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Problems can’t be swept under the rug forever. At some point, they will come out and create a mess that will be hard to clean up.
Unresolved issues in a relationship could turn your fights over trivial things into arguments about something else you’ve been ignoring.
Suppose you find yourself constantly having the same fight over and over again or resenting each other for something that happened before. In that case, you likely have unresolved issues that need to be addressed.
Keep reading for some steps to deal with unresolved problems in your relationship.
1. Know that your feelings are valid.
Are you denying yourself the right to feel angry at your partner or upset about something they do? Or something they have done before?
To deal with the problems in your relationship, start by allowing yourself to feel those emotions. Don’t think that you shouldn’t feel the way you do.
Whatever you feel is okay, and you probably have justified reasons for the way you feel. If you try to bottle up your feelings instead, they will eventually spill out.
You don’t want to end up resenting your partner because you were too afraid to speak up about what’s bothering you. After all, that’s how unresolved problems stay unresolved.
You have to talk about your feelings with your partner. Start by acknowledging and validating them. You have the right to feel whatever you’re feeling, and your partner should be aware of it. Acknowledging your feelings is necessary if the issues that are causing those feelings are to go away.
2. Keep in mind that all relationships have problems.
You shouldn’t feel so bad about having problems in your relationship.
After all, all relationships experience difficulties. You and your partner shouldn’t beat yourselves up about not being able to have a “perfect relationship.” You are not perfect, and your relationship can’t be perfect either. The problems you’re experiencing aren’t a negative reflection of you; they are just something you have to work through together.
As long as you’re both willing to work on it, anything can be improved or at least managed.
In fact, it’s essential to understand that some things have to be managed and can’t be fully resolved. Don’t put pressure on yourself and your partner if you’re dealing with an unsolvable problem. Learn to accept what you cannot change and find ways to cope with it if it’s not a deal breaker.
Sometimes, there are things that you have to learn to live with if you want to continue a relationship. It’s not the end of the world if a problem persists. As already mentioned, no relationship is without flaws.
If you care about your partner and you can’t seem to fix the issue, it might be time to set new and reasonable expectations.
3. Remember that conflict is normal.
There are conflicts in all relationships from time to time. The important thing to remember is that they are rarely the fault of only one person. Try not to play the blame game and accept that you’ve both played a part in creating the problem instead.
Accept that you have different points of view and try to see things from your partner’s perspective. It’s helpful to have a proactive problem-solving attitude when it comes to conflicts. Instead of shutting down, criticizing your partner, or trying to prove them wrong, seek to make progress.
Try to be calm during conflicts because an argument shouldn’t include yelling and name-calling. If you change your attitude towards conflicts and improve how you fight, it will be easier to resolve issues.
It’s always helpful to limit accusations and aggressive attitudes. Just remember that being assertive in an argument is not the same as being aggressive.
Communicating well is a necessary part of resolving any issues, and it includes proper communication even while you’re upset or angry at each other. Try to look at conflicts as a means to an end. You are not fighting to prove a point or prove your partner wrong. You’re fighting to solve a problem.
4. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you care about your partner.
The unresolved problems in your relationship are probably bothering you. They make you feel negatively toward your partner and the relationship.
To counter these feelings, try to outweigh the negative with the positive.
Think about why you care about your partner before addressing the issue. This will help keep you calm and focused on finding solutions during conflicts. If you want to stay with your partner and save the relationship, you want to have positive feelings to motivate you.
If something has been bothering you for a while now, you might be harboring negative emotions that make you see your partner differently. So, remember why you fell in love with them in the first place and recall their good qualities.
Even if you have many problems in your relationship, if you care about each other enough, you’ll find a way to make it work.
Remind yourself why your partner is worth the trouble before you embark on a journey to solve your problems. Understand that it might take time before things are the way you’d want them to be. You don’t want to harbor negative feelings toward your partner during the time it takes to fix things.
Focus on your partner’s positive traits. Focus on everything that you love about them. It will give you the strength to fight for the relationship and the ability to remain calm enough to discuss the problems with them.
5. Identify the issues in your relationship.
So, there are problems, but are you sure you know what they are?
Are your fights really about the topic you’re fighting about? Or are they about something else that you’re trying to ignore?
Maybe you’re still upset about something that happened before. Perhaps you’re not quite sure what the problem is exactly.
Take some time to identify the issues in your relationship. It might help to talk to someone you trust about them. You could also talk to a therapist who could help you get to the root of the problem.
Maybe there is something that you thought you’d forgiven your partner for, but you’re actually still upset about it. Perhaps you are not even aware of the underlying issue that you’re upset about.
