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How to Maintain a Relationship

Updated on April 17, 2013
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Life is full of difficulties, challenges, patience, dedication, and heartbreak. Relationships, whether it is with family, friends and/or significant others, are no exception. Relationships are very difficult to maintain and strengthen. Each individual has their own stresses, flaws, anxieties, fears, sadness, thoughts and emotions. To have a strong and healthy relationship it takes acceptance, forgiveness, communication, trust, and honesty. People must either be willing to grown and learn together (as well as separately as individuals) to develop a relationship that is worth holding on to. Relationships do not come easy (even though some are easier to maintain than others), it takes effort on both sides to maintain and strengthen any relationship. Relationships are very difficult to maintain, let alone, strive and thrive. Sharing a life with another individual is very complicated and for a relationship to be healthy and happy both individuals need to be caring, loving and willing to compromise in any and every aspect of life.

Acceptance

Acceptance plays one of the most important roles in developing, maintaining and strengthening a relationship. To have a relationship with another person, both individuals need to accept all parts of each other. Both people must accept each others flaws as well as their positive attributes. Both people must accept each other when one is angry, sad, upset, happy, etc. Both individuals must accept the others past, present and future. Both individuals need to accept an argument, fight through it and move on.

Support

As well as accepting each other, both individuals must also give and show support in every decision the other makes. Individuals need support, reassurance, and reinforcement when it comes to decision making and coping through easy and difficult aspects of life. People seek this support from their personal relationships, and not only desire it but need it as well (some more than others). To maintain a relationship it is important to be intuitive and give positive support in the way the other needs. If one is making negative life decisions it is important to show positive support and guiding one into positive behavior. If one is making positive life decisions is is equally important to give support and stand by the other in those choices and decisions. If one does not feel or see the support they desire in a relationship, that relationship will begin to crumble.

Guidance

Just as one must show support in close relationships they must also be willing to provide guidance when necessary. If one believes the other is following a path that the other is not comfortable with, one must provide a little guidance to travel a route in which both individuals are equally comfortable with (if a path can not be decided upon together than it may be a sign that the relationship is not functioning as it should). It is important to guide each other in positive directions and straight paths that lead to a bright and beautiful future. A relationship in which one (or both) individual(s) begin to guide each other down a windy and gloomy road, and cannot find an escape from it, is important to recognize the issue and address it. If the guidance is negatively impacting one or the other it is important to try to fix the issue. If negative guidance continues it may be a hint that the relationship is not a positive one and one may have to stray away from it and walk a different path alone.

Compassion and tenderness in a relationship.
Compassion and tenderness in a relationship. | Source

Tenderness

In any relationship it is important for both people to act, feel, and show tenderness toward each other. To maintain and strengthen a relationship it is important for both people to not be afraid to show emotion and be open and aware of each others feelings. Even in a state of chaos and argument it is extremely important to remain calm and be tender toward one another. Being tender and respectful (especially during difficult times) is important for each persons comfort. Without tenderness people tend to begin to build resentment and close themselves off to the other and the relationship will ultimately fail.

Compromise

In any relationship there will be a difference of opinion, one person may think and believe strongly in a certain way of life but the other may feel differently. If one wishes to keep the relationship and feels that it has come to a crossroads it is important to come to a compromise that both individuals will be happy with and to support each other in that compromise. Compromise is not easy to come to terms with (especially if one person has very strong views and beliefs on certain things in life) but it is possible with time, patience and open communication.

Communication

Open communication is a very important aspect of maintaining a strong and healthy relationship. It is important to communicate with one another about each individuals fears, anxieties, feelings, thoughts, perceptions, jealousies, careers, family, the future, and any other actions or thoughts that may be important for the other to know, realize, and understand. It is easy to fear other peoples inner feelings and thoughts on certain situations which may make one close up and internalize certain aspects of life, but if one can overcome this fear, open up and speak aloud to the other person who is also dedicated to the relationship it will not only help build and maintain the relationship but it will also provide new insight into each others lives.

Forgiveness

Humans make mistakes, and through these mistakes people learn and grow. It is important to allow people to make their own choices and mistakes, but it is equally important in learning how to forgive people for these difficult lessons. Each mistake an individual makes is their own and if one desires to maintain a relationship than one must learn to forgive and move on from it together. Some mistakes are easier to forgive than others, and some mistakes take time, thought, and dedication to forgive. If one ever encounters a mistake the other makes that seems or is unforgivable it is important to communicate about the issue and have a conversation that it may be the best to move on separately from each other (and maybe some distance will allow one to heal and forgive eventually, or maybe it is better to live without each other).

Seek Professional Advice and Help When Necessary

It can be a difficult and harsh reality when one person (or both people) realize that the relationship they are in (or have developed) is more difficult than one once perceived or thought it to be. If one is willing to admit that the relationship is in danger of failing, and both people have a desire to maintain the relationship than it may be a good idea to research and think about seeking outside, professional help to gain insight and advice from an unbiased point of view who is willing to listen and sort out the issues of the relationship and help both people better understand the problems and provide healthy ways to correct certain issues. Admitting that a relationship needs outside help to address and fix certain issues can be difficult, but if both people are willing to try to seek advice from a professional than the relationship will have a better chance of succeeding and becoming stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling for each person involved.

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    • profile image

      faeez ganchi 3 years ago

      This web site is very informative as I'm in a relationship that just keeps on getting worse!

    • JamiJay profile image
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      Jami Johnson 4 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      avnee sidhu, I also believe that communication is a very strong part of any relationship, without this glue everything will fall apart, but to keep a lasting and strong bond, we must have other forces keeping us all together, if we cannot accept, support and guide each other than communication solely won't maintain a strong relationship.

      Thanks for all of the input and compliments, I appreciate them all!

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 4 years ago from India

      Thanks JAMIJAY for sharing such a beautiful hub. Very well written hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Great advoce! Thanks!