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Relationship Challenges And How To deal With Them

Updated on October 19, 2011

Relationship Challenges

One of the biggest challenges in any relationship comes when one party wants to make a fundamental change. This can upset the balance of the relationship and create problems. Or it can be an opportunity for the relationship to grow and reach a new level.

Many changes occur as a reaction to a problem. It's interesting to note that counselors will often advise a man to look in the mirror and change himself, while women are more often advised to "dump the bum". The truth is, either party can benefit from a periodic look in the mirror and honestly answering the question "what am I like to be with?"

Have there been negative changes in the course of the relationship? In the beginning, everyone is anxious to make a good impression, and tries to be at their best at all times.

But as the relationship progresses, you begin to take the other party for granted, and may relax your standards.

On the one hand, it's important to know each other as "real" people. On the other hand, flaws may be revealed that create a challenge to the relationship.


Appearance issues may be among the first to arise. When is it safe to let him see you without your makeup? Where will she draw the line when you decide to dress casual in sweats and a t-shirt? What if you do not have a shave over the weekend? What if she doesn't want to always wear the sexy lingerie you thought was so appealing?

After time do we start to take each other for granted? True beauty should be more than skin deep but look at it from another angle, do you not want to feel that your partner is making an effort for you, when you are walking down the street does your partner not want to think how lucky he or she is to have such an attractive looking opposite. We all have off days but what if the off days become a bad habit?


Next are behavioral issues. What happens if you notice he/she has a jealous streak? This can spiral downward into controlling or abusive behavior if handled wrong. Jealousy is usually rooted in insecurity—he subconsciously believes he doesn't deserve you. A little reassurance can go a long way in preventing the more dangerous aspects of jealousy.

When you face a problem, look at your individual styles in dealing with it. They don't have to perfectly match, but it helps to understand what to expect. Does she ignore financial problems until they reach crisis levels? Does he respond to an ex's demands by screaming and throwing things?

As a relationship progresses, secrets are revealed. It's sometimes hard to know when you can trust the other party enough to reveal difficult secrets. And a poor response can do permanent damage to a relationship. Try to respond neutrally to such things until you have time to think them through.

Sometimes the best changes can have the worst results. A new, better job for one can make the other feel threatened, as can a return to school for more education, or even something as simple as a new hairstyle or exercise program. These changes can all present challenges to the relationship.

As a general rule, it's best to let the relationship grow to meet the challenges. The exception is if the relationship has deteriorated to the point where you feel emotionally or physically abused. That's when it's time to dump the bum.


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