All relationships hit a bump in the road. It’s not uncommon then to start thinking about how you and your partner ended up in this situation.
But it doesn’t have to mean that you both have to go your separate ways. Often it’s just a case that you both need to work a little bit harder.
So, keeping this intro short, here are 15 things to try when a relationship gets rocky.
1. Make Your Relationship The Priority
Relationships require time and effort. When things start to stray off track, one common cause is that they have been neglected. Try not to get caught up in feeling comfortable and you don’t have to try anymore. Focus your energy and make your relationship the priority.
2. Avoid Insulting Your Partner And Make Belittling Remarks
Sticks and stones… Words actually do a lot more harm than you think. Every time you put your partner down, you’re causing further damage to the relationship. Break the habit and replace them with words that show you respect your partner. Treat them how you want to be treated.
3. Don’t Be Passive-Aggressive
It’s so easy to do that it seems natural, but it is very damaging. Ignoring your partner or refusing to take part is a tactic used to break them down, causing the argument to turn into a battle. Relationships are about being on the same side so avoid making power-plays.
4. Stop Passing The Blame Around
No one wins the blame game. Even if you manage to blame everything on your partner, the problems still exist, along with all the feelings that come along with them. Take responsibility for the hurt you’ve caused and make the steps to creating the loving environment you want to be in.
5. Let Go Of Trying To Change Your Partner
The only person you can change in the relationship is yourself. The sooner you can accept this to be the case, the quicker you can start to heal the relationship. If you want to make the relationship work, you need to accept your partner for who they are or who the person they are trying to become. Instead of forcing them into feeling shame or disappointment, choose to support them and focus on improving yourself. If any changes arise, they will do so organically which makes for a much healthier relationship.
6. Believe Your Partner Has Good Intentions
As humans, when we convince ourselves that something has happened, we will ignore all the evidence that contradicts what we believe. So, putting this into a relationship when things rocky, it’s easy to make our partners feel like they’re the villain. If you want things to get better, you must allow the possibility that your partner can actually help you. Believe your partner is trying to do the right thing by you, but they are acting on the wrong information.
7. Learn To Be Present
As described by Psychology Today, being present and just being in the room are two different things. As the saying goes, there is a difference between hearing what they have to say and actually listening. Being present means you aren’t automatically assuming what they are thinking. Listen to what you are yet to understand their thoughts and feelings. Learn what is going in their head, rather than hearing what they’re saying and using it prove you’re in the right and they’re in the wrong.
8. Ask Your Partner to Share
Sharing is caring. A problem shared is a problem halved. These sayings and more are all true so ask your partner to share their problems when they’re ready. As they share, be present and be understanding.
9. Talk About Your Sex Life
This follows on from the above point about sharing. Unsatisfying sex could be causing deeper issues in your relationship so it’s important to talk about it. Share what isn’t working for you and ask them to do the same thing. Perhaps you could start role-playing or, as noted by Gift Wits, explore different sex toys to spice things up in the bedroom.
10. Respect Yourself And Be Honest
You can’t respect others properly if you don’t respect yourself. You have just as much of a right to think and feel the way you do as anyone else in this world. Don’t pretend to feel the way your partner wants you to. Being fake only sets the relationship up for a disaster. The strongest relationships are built and trust and respect. Be honest.
11. Beware Of Keeping Secrets
It may seem like a good idea at the time, but try not to keep secrets from your partner to protect them. As time goes on, these seemingly good intentions can fall apart and cause unforeseen consequences. It’s hard to share a secret but be as open as you can.
12. Take Responsibility for Your Own Limiting Beliefs
Each and every one of us have limiting beliefs. They are the things that prevent us from moving forward and becoming the best versions of ourselves by keeping us in fear. But they are not caused by your partner. They existed in your mind well before you met. Learn to identify what holds you back and take responsibility for them. But be careful not to project them onto your partner. Remember, the only person you can change is yourself.
13. Keep Your Word
When a relationship gets rocky, it can be tough to trust your partner. So, when you say that you’re going to do something, or when you share some feelings, your partner will assume that you are being truthful. If you change your mind, make sure you give your partner enough time to catch up with you.
14. Show Appreciation
It may sound tough to do so right now but it’s so important. Unknowingly, we take our partners for granted. We don’t share how grateful we are for them enough. So to avoid making your partner feel taken for granted, show them appreciation and thank for when they do things that improve your life.