For instance, maybe you think you’re upset because your partner spends a lot of money, but you’re really upset about not being involved in financial decisions. Maybe your partner cheated on you, and you tried to forgive them, but you are still bitter about it.
Whatever the problem is in your relationship, you should spend some time thinking about it. Always try to dig deeper.
What’s on the surface might not be the real issue you’re dealing with, and you can’t fix it if you don’t know what it is exactly.
6. Consider whether the issues are deal breakers.
Not all problems are created equal. Some problems can be lived with. Others ought to spell the end of your relationship.
Ask yourself: can you live with the unresolved issues in your relationship if they happen to stay unresolved? Or are there deal breakers that you’re not willing to settle for?
Be honest with yourself and clear about what you can and can’t tolerate. If you can live with the problems in your relationship, focus on finding ways to thrive in it despite them.
If you have tried fixing them and can’t live with them, you should consider ending the relationship. Not everything can be repaired, and sometimes that’s an uncomfortable realization.
Can you stay with your partner if things don’t change? Have you tried changing them?
Keep in mind that you should be realistic when considering this. Don’t expect things to be perfect with your next partner.
If there are actual deal breakers, it might be best to end things. But if you want to end things because you’re hoping for a perfect relationship with no issues, think about it some more. There will always be problems in any relationship. It’s just a question of which you can tolerate or fix and which you can’t.
7. Consider whether there’s a bright side to it all.
Problems are inherently bad, but there’s usually a bright side. Look at things from a different perspective to see if there’s something positive in all that mess.
For instance, if you hate that you can’t count on your partner, remind yourself how much you love their spontaneity and independence. If the problem is that the relationship has gotten boring, keep in mind that it is also safe and comforting to know you can depend on someone.
Try to look at your specific problem this way, and you might discover that the issue is not as serious as it seems.
When you look at things from a negative perspective, they can feel very overwhelming. Try to maintain a positive attitude and look at things from both sides. Everything usually has upsides and downsides. If you can’t fix the problem it will be helpful to know how to make it work for you and take advantage of its bright side.
8. Don’t assume that your partner doesn’t care about you.
When you’re upset because of the problems in your relationship, you could start thinking that your partner doesn’t care about you. But do you have any evidence to support that theory, or is it clear that your partner cares about you?
Your relationship can survive the problems you’re experiencing if you both want to make it work. Don’t start thinking that the relationship is doomed. Negative thoughts like these can make you see the bad in everything.
If you want to stay in your relationship, always try to have a positive attitude. Having a positive attitude towards problems can help you realize that they’re not as big as they seem.
Having a positive attitude will help you work on the issues in your relationship and communicate with your partner more efficiently – even during arguments. The worst thing that could happen if you try this approach is that you’ll be a happier person. Try to see the good in everything.
Unless you have proof that your partner doesn’t care about you, don’t assume it just because you’re struggling with an issue in your relationship. If you believe your relationship is doomed, it probably will be at some point in the future. So try not to make problems more significant than they already are.
9. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your thoughts.
The reason the problems you’re experiencing are left unattended may be because you’re scared to speak up about them.
Maybe you are too worried that your partner will get mad at you, or you think that they’ll shut down. Perhaps you’re assuming they’ll say that you’re overreacting or that you’re making a fuss over nothing.
If you can’t talk to your partner about the problems in your relationship, that’s just another problem that’s preventing you from resolving the rest of them.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and tell your partner what’s on your mind. Take some time to think about what you will say before talking to them, especially if you’re worried that you’ll say something wrong.
However, try not to be afraid to speak your mind around them. A relationship where you can’t be honest or discuss problems isn’t a healthy one.
Maybe this is the issue you should address first. You should feel comfortable enough around your partner to speak up about what’s bothering you, so find the courage to do that. You can’t say anything wrong around someone who loves you enough to listen to the entire story.
10. Communicate about the unresolved issues.
You can’t keep postponing the conversation that you need to have with your partner. Talk to them about the problems in your relationship and try to find a way to solve them together.
If you can’t talk about the issue, there is no way you could fix it. Open up to them and have a heart-to-heart conversation about what’s been bothering you. Help your partner see things from your point of view and consider their perspective too. Don’t point fingers or turn the conversation into a big fight. By remaining calm and assertive, it will be easier to get the message across.
You want to fix the problems in your relationship, not create new ones, and your partner should understand that. Try to be empathetic and listen to your partner’s side of the story without criticizing or blaming them. Let them open up to you and share their thoughts and feelings about the issues too.
If you’re having trouble communicating efficiently, seek the help of a relationship counselor and improve your communication skills. Don’t forget that you need to talk about the problems if you want to fix them.
