get help from a family and marriage therapist. Sometimes, it's amazing what a third person's perspective can do.
You'll also learn things about your relationship that come without bias. It won’t be you pointing out your partner’s shortcomings or your partner blaming you for everything wrong in the relationship. Instead, it will be a third person's insight into what you both can do as a team to improve your relationship.
A therapist can help you in conflict resolution and teach you ways to get rid of negative approaches and behavior patterns.
Have regular visits
If you're in a long-distance relationship, the best way to avoid a breakup and solve relationship problems is by seeing each other face-to-face. Even with daily Skype dates or Zoom conversations, you cannot have the same level of closeness as physical presence brings.
Research also shows that people in long-distance relationships who plan reunions regularly have more satisfying relationships and are less stressed.
If you cannot meet too often, set a time for online dates. You can make them theme-based to increase interest and excitement.
Even if you live together, make sure to take our time for each other. Doing chores together or watching Netflix in your comfy nightwear are fun activities, but dress up and dine out every once in a while. If you have kids, get a babysitter and catch a movie at the cinema.
Have date nights and spoil each other. The romance may tone down after the "honeymoon period," but it should not die out.
People often break up because one person does not feel heard in the relationship. Ask yourself if you're the only one who does all the taking. Do you cut off your partner while they're speaking? Do you not give them a chance to tell their side of the story?
Listening is an essential part of maintaining any relationship, especially a romantic one. Keep in mind that this is not a competition, and you don't need to "win." Even when you're in an argument, winning should not be your goal.
Instead, you should aim to get to the root of the problem and solve it together.
Some relationships keep going in circles. You never get to move on since you're in this constant cycle.
For instance, do you always resolve your arguments with sex? This does not resolve the problem. It only postpones it. The same problem will appear again because you didn't solve it the first time.
Often, couples keep putting off conflict resolution because it's too uncomfortable or difficult. Break these unhealthy patterns and let go of past resentments. Your goal should be to move on from a problem rather than let it linger, waiting for another opportunity to attack.
Look at the upside
Every once in a while, we all have some "meh" moments when it may seem like the relationship is not as good as you want it to be. When that happens, remember the good memories you made with your partner.
Think of all the times they were there when you needed their support and affection. Remind yourself that relationships are not a honeymoon every day. Some days are just mundane, but that does not mean your relationship is not worth it.
However, if you see too many red flags or you're the only one trying to fix the relationship, it may be time to get out.
Ask yourself if the relationship is worth it. Keep in mind that abuse, whether physical, mental, or emotional, is never acceptable. Talk to a trusted friend or family member. Ask for help if you're in an abusive relationship and can't get out on your own.
Communication Quarterly: "'Will It Ever End?': A (Re)examination of Uncertainty in College Student Long-Distance Dating Relationships."
Mayo Clinic: "Improve your relationships with better communication.", "Marriage counseling."
Stanford Social Innovation Review: "How—and—Why to Listen Until Someone Feels Heard."
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