Relationship problems often have a wide range. Since every relationship is different, then every problem usually has its own unique twist. These are some common problems that you will run across in any given romantic relationship. Hey, at least you’re not alone in this. You never are. Let’s go through them piece by piece and dissect what each problem means and how to resolve them.
No One Fights Fair
If you’re looking for an article discussing what “fighting fair” looks like, check it out here. It’s easy to get personal with fights. After all, it is personal. However, you’re sick of the yelling and the tears and the seemingly frustrating argument over the same thing. There is name calling. You feel like you’ve been hurt. You feel like the apology you receive is just a formality and isn’t actually authentic. You feel completely unheard and question whether or not they’re listening to you. You feel like they don’t understand.
Well, it does not have to be this way. There actually is a way to resolve this where everyone wins without compromising their needs and integrity.
How to handle it: Set rules. For example, first rule: every incident that is older than two weeks cannot be used in your argument. Examples are important when trying to resolve an issue. For instance, if you believe they shrug off quality time, using a specific example (like the time they preferred football over a date night) can be extremely useful. However, if that example happened last month or last year, it’s not fair game. Using old incidences is beating a dead horse. It’s over. It’s done with. Don’t dig up skeletons as bait in your arguments.
Me, You, and Us
Transitioning from “me” to “we” does not come easily for most people, especially those who have not been in an active committed relationship for awhile or ever. At first, this can seem like a daunting and petty problem. How can this really affect your relationship? However, when you or your partner remain focused on one instead of both, someone can end up feeling left out in the cold.
How to handle it: Always ask yourself, “Is this in the best interest of [insert partner’s name]? This can seem begrudging at first. After all, who wants to spend their whole life feeling like they’re living it for someone else? However, this is for both of you and your relationship. In order for your relationship to thrive, you need to let go of the “me” mentality and adopt a new, inclusive thought train. By doing this, no one is left out of decisions or feeling as though the other is inconsiderate. Remember, it’s a two-way street so be sure to ask your partner about joining in the new mantra: “Is this in the best interest of [insert partner’s name]?”
Little White Lies and Broken Promises
The whole point of little white lies is that they don’t matter, or at least, you think they don’t matter. These white lies can cover a wide-range of topics. They can also lead down the slippery slope of what I like to call “presidential promises”, or promises that are made in the moment, even if they’re not realistically possible, to receive a preferred answer. What does this mean in plain English? These are things are said in the moment because you, or your partner, believes that it’s what they want to hear, even if it’s not 100% true. Soon, issues are arising and you’re not sure where they’re coming from. In fact, it can feel like their manifesting from thin air.
How to handle it: To start, watch what half-truths you’re telling about your preferences, goals for the future (i.e. “We will get married someday” without an intention of tying the knot), and tales about your past. It’s hard to keep a secret, so don’t base your foundation off of them.
It can also be incredibly frightening being honest with your partner because it makes you vulnerable. You have no control over how they handle the truth. However, you do have control over how you handle the truth. Handle with care. Always err on the side of too honest. Remember, if the truth breaks the relationship, it’s not a relationship that would serve either one of you.
Have you ever felt like you’re talking to a wall or in circles? How many times have you said, “Are you listening to me” or “You’re just not listening to me”? Do you think your partner takes what you have to say for granted? These are all tell-tale signs of poor communication. The phrase “communication is key” is not just a fancy saying. It’s gospel when it comes to relationships. There is a reason why so many people focus on it. If you feel like your communication department is falling short, there are some ideas on how to revive it.
How to handle it: Like when it comes to fighting, setting some communication ground rules can be extremely beneficial. Here are some great communication ground rules:
- Before jumping into a heavy topic conversation, ask your partner if it would be okay to talk about the subject. Heavy topics can be anything from future children to career advancement. What qualifies as a “heavy topic” will be unique to you and your partner.
- Ask more questions than answer. By asking questions, you’re allowing your partner to open up while letting them know that you’re interested and present. However, steer clear of any accusatory or rhetorical questions.
- Go on airplane mode. Any notifications, texts, or phone calls can be incredibly distracting and defeats the entire purpose of communicating with the person in front of you.
Another common relationship problem is the feeling that you don’t spend enough time together. Someone is always at work or out with friends. During free time, it may seem hard to come to an agreement on what to do. You may want a movie night and to veg out because you’ve had a challenging week while your partner may feel up for an adventure.
On the flip side, you may feel like you both spend too much time together. Have your friends been complaining that they never see you anymore? Do you have hobbies that are separate from your partner’s? When was the last time that you caught coffee with a friend or volunteered with one of your favorite charities? Beware of the “too much time” conundrum.
How to handle it: If you feel like your partner is not spending enough time with you, then talk to them about it. It’s important that they do not feel attacked, but rather understand that you love them and quality time is important to you. Start simply by scheduling a routine date night. For example, every Friday at 5 pm, you both spend time on a date sans outside intrusions (phone, TV, stops into work, etc.). By keeping a routine, it takes away the guess work.
If you feel like your partner expects too much of your time, have an honest conversation about how you feel grateful to be so cherished, but also need space and time to appreciate them from afar. After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Encourage them to develop their hobbies, volunteer, and catch coffee with one of their old pals. Be more sensitive than usual as many people who tend to cling have abandonment issues. Offer to discuss any feelings of abandonment openly and honestly. Seeking couples counseling is a great option, especially for those who feel smothered or overwhelmed by their partner’s attachment.
What are some common problems you run across in your relationships? How do you handle them? Leave a comment!
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