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What To Do When Relationships Get Tough

What To Do When Relationships Get Tough

One of the most important elements of our life is our relationship with our spouse or significant other. They are who we build our lives with, start a family with, and spend our time with. For most of us, this is the highlight of our lives. But things are not always great. All relationships, even the most healthy and solidly-based, have rough spots. It is an natural part of an intimate relationship.

What separates healthy happy couples from those who might be headed for the single life is how they handle their relationship during these tough times. In many ways, it can be said that when times are tough, our relationships are really put to the test and we see how strong they actually are. Sometimes, for good reasons, a couple chose to go their separate ways, other times, they split and are forever unhappy as a result of it, and other times, the couple uses healthy ways to work through their problems and become stronger as a result.

What follows are a few of the things that healthy couples do when a relationship gets tough.

They Know It’s Not a Weakness to Say “I’m Sorry”

It is hard for many people to say these two simple words, but they can make all the difference in the world. Did you do something wrong? Did you, whether intentionally or inadvertently, upset your partner? Saying sorry is one of the things that healthy couples will do when things get rough. We all make mistakes and say things in the heat of the moment and saying sorry, rather than getting defensive and making things worse, can actually stop a fight right in it’s proverbial tracks.

They Stay Strong, but Are Always Kind

Sometimes, fighting is a good thing for a relationship. There are legitimate issues that need to be hashed out. A healthy couple can have a disagreement, but they do not resort to viscous attacks or personal insults. They are able to have a disagreement without harsh words being exchanged. The strong couple is able to clash with respect and love.

They Know Words and Actions Are Not the Same Thing

So often, just to make the fight end, people will say what they think the other person wants to hear, whether the believe it/think the same or not. This means these are just empty words which will not translate into actual changes in behavior or action. It is important not to fall prey to this temptation if you are in a rough patch in your relationship.

Do not say something you cannot back up and do not make promises that you do not intend to keep. This will lead to a break in trust and if it continues, your word will mean very little to your partner.

They Know You Are Both At Fault for Problems in the Relationship

This is one of the key things that a healthy couple does during times of relationship trouble. It is imperative to understand that no matter what the problem, both parties play some role in the development and continuation of said problems. We have to accept blame and responsibility for problems in our relationship, even if it is just not noticing an obvious sign.

A healthy couple can clash and maintain this understanding, which ultimately, helps the couple to more effectively and easily work through their problems. When both parties take responsibility for the problems in the relationship, the need for defensive behavior or harsh words is significantly reduced. This can reduce the potential severity of the fight and actually lead to the resolution of problems. When both people can accept their roles in the problems they face as a couple, they are already part way to fixing said problems.

They Know Jealousy and Love Are Not the Same Thing

Strife and fighting happen for a lot of different reasons. Too often, jealousy can play a role in rough patches in our romantic relationships. Many people are quick to jump to conclusions and get jealous over inappropriate things, mistaking this for a deep form of love. Strong couples know that jealousy and the behavior that results stems from distrust and a desire to control the other person. A strong relationship is built on trust and the couple working together as a team, so even when things are tough, they do not tend towards jealous behavior.

They Know Negativity Breeds Negativity

Look hard enough and you will find cracks and flaws in your relationship, no matter how strong you think it is. When times get rough, the healthy couple understands that negativity can be contagious and so try to avoid falling into this viscous cycle. Even when angry, the healthy couple sees the good in each other and remembers the positive. They know that they will still be together tomorrow, and they keep that in mind during a disagreement.

All relationships, even the strongest ones, experience rough patches. It is how the couple handles those rough times that ultimately determines whether they will stay together or go their separate ways. Strong couples know that even when relationships get tough, it is important to remember that it is not the end. They know that it’s a strength, not a weakness, to say sorry when you do something wrong.

When times are rough, the healthy couple stays kind to each other, even when there is discord. They know that they must actually practice what they preach and do what they say, otherwise, they are just meaningless words. When times are tough, a healthy, happy couple understands that both of them have some fault and blame for the problems in their relationship, no matter what they are.

A strong couple knows that jealousy is not the same thing as love, but rather, more akin to a need for control and so avoid using this in rough times. They understand the nature of negative thinking and the self-fulfilling prophecy and try to remember this during bad times so that they do not fall into the negativity cycle or pitfalls associated with self-fulfilling prophecy.

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.