How do You Deal With Relationship Problems?
We all have them. Relationships are complicated as are human beings. We all have our own idea about how issues within relationships should be handled and we all judge the way others handle their problems even though we say we don't.
Ignoring major issues and underlying problems is no way to handle things, even though we might like to sweep them under the carpet never to be brought up in the hope that they might just go away. They never do. An issue is something that needs addressing or it wouldn't be an issue would it?
Men and women handle problems in their relationship in different ways, with women preferring to address them and men preferring to ignore them. That's the fundamental difference between the sexes.
Troubled relationships usually have more than one issue going on, and day to day life issues are a different thing again.
Talking is Always Better Than Silence
It has been my experience that talking openly about the big issues is fundamental in maintaining a relationship. When you have been together for a long time, it's easy to build up resentment towards each other if you keep your feelings bottled up. The issue gets bigger and bigger in our heads and resentment continues to grow like a tornado, picking up more and more momentum, and more and more little things as it goes until one day the whole thing comes to a head and things are said that cannot be unsaid.
I'm not saying that couples should have regular relationship assessment meetings or anything so unromantic, but a good chat every now and again is like a Spring clean and good for the soul. You know how you feel way better when you've done over the house. You take all of your hard work in and feel a sense of satisfaction. That is what a good relationship needs. A regular airing.
Talk About The Little Things
Yes, talk about the little day to day things that are bugging you. Although these smaller issues might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, they can actually aid in ending relationships.
It's the little relationship problems that cause huge angst amongst couples. If your husband constantly leaves the toilet seat up, leaves his clothes all over the bedroom floor, never stacks the dishwasher etc, and generally takes you for granted, then he needs to be told. If it bothers you that is. I don't advocate making any sort of issue out of something that doesn't bother you all that much. If you're happier doing all of that stuff then consider that okay.
If your wife nags about everything under the sun, makes you constant 'to do' lists, doesn't think it's her place to cook tea even though she gets home hours before you or leaves the house in a state and expects you to clear up after her, then you need to talk.
I know someone who's husband checks her weekly shopping receipts and generally keeps her on a tight reign. This gets to her but she continues to let him to do it. I know someone else who never cooks a meal for her husband even though she doesn't work. Again, it gets to him but he doesn't tell her it does. The thing is, that if we carry on not speaking about these daily problems in our relationship then as I said before, we are allowing resentment to flourish.
Talking Over The Bigger Issues Helps Save Relationships
It's a fact that couples who talk about their problems remain together for longer or for the rest of their lives. Gone are the days when we all just put up and shut up. We have choices these days.
It's all too easy to give up on a relationship in favour of divorce and Tinder. Keeping a partnership going and keeping it fun is a tricky business. If there are parts of your relationship that are good, if it's not all bad, then it's worth trying to work out the bigger things between you.
For example, if your partner was unfaithful but you decided to stay together. You both think you've dealt with it, but it's become the elephant in the room. You didn't really analyse why it happened or talk about the implications to your relationship or how you were going to move forward from the point of knowing. You just didn't want to divorce because of the kids, the money, the house....but it's there all of the time and you can't get past it. You need to talk. You need to get your feelings right out there, even if it's hard and you hear things you don't necessarily want to hear.
Does Couples Counselling Help?
I have mixed feelings about this as a way of solving deep routed issues within relationships. Although it's good to talk, it's also bad to keep going over and over things.
I know of couples who have been through this process and in each case, it hasn't been successful. Not because they've been talking about their issues, but because the counsellor has persisted in talking about them to the point of one or other of them feeling as if their resentment is founded. They've come away disliking each other a little bit and eventually splitting up.
It's been my experience that a good talk, tears and maybe a bit of shouting is good. After that though, it's time to move on with a plan of action. How are you going to move forward and how are you going to put these feelings and past hurt behind you? Can you even do that?
When It's Time to Call it a Day
Deep down, we all know when we're flogging a dead horse. When all love has gone then it's often better to part company. I advocate doing that in the kindest and mutually respectful way possible. If it's your decision and your partner doesn't want it then go gently. Suggest a trial separation. It's probable that they will come on board with your decision once you both have some breathing space.
When Kids Are Involved
I have seen too many couples use their kids as ammunition in relationship break-up's, each one denying they are doing so and blaming the other party. Even if your ex is being difficult, keep being the rational, kind and reasonable one. I know this is tough on you, but your kids will remember your attitude and thank you for it later in life. I have a very good friend who in the face of absolutely horrible behaviour from her ex, continues to do the right thing. He constantly said awful things about her to her two girls, but she never backed down. She remained silent where her girls were concerned, preferring to leave them to come to their own conclusions about him as they got older. I have much respect for her for doing this. Her girls are amazing and they remain close.
We all deserve to be happy, but we all have the ability to compromise and make a relationship work between us. We can't always have everything just as we'd like, but we can find a solution to our problems if we really want to.