Relationships, especially marriage, are a testimony of a sacred bond that ties two people together. The stakes are even higher when the relationship in question is marriage, as marriage does not only ties two people together but forms a bond for life. However, just because the stakes are higher, does not necessarily mean that this bond is indestructible. Marriage requires constant and consistent effort or else your relationship begins to crumble around you. Even with strong foundations, relationships are prone to marriage mistakes, more so if the marriage is relatively new.
However, these mistakes or hurdles might be completely different from what most people expect to deal with in the course of their relationship. It is not about a difference in opinion or lifestyle, it is about how the couple deals with their differences that makes or breaks a relationship.
Most couples waste years trying to change what their significant other is like, not realizing that these differences are rooted in fundamental differences of opinion and personality, and in changing them you would, in turn, be changing the person you love. By trying to change their partners, all that you do is waste your time and ruin your relationship.
So the question remains: How do people in healthy relationships resolve their issues while still managing to keep their love life intact?
A dominant force behind resolving problems lies in acceptance. People who are a part of a healthy relationship realize that hurdles and problems are a part of every relationship, especially when it is long term. Some of these issues are resolvable through proper communication, however, some issues that are inevitabilities you just have to learn to deal with.
However, that does not mean you can’t form an effective coping mechanism to deal with persistent issues or find a way to rid yourself of the situation altogether by avoiding the circumstances that instigate persistent problems.
A leading psychologist, named Dan Wile said it best in his book, titled “After the Honeymoon.” He humorously quips, “When you are choosing a potentially long-term life partner, you are inevitably choosing a set of unsolvable problems that you’ll be grappling with for the next 10, 20 or 50 years to come.”
However, just because acceptance is important does not mean that you ignore problems altogether. The first step to solving problems is identifying them. Here are some pesky problems that most couples are affected by in the course of their relationships.
Everyone makes mistakes. If your partner does something that hurts or offends you, it is important to talk about it, but it is more important to stop dwelling on it after it has happened. Don’t ignore their mistakes, but also know to not keep mentioning the mistake. Not only will going on about it make them feel bad, but it will also leave a sour taste in your mouth. Let bygones be bygones, right?
When people get married, they don’t know just how much their lives can change based on just a tiny bit of paper. In dating, both the parties know that they can walk away whenever things start getting too much, marriage, however, is a larger commitment that requires more thought which means more pressure. When you willingly enter into marriage with someone you love, be prepared to know that building your life with a person means there will be inevitable tension between the two of you.
While problems are an unavoidable part of relationships that in no way means that you have the right to broadcast your problems for the world to see. It does not matter if the person you’re confiding in is your best friend, sister or mother, private affairs are meant to be private.
By divulging details of your married life, you are subconsciously painting your spouse in a certain light. Now, even if the problem solves itself, the person you confided in will continue to see your significant other in the flawed light you painted them in, which is in no way fair to them.
Making undue assumptions is a problem that plagues most couples. While you might think you know someone through and through, no one deserves to have words put in their mouths. So instead of assuming that you perfectly understand their perspective, ask them to clarify upon what they really mean to say before jumping to any rash conclusions.
Even though it might seem stupid at that time, it really can’t hurt to ask: “I think what you’re trying to say is “X,” but I can’t be sure. Is this really what you meant to say?”
Overgeneralizing is something we are all guilty of indulging in from time to time. Instead of specifying where things really went wrong, we tend to make broader statements using words like ‘always’ or ‘never.’ Not only is it wrong to accuse your partner of doing or not doing something all the time, but it also puts them in a defensive position rather than one in which they would be open to listening to you. You will definitely have more success in solving issues if you stick to the current issue at hand.
Calling your significant other names, rolling your eyes at them, mocking them or belittling their problems and overall creating a hostile environment is the worst thing you can do in a relationship. Hateful gestures like these are poisonous to a relationship as all they do is relay hate. They do next to nothing to solve the problem at hand, in fact, all they do is make the other person feel like you hate them.
As it turns out, ignoring issues or simply disengaging yourself from your partner in the event of a problem, further compounds issues rather than solving them. All variations of the silent treatment do nothing to help with the actual problem than remove the person other person from the narrative of the argument. What most people don’t realize is that sweeping problems under the rug will eventually cause the doom of their relationship.
Whenever voicing an opinion, it is important to consider whether you are saying what you are to stimulate the growth of a person or to just criticize them. Criticism can be both constructive and just plain hateful. If you belittle someone, they might not feel comfortable in coming to you again or showing their vulnerability.
Therefore, while you should never hide how you feel, especially from your partner, you should also be overly careful of how you phrase your opinions to your partner. Moreover, when being open to communication, it is just as important to appreciate and build your partner up as it is to help them get over their flaws.
More often than not, the way you say something often holds more meaning than what you are actually saying. Even if you are communicating something of value, but you are doing it through yelling or sarcastic comments, it will not have the desired impact on your partner. It might result in your partner emotionally withdrawing from you or shutting down completely.