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Life is difficult, sometimes very difficult. It will test you as a person, it will test your friendships, and it will test your relationships in ways that you won’t always be prepared for.
After all, there’s no great instruction manual on how to live life, weather the storms, and come out of it all intact. There’s so much you have to figure out on your own when the storms start raging.
But, there’s no reason you can’t be a little prepared when the dark clouds gather on the horizon.
So let’s look at some tips on how to get through those hard times with your relationship not only intact, but stronger than before!
1. Remember, it’s the two of you against the problem.
In far too many relationships, the partners tend to forget they are partners. They’re supposed to be on each other’s side, not fighting with one another over the problem.
You can reduce conflict by reminding yourself and your partner that it’s the two of you against the problem, not one partner against the other.
By refocusing your energy on the problem, you can reduce unproductive arguments that may drive a wedge between you. You will also avoid the blaming and muck slinging that sometimes accompanies conflict between couples.
Moreover, the mere act of looking for solutions can provide a positive feeling that puts both of you in a better headspace and de-escalates the situation.
The world can be a rough place. Your partner should be someone that you can retreat to when things are hard.
2. Hold hands with your partner when you argue.
Arguments and disagreements happen in every relationship. That’s not to be confused with fighting.
Some couples don’t fight in a way that people often picture because one or both partners have taken the time to develop their emotional control and communication skills. There’s a common myth that floats around that a couple that doesn’t fight isn’t in a healthy relationship, but nothing could be further from the truth.
One way to help defuse the anger and potential for conflict is to hold hands with your partner while you’re arguing.
It’s well known that physical contact releases a flood of feel-good chemicals that can help temper a person’s emotions. Furthermore, holding your partner’s hand helps reinforce that the two of you are facing this together.
And if you hold both hands, it forces you to turn toward your partner and look them in the face. This alone will make it harder to say hurtful things than if you were turned away and not able to see the pain your words cause in their face.
3. Express your feelings clearly and honestly to your partner instead of confidantes.
An open, honest dialogue with your partner can help you find a mutually beneficial resolution.
The problem is that we don’t always communicate well with our partners. Instead, we turn to our friends or family for commentary on what we are experiencing and need to resolve.
That can backfire because you don’t always know what your confidante’s motives are. Maybe they have a romantic interest in you or your partner, so they aren’t giving you sound advice to further split you up.
Or maybe they are a wonderful person, honest and trustworthy, but they don’t really know or understand your partner as well as you think. And they give you bad advice based on their incorrect assumptions.
So, instead of talking your relationship problems through with someone outside of the relationship, talk to your partner instead.
If you must include a third party, make it a trained therapist who will ask helpful questions and offer effective guidance. We recommend the online relationship therapy from Relationship Hero – click here to chat online to someone now or to arrange a time to talk later.
4. Strengthen your friendship with your partner.
There are going to be times when you just don’t feel like you love your partner. The chemical processes of love sometimes wax and wane with time. It’s not uncommon to fall in and out of love with your partner multiple times throughout a relationship.
That is a big reason why it is important to have a solid foundation of friendship underneath the romance. That way, you know you can still like your partner even when you’re not feeling so in love with them.
A relationship built solely on the infatuation and lusty parts of love will find itself on shaky ground when the stresses of life start piling up. Build your friendship!
5. Schedule regular time to spend with your partner.
Part of maintaining a healthy friendship and relationship with your partner is spending consistent time with them.
It’s so easy to get swept up by the hustle and bustle of life when you’re juggling family life, work, hobbies, and other activities. This shouldn’t stop you from spending regular time with your partner to maintain your intimacy and closeness, which will serve as a glue to help keep you together through the hard times.
If you’re a busy person, schedule a date night once a week or once a fortnight to devote to your partner. You don’t necessarily have to go out, though. Sometimes a great date is just ordering a pizza and cuddling up on the couch to watch a movie.
6. Demonstrate vulnerability and emotional intimacy.
Some people find it challenging to show vulnerability and emotional intimacy, even to their romantic partners.
They may have a rough history, grew up in an abusive home, or been through abusive relationships where vulnerability would harm them.
Though this is an understandable and necessary survival mechanism for those situations, but it is toxic and destructive in healthy relationships.
Emotional intimacy and vulnerability are absolutely necessary to build, maintain, and strengthen a relationship. Without them, it is so much harder to weather the storms that will come because the partners are less likely to come together as a unit.
7. Be willing to freely admit when you’re wrong.
Many people have a hard time admitting when they were wrong. That’s unfortunate because a willingness to be honest and admit when you were wrong is such a powerful way to forge intimacy and connection in a relationship.
You’re a human being. You’re not always going to do the right thing. You’re not always going to make positive decisions. Sometimes, you’ll screw up bad.
Your partner needs to know that you are a big enough person to not pass up your responsibility if you want your relationship to withstand those blows.
What’s more, owning the problem and admitting fault for it is a surefire and immediate way to ease tensions between you, meaning conflict is less destructive and passes quicker.
Just be sure that you actually are at fault, and you’re not simply accepting blame for something to appease your partner.
8. Take a step back from the problem.
Anger and frustration often cloud our judgment. There are times when things won’t be going well.
You’ll be angry, and your anger will be justified. And it might constantly seem like the solution to the problem is just out of your grasp, that you just can’t see it to get a hold of it.
Diving into a problem and trying to brute force your way through it can really backfire because of cloudy judgment.
You may be able to get to a solution faster if you take a step back from the problem, set it aside for a little while, and then come back to it with fresh eyes and a calm mind.
9. Be honest about finances.
One of the major causes of stress and breakups in relationships is money.
A bad financial fit in a relationship will cause so much stress and conflict. You can’t really pair someone who is a constant saver and penny pincher with someone who freely spends – at least, not without some level of conflict.
The more honest the two of you are about your finances and debts, the better of a position you will be in when life starts throwing unexpected expenses at you.
Ensure the two of you are on the same page regarding your finances and saving, or it will come back to bite you when money gets tight.
Need more advice on how to get through the hard times in a relationship? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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