9 Tips To Get Through Periods When Love Isn’t Easy
Updated August 28, 2020
Relationships take work. There is no easy way to say it. Even if you had the most romantic start to your relationship, you will inevitably run into challenges throughout it. When things get tough, you only have two options. One, call it quits with the one you love or two, work through the setback as best you can. If you're going through a difficult time with your partner, these tips might help you keep the peace until things get better.
View the Issue Objectively
It's really easy to get attached to our own feelings during a romantic disagreement. Unfortunately, when we lead with our heart and not our mind, it can cause us to do or say things we normally wouldn't. Anger can lead to yelling, jealousy can lead to insecurity and stress can be the underlying factor for resentment and isolation. By not keeping our feelings in check, we make ourselves vulnerable to a host of tense situations with our partner. That's not to say we shouldn't address our uncomfortable feelings, but that it is important to do so without making your loved one the target of their unpleasantness.
When a struggle in a partnership arises, try to look at the situation with your mind before your heart. Think about your partner's point of view and ask yourself if their perspective makes sense. Consider your behavior and whether you might contribute to a greater problem. Think about how the dynamic of your relationship is being affected by how you interact with one another. You don't have to agree with the person you love, but if you can take a step back and see the situation as an outsider would, you might be able to more quickly pinpoint an underlying issue.
Let Conflict be Okay
No two people have a perfect relationship. No matter how things look on the outside, every couple has their own struggles. Try not to over think that you and your partner are not at your best. It doesn't necessarily signal that the relationship is doomed to fail.
Sometimes, challenging moments in our lives are the start of a stronger and brighter future. You and your partner may need to address an issue that once resolved, will make your relationship better than it was before. Very rarely does a low period in a relationship mean that there is no hope so try to take things one day at a time.
Talk with Your Partner
Nothing tries a relationship more than a lack of communication. When we only live inside of our own mind, it forces us to come to conclusions that may not be true or come up with ideas that aren't grounded in reality. Rather than letting the argument or issue exist in your mind, talk to your partner about what is going on.
When you talk with your partner, remember to actively listen too. Watch their body language, ask questions about how they feel and be empathetic. Don't wait for them to ask you things, let them know what is on your mind (gently) and allow them to ask for more information. Try to keep the language centered around the thing that is going poorly, and not what the other person is doing wrong. For example, phrases like "it bothers me when the dishes pile up" versus "you never help me around the house" will lead to very different outcomes.
Meet Your Needs
When your relationship is going through a tough time, it is important to remember to meet your needs. Take care of your body and mind as best as you can, practice your self-care routine and seek support when you need it. If your relationship is meant to last, you will be able to advocate for yourself and seek to resolve things with the person you love. You shouldn't have to sacrifice who you are to keep the relationship together.
Healthy relationships adhere to the boundaries of both partners, but this can't be the case if boundaries are never set. Take some time to think about what feels right to you physically, mentally and emotionally and allow yourself to share these with your loved one. Keep in mind that boundaries may change over time. Just because you allowed yourself to get into shouting matches in the past, it doesn't mean you can't create a new boundary that says you won't talk with your partner unless the conversation remains respectful.
Don't forget to respect the boundaries your partner establishes. If they need space away from you after a heated debate, don't make the situation worse by texting, calling or visiting them in an attempt to talk. Everyone needs to work through complicated situations in their own way and on their own time. If both of you are afforded this opportunity, your rough spot will likely be short-lived.
Commit to a Common Goal
Regardless of the underlying issue in the relationship, work with your partner to find a common goal you both want to work toward. Maybe you both want to communicate better, spend more time with one another or try to balance your responsibilities. As long as you are both working toward the same thing, you will be on the same team.
Finding a common goal can sometimes be a challenge, especially if one partner doesn't see an issue where another does. In this situation, try to make the goal broader. Try something like, "understand each other better" until you can get on the same page.
Be Mindful of Where You Get Your Advice
Time and time again, well-meaning people turn to the Internet to seek advice about their relationships. Unfortunately, the voices on the other end of the computer don't know you, your partner or in most cases, have any professional experience in dealing with romantic issues. It's easy for others online to sway us to be angrier than we are, make us feel things we might not actually be feeling or take action steps to fix the problem that might not be right or realistic for the situation.
Venting to well-meaning friends and family members may not be right in every situation either. It's important to share your feelings with someone who won't judge you, your partner or your relationship. Be wary of extending information to co-workers, neighbors or acquaintances in community groups too. You don't want your personal business being the gossip of the day. When you're under pressure to address your problems outside of your relationship, it takes away from the work you could be doing with your partner.
Rather than googling answers to your relationship issues or asking others for advice about them, turn toward your partner or a reliable professional to discuss your concerns. Every relationship is different and what helped one person overcome their interpersonal struggles may not be the right choice for you. You need an objective person you can trust, who understands what you and your partner want for best results.
Many people see couples counseling as something that married people do as a last resort. Luckily, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Counseling is effective for all types of relationships, even those that aren't romantic. You don't even need to be married to attend.
The therapist's goal will be to work with you in an objective way to better understand areas of conflict within your relationship. They will use various methods to try to help you overcome these issues, often relying on strategies like reframing your thoughts about one another or the situation, changing behaviors in response to conflicts or improving communication skills. Online counseling, like that available through BetterHelp.com, is an effective tool you can try to improve your relationship while juggling the demands of your day-to-day life.
Remember Safety First
Keep in mind that just because all relationships have low points, it doesn't necessarily mean that all relationships are good. Ask yourself if your relationship is suffering because of unhealthy behaviors between you and your partner. Is there any mental, verbal, emotional or physical abuse? Are you justifying your actions or the actions of your partner when there really is no justification for them?
If you suspect that you're in a low point with the person you love due to an unhealthy problem in the relationship, don't wait. Seek help right away. Abuse in relationships isn't always easy to spot, but with the right resources, you can make major changes that better your life and keep you safe.
Going through low periods when love isn't easy is possible if you have the right perspective about your problems. Remember, you and your loved one deserve to be heard and respected. Unfortunately, a low period in a relationship might signal it is time for both parties to go their own way. However, if those involved are willing to work through the situation in a way that benefits each person in the relationship, it may just be a minor bump in the road.
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