Top tips for how to solve relationship problems without breaking Up. Who goes into a relationship with the expectation that problems will arise? At the beginning of any relationship, each one of the partners cannot hold back their emotions because of their newly-acquired friend and lover.
You just can’t get over how cute, smart, funny, and fun your partner is. Throughout the day, you spend every minute thinking about your new catch. The romance and happiness you feel are unlike any you have ever had before. You are convinced that this is the love you have been waiting for.
Slowly but steadily, the relationship begins to experience problems. As soon as the first signs of trouble arise, you decide to push them below the carpet, instead of dealing with them head-on. Then, it doesn’t take long before you start fighting all the time. What’s happening to you?
While problems are normal to all relationships, it’s how you solve them that can either make or break your union. In this write-up, we discuss ways to solve relationship problems without breaking up. The following are some of the strategies that may come in handy:
Focus on the Big Picture
What’s it that makes you so angry at your partner? Did he or she cheat on you? Could it be that you caught them before they actually cheated? Rather, is it you who cheated on your partner or alienated them emotionally?
Before you start considering letting go of your loved one, look at the big picture. According to the book Fix Your Marriage by Gavin Bird, you just don’t have an option! Avoid focusing on what went wrong and instead think about building a long-term relationship. You don’t want to end up regretting after having lost a partner who truly cared for you.
Granted, you may want to prove a point by remaining adamantly stubborn. Of what benefit is it when it prevents you from building a long lasting relationship together?
Be a Good Listener
One of the best ways to solve relationship problems is to be an active listener. As J. F Bradley says in the book: How to Settle Arguments in Marriage, it isn’t that easy, though. Maintaining silence in the midst of a heated argument with your partner is the hardest thing you will have to do. Just how do you sit there listening when your spouse is hurling all sorts of insults at you?
Hard as it might seem, try! Watch out for the gestures, tone of voice, and how they are putting across their message. Do they look hurt, for example? What’s it that they want you to do? Can you find a mutual solution to the issues at hand? Learn to be a good listener and avoid engaging in a shouting match with your spouse. With that, solving relationship problems will be much easier.
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Share the Blame between the Two of You
No one party is to blame for the problems bedeviling your relationship. As much as you may want to engage in the blame game, you are better off recognizing the fact that both of you have a role in the current mess. This view is shared by Ace Metaphor in the book: The Breakup Book, How to Avoid, Leave and Recover from Negative Relationships. After all, it takes two to tango!
If you must blame anyone, it is the two of you. When you mutually share the blame, solving the issue at hand gets much easier. First, it puts you on a level playing field when it comes to seeking solutions to your issues. If there is something that your spouse is doing that you don’t like, why don’t you tell them about it? Failure to do so would lead to an eventual breakup. As a way of reciprocating your concerns, your partner should recognize their mistake and stop hurting you.
Be More Assertive
You can only get what you demand from a relationship. Why don’t you learn to communicate clearly, effectively, and in a straight-forward manner? Being assertive is about ensuring what you say is clear enough to be understood.
As Daniel B. White says in the book: After the Fight, it doesn’t take much effort to pull it off. With a little bit of common sense and the knowledge you have of your partner, you should be able to express yourself clearly. It is only by talking that you will be able to solve your issues.
Create a New Reality
Once a relationship goes through turmoil, it can never be the same again! It can either emerge stronger or weaker. Even as you work towards finding a lasting solution, recognize the fact that you are dealing with a totally new relationship. In H. Norman Wright’s book: 101 Ways to Build a Stronger, More Exciting Marriage, creating a new reality is very important.
If your partner cheated on you, there is no way you can erase that. How you choose to handle your problems can either leave the relationship better or worse. If anything, the experience will change both of you. You can choose to commit to each other even closer or go your separate ways. That’s what’s being referred to as the new reality. It may even involve trying things you have never done before. The aim is to ensure that the problems in your relationship won’t separate you
Timing Is Key
You are having an argument and each one of you is the angriest they have ever been. You both want to prove the other wrong. If you continue sitting there, you might even end up having a fist fight. It is always wise to give yourself time before working to solve relationship problems. Why don’t you just walk away and wait till things have cooled down?
