There are times where your relationship will feel stressful. You may feel overwhelmed. Not only do you have your relationship to manage, you have outside stressors as well to manage.
All relationships go through highs and lows. What’s important is that you can manage the lows in your relationship. Keep in mind that relationships go through cycles. Once you get over one bump, there will be a time that you come upon another one.
You can solve relationship problems without breaking up.
The good news is that you can learn from your mistakes. These are called lessons.
Here are 5 tips that can help you solve relationship problems without breaking up.
- Talk it out. When you start to have problems, it’s easy to avoid talking about them. When I see a couple, I will have one partner be the speaker and one be the listener. It’s not only important that you talk about your problems, it’s important that you are listening. This means you don’t have interruptions and you don’t have your cell phone. This is how your partner will feel like you are listening. This let’s your partner know that you care and that you have your partner’s back. Start the conversation with what’s going right in the relationship. Then, tell your partner what you appreciate about your partner. This needs to be genuine. This is where the small things make a big difference. It’s also important to be honest. This doesn’t mean you have to hurt your partner’s feelings. But, it is important to let your partner know how you are feeling and what you need in the relationship.
- Let go of your expectation. You may expect things to go a certain way. If that is the case, this is holding you back. Remember, just as you have changed so has your partner. If you have an expectation, expect that things will change. This doesn’t have to be bad. Let go of what is right. There is not a right way that your partner has to be, or the relationship has to be. This means let go of the “shoulds” in the relationship. If there are people in your life telling you how your relationship should be, then it may be time to let go of them. What works for one relationship, may not work for another.
- Stop the comparison game. Right now it may seem as if everyone else has a better relationship. But, that may not be the case. Most people don’t talk about their relationship problems. This means you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. This happens when you are looking at social media. Most people show the best side of their relationship, and their life for that matter. This can leave you feeling lonely in your relationship. Remember, there are things you may need in a relationship that others don’t. And, that’s alright. What’s important is your relationship. Let go of what others think. This will only make things worse.
- Make sure you both compromise. A compromise is something you both feel good about in the relationship. When you don’t compromise you create the, I win we lose/we lose scenario. As time goes on this will create a wedge in the relationship. This is also known as, the beginning to the end. This is where you both need to make a genuine effort. If you don’t come to a compromise right away, that’s alright. You can always agree to pick up the conversation at another time. Be careful not to let your emotions take over. Make sure that you have both had plenty of rest, before you start working towards a compromise. This isn’t as bad as it sounds. When you care about your partner, you will both feel good in the end.
- Make sure you both feel safe. It’s important that you both feel emotionally safe. If you can’t express your feelings, then it’s not a healthy relationship. It’s important that you know your partner values your feelings. This can be really difficult for some people. Maybe, you didn’t grow up in a family where it was safe to express your feelings. Or, maybe everyone just kept their feelings in. When you do this it will leave you feeling stuck. When both people can express their feelings in a safe way, this will help create a safety net for the relationship.
When all else fails, there is always couples therapy. Even if you feel like these tips are helping, you may want to see a couples therapist. It’s helpful to have a third party. This is someone that can listen, without taking sides and help guide you through this process. Couples therapy can help improve communication. This can help with the friendship and intimacy in the relationship. Couples therapy is also a place where you can say, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ Make sure you find a couples therapist you will safe with and can connect with.
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Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping couples in San Mateo, CA who are looking to rebuild a close emotional connection and get their relationship back on track. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.