Relationships are not always laced with sugar and everything nice. There are times when they are not only spiced up, but also come with heavily bitter aftertastes. This is normal though, as in any relationship, challenges and conflicts are expected to arise. They’re not going to be totally eliminated, but the key here is for the couple to learn how to manage them.
So what can couples do to keep their relationship intact especially when the going gets tough? Here are 10 tips to keep in mind:
1. Trust the process. Each other’s process.
When faced with a difficult situation, the first resort is to argue and play the blame game. You find fault in each other until you feel mad and regret over missed opportunities and lost chances in which you could have avoided the problem. However, there’s an easier recourse in such situations, and that is to trust each other’s decisions.
Talk about the problem. Recognize the faults, and admit your mistakes. But afterwards, you two focus on a solution and your parts in making it work. This is because what you’re after is a solution towards the issue so you can finally move forward; the bickering and the blaming are just emotional spurs that you two can choose to leave behind.
There are problems when one –or even the both of you, worry too much over a problem. Worrying doesn’t solve anything; it only aggravates the situation and clouds both your judgment. Hence, when in the middle of a difficult situation, make it a point to breathe in and breathe out, and assure each other that everything will eventually be alright.
Making things seem a little lighter not only takes the anxiety away, but more importantly it sets a more positive vibe for you to resolve the situation as a couple.
3. Recognize the fault, but do not ever blame.
When faced with a tough situation, it is important that you lay down all the issues, including those that you’ve done and that of your partner’s. This isn’t a game of “whodunit,” but more about mapping the picture down to the necessary details so that you can find the best possible solution to the problem.
It is also a no-no to blame each other for the problem, as you’re working as couple. It can be tempting to spell out your partner’s fault, but what good would it bring, right? Rather, focus on the solution and forgive each other afterwards.
4. Honesty is always the best policy –but do it in the sweetest way possible.
The truth always sets you free, no matter how hard it may hurt. But sometimes, the pain brought by being honest is not with the facts themselves, but on the manner they are delivered. If in case you know your partner would take it hard when you say something honest, try to make your message sound a bit sweeter. Do your best to show your partner that you’re saying these facts with sincerity and optimism, and not to bring them down.
5. Don’t forget to say thanks.
Even if you know that majority of the mess is caused by your partner, still, don’t forget to say thanks. No, not the sarcastic kind of thanks, but the sincere and comforting thanks. Say thanks because even if you’re facing a major roadblock, you’re still together. Say thanks because you both are willing to work this out, holding each other’s hand. Not all couples get to do this when served with a rough patch, and instead they opt the easy way out: breaking up.
6. Cheer each other up.
All the fighting and the bickering can be very tiring for both of you. But rather than waste your energy on arguments, why not cheer each other up instead. Remind each other than the problem will pass and you’ll find a way to straight things out eventually, and today’s not yet the proper timing. You need not be vocal about it, but perhaps a cup of coffee or a bowl of noodles would do the trick. Either treat is comforting to the senses anyway.
7. Give each other a sweet treat.
Did you know that chocolate (and candy) helps release endorphins, otherwise known as feel good hormones when consumed? Yes, it does, thus making chocolate the best remedy to a lovers’ quarrel. So whenever you and your significant other are having an argument, try to make things lighter by giving out a sweet treat as a sign of peace.
8. Never ever bring up past problems.
It is also a major no-no for the either of you to bring up past problems, especially those that have already been resolved, when faced with a current issue. The only point of doing this is when you don’t want to be part of the solution of the looming catastrophe that your relationship is bound to be in, but it won’t in any way, save your relationship. Let bygones be bygones. Learn to forgive.
9. Ask for words of advice from your support group.
Sometimes it can be difficult for you as a couple to discuss and resolve problems with just your joint insights. Most of the time you’d end up fighting longer because you haven’t agreed on each other’s opinions. When this happens, why not seek advice from your support group, such as family and close friends. Maybe all you need is a fresh perspective, and from there you can come up with the right solution to the issue you are facing.
10. When in doubt, pray.
Lastly, there are moments when you are both in despair and no longer know what to do. You cannot digest each other’s decisions, or other people’s opinions, and frankly this can be devastating. Hence, when you are already feeling blank with doubt, just sit back and pray. Pray together, savor the quiet time so that you are able to hear your hearts speak, and to welcome the presence of the divine. Praying helps a lot in clearing all qualms, and maybe afterwards you both come up with a decision you both believe would work best.
Overcoming relationship problems isn’t always smooth and easy. Conflicts are further aggravated due to dissenting opinions, valuing one’s self over the other, and as well as past issues that were left unresolved. When all these blow up in both their faces, the couple involved has immediately put their relationship at great risk, and this may lead to them becoming strangers again.