In a similar way, you have to carefully choose the time and place of the conversation. Pick a place that is calm, quiet, and relaxed. Schedule the conversation to take place when you and your spouse have all the time to ventilate without unnecessary interruptions. Redford Williams and Virginia Williams say as much in their book: 8 Simple Ways to Build Stronger Relationships, Communicate More Clearly, and Improve Your Health. No one should feel pressured in any way whatsoever.
Ask For Professional Help
No one is self-sufficient! If you can’t talk things over on your own, why not seek the help of a professional counselor? Failure to get all the help you can muster may only mean sacrificing an, otherwise, promising relationship. This view is shared by Michael J. Lewis and Derek L. Lewis in their book: The Relationship Handbook. You cannot afford to lose your loved one simply because you couldn’t get the professional help you need!
A professional therapist is better-placed to help you find out how to surmount the problems that are currently rocking your relationship. You will be surprised by the various suggestions you will get from the counselor on how to create a more fulfilling relationship. No matter how you look at it, working with a therapist is worth the while.
Forget About Always Being Right
Don’t set up talks with your partner if you sincerely want to solve relationship problems. Before you meet, think through how best you are going to approach the issues at hand. As much as you have the best intentions, the words you use will only be swallowed up by your ego. There also exists the danger of trying to humiliate one another, especially when one of you starts feeling inferior.
You will not be able to solve your relationship problems if you are always insisting on always being right! By accepting you could be wrong, you will be able to avoid the long and unnecessary arguments that bring out the worst in both of you.
Target the Root Cause of the Relationship Problems
You cannot solve relationship problems unless you address the root cause of the problem. If you give the issues affecting you lip service, then you cannot go very far. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense to pretend nothing happened and simply move on.
Problems in relationships often come as a result of deep-seated issues that must be resolved. If these are not amicably resolved, they can lead to more serious issues. Together with your partner, discuss what the root cause of the problem is. You can then work to root it out and find the solution you have been looking for. As Daniel B. Wile says in his book: After the Fight, both of you will have to put in a lot of work to avoid breaking up.
Honesty and Self-Criticism
Nothing is harder than looking back into your own life with honesty and self-criticism. If you can pull this off, you will be better placed to reconcile with your partner! First, try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes without considering who between the two of you was more offended.
Take into consideration how they could be feeling and what their likely action is. It is possible that your partner is feeling uncertain and angry just like you. To strengthen your relationship, try maintaining a certain level of honesty. According to How to Have a Stronger Relationship with Your Partner by Marilyn Sun, you should learn to own up to your mistakes and apologize.
Avoid Making Decisions in the Heat of the Moment
Couples who are upset can say all types of mean things to each other. That is no way of working towards saving the relationship. It is normal to feel angry, jealous, and upset. Don’t let that come in between the deliberations you must have with your partner.
If anything, you should avoid making major decisions concerning your relationship while you are still upset. The best way to solve relationship problems is to let your spouse know when emotions are getting in the way of a well-reasoned decision. You can always talk later on so long as you remain committed to the process.
It is not good to dwell on heartache for a long time. The faster you get closure to your problem, the better you can make things work. As John M. Gottman says in the book: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, how you approach it will largely depend on the two of you. If you decide to hold deeper discussions until you are sure you have resolved the issues, then do it. You may also have to keep checking on each other to ensure you are working on the problem.
To save your relationship, you might be forced to take a well-deserved vacation to an exotic beach location. After spending quality time in each other’s company, you should be able to renew your relationship. Only then can you say you are ready to move on.
Recommitting To Each Other
Feeling insecure after a major conflict in a relationship is normal. However hard it is to commit to rebuilding the relationship, you and your partner are likely to come out stronger after all the suffering. If you feel confident about it, why don’t you take the next step and recommit to each other?
In the book: Solving Problems in Marriage by Robert K. Bower, it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Going out for a simple date can help the two of you to renew the strong bond that once connected you. Apart from bringing the two of you closer, recommitting to each other dispels any worries that might arise.
With time, you will start acting like two people who have never fallen out of love. For as long as you know what brought you together, you will keep working to make your relationship stronger.
The manner in which you solve relationship problems can determine whether your relationship will remain stronger or if it will break. Learn to handle your issues in such a way as not to escalate an already bad situation.
At the very basic, both of you must acknowledge their role in the creating the problem. Only then can the two of you start working towards finding an amicable solution. If you can strengthen your relationship, why should you allow it to break up? Remember, no one is impeccable!
David Smallis the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
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