11. Be prepared to forgive, negotiate, and compromise.
Some problems can be resolved simply by forgiving each other for the mistakes you’ve made so far. Be prepared and willing to let go of any resentment and truly forgive your partner, even if they have hurt you a lot. You will also need to be prepared to negotiate and make compromises.
Things might not work out exactly the way you’ve imagined, but things could get better. If your partner shows that they are willing to work on the relationship and meet you halfway, accept that. It might not resolve the issue, but it could make it easier to tolerate it. As long as they address your concerns to some extent, you will be on the right track, and that would be enough for now.
You can’t expect things to change overnight. Working on a relationship takes time, and it’s all about the small steps. You’ll get there as long as you’re looking in the same direction and walking side by side. Don’t insist that the problem be fixed immediately or expect it to happen.
Try to find happiness if you’re making progress and if your partner is willing to do something about it. Progress alone might not be enough in the long run, but it’s a huge step forward for now.
12. Work on your friendship.
To be great partners to each other, you also need to be good friends.
Work on building your friendship. Engage in fun activities together, discover shared interests, share a hobby, and go on regular dates. There are lots of fun ideas for quality time together – both inside and outside the home. And using them will help you work on the problems in your relationship.
Don’t only be romantic partners – be a team, be best friends, and work on improving your love life together. Start talking more and opening up to each other if you’ve been having trouble with that.
Most importantly, laugh more and remind yourselves of all the reasons why you enjoy each other’s company. Make each other feel loved, appreciated, and cherished.
If you can be friends and work as a team, you can do anything, including resolving your issues. So, work on deepening the bond, strengthening the connection, and truly becoming good friends that enjoy being around each other.
13. Don’t sweep problems under the rug.
Problems don’t go away when you choose to ignore them and sweep them under the rug. Start addressing issues in your relationship as soon as they appear. The sooner you fix them, the better.
What’s the point in postponing it until the problem gets bigger and more difficult to manage?
The most important part of all of this is being friends, talking about issues calmly, and working on them together. When you fight, don’t spend days not talking to each other or pouting. Have a grown-up discussion about your problems as soon as you can calmly talk about them.
If your relationship is going to last, you’ll need to figure out which issues need managing and which need resolving. Look at this as a training period for what’s yet to come.
The fact that there’ll always be some problems shouldn’t scare you; that’s just life. If you have the right attitude and effective communication in your relationship, you can overcome it all together.
14. Find ways to work on the problem together.
Remind yourself that both of you took part in creating the problem. Therefore, it’s your joint responsibility to solve it. It takes two to tango, so accept that the current state of your relationship is not only one partner’s fault. Accept your part of the blame instead of blaming your partner for everything. This is the first step to resolving the problem together.
Your partner needs to be willing to find a way to make things work. After all, you can’t fix your relationship without them. Both of you need to put an equal amount of effort into making your relationship as happy and healthy as it can be. Encourage your partner to accept their part of the blame too.
You can set a positive example with your behavior. If your partner makes progress, acknowledge it and praise them for it. Don’t forget – you’re in this together.
15. Accept your differences but work on improving yourselves.
Not all problems have a solution; you might have to accept that you and your partner have your differences. You won’t always see eye to eye, and that’s normal. Again, some problems can’t be fixed, but if you can live with them, it’s worth trying to make it work with your partner.
Relationships aren’t always smooth sailing, and no one is a saint. Sometimes you just have to agree to disagree and move past it. If you can’t find a way to fix something, you might find a way to accept it.
Maybe you’ll need to forgive your partner for something they did, or you’ll accept the bad with the good. Whatever the case may be, if you care about your partner and they feel the same way about you, don’t give up on the relationship because there are some difficulties.
Learn to be happy despite the difficulties. You can do that by putting effort into making each other happy. Work on improving yourself and your relationship because happy couples grow together in their relationships.
16. Talk to a relationship expert.
Ultimately, the most effective way to resolve issues in your relationship depends on the problem and your specific situation. Talking to someone about it might be the best idea.
A relationship counselor could give you tailored advice based on your specific circumstances. You can speak to one with or without your partner. It might be best to try out a session on your own and include your partner after the counselor is familiar with the issue.
By all means, seek the help of your loved ones as well. However, know that an experienced professional might be more objective and give you better insights into the problem.
When you want to improve your relationship, you should use all the help you can get, and there’s no shame in talking to a counselor.
If this is something you feel is right for you, speak to one of the relationships experts at Relationship Hero. You can connect with them via video, phone, or instant message to get the help and advice you need.
Click here to learn more or to talk to someone right now.
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