Relationships are hard.
Even people in the happiest relationships are at some point going to hit a rocky period. Some rocks are bigger than others and, at times, relationships cave in under the weight. There are, however, ways to minimize the collateral damage done by these relationship rocks and ways to avoid the unnecessary friction that makes tough times tougher.
Open and Honest
Eliminate tendencies for passive-aggressive behavior.
This will serve you in all areas of life. Communicate and apologize when necessary, but avoid passive-aggressive behavior like giving empty apologies.
Don’t let fear get the better of you.
Fear of change, fear of losing loved ones, makes us do some crazy things. If a relationship isn’t working, try not to jump to conclusions or shut yourself off completely at the first sign of trouble. Stay rational, communicate, and take each step as it comes.
If things go pear-shaped, then do your best to deal with it in the most reasonable way possible, and be sure to educate yourself on all options available. Try having a look at Marguerite Picard’s website as a first step in calming your anxiety over a potential separation. It doesn’t have to go the way of a Hollywood courtroom drama.
Meet the Parents
If you don’t get on with In-laws – set reasonable time limits for visits.
There’s no point having big arguments over issues involving extended family because no matter what, we are all stuck with them to some degree. Maturity, as always, is key and knowing that a person is going to care for their parents and siblings regardless of past issues brings you a step closer to creating peace in family relations.
If issues arise, or if your partner has done something to hurt you, then make the time to talk it through and give them room to offer an explanation. Often time is worth more than money, and money is often something that causes issues.
Before you start throwing plates and burning photographs, try talking – whether that’s in person, or phone or text. Whatever is easiest is okay. Not all confrontations have to happen in person. Sometimes that space is what is best to help resolve a dispute.
Why Do You Always Need To Be Right?
You might wonder why your partner refuses to let things go and has to be right over a trivial argument. Sometimes, it’s beneficial to check yourself, and ask that question in the mirror. Why do you need to be right? Sometimes the best solution is just to let it go.
Especially if you are arguing over something like the plot line of a TV show or the best way to clean the bathroom. Does it really matter? Is it worth the stress and damage to your relationship? Generally speaking, no, it is not.
Listen – Actively and Genuinely.
Listening is key in all relationships and interactions with people.
Yet, most of the time, people are so busy thinking of themselves and what they are going to say next that they don’t take the time to actively engage and listen. Try slowing down in your conversations. Give your attention, be in the moment and actually engage with the person you are talking to. It will make a world of difference.
Make Your Partner An Ally.
Especially when children are involved, there can be a tendency among parents to play the good cop/ bad cop roles. This way of parenting can wreak havoc on your relationship. If one person is always having to be the bad guy, and you are constantly doing battle when engaging with your children – who are the most important people in both of your lives – there is bound to be conflict growing on the walls like mold.
Treat each other as an ally. Show your children that you love each other. Team up and back each other up in making decisions. You might not always agree, but if you always have each other’s back then your relationship will strengthen over time.
Above all, remember that at one point you loved this person you are in a relationship with. You loved and cared for them and wanted to, chose to, spend the majority of your time with that one person for a reason. There’s no point making things harder than they have to be.