Beliefnet
Doing Life Together

holding-hands-1149411_1280Jack and Jill are fighting again. Does this mean their relationship is going downhill? Not if you know that this is a common couple problem and that this issue has solutions.

Intimate relationships can cause stress to the point of breaking vows and calling it quits. But couple problems have common themes and there are ways to fix those problems. I encourage couples to thoughtfully talk to each other in order to begin a dialogue regarding ways to improve their relationships.

Common problem:I don’t know my partner and feel like we are drifting apart.

Solution: Couples who play together, stay together. That is true because spending time together is a critical part of building a friendship in a relationship. Friendship is a foundational aspect of strong relationships. So, carve out time in your schedules and make it a priority to be together. Do things that will relax you and make conversation easy. Take short trips or breaks together to reconnect in a different setting. Use your phone to text and stay connected and anticipate being together. You have to do friend stuff as well as romantic stuff to keep the connection strong.

Common problem: I need some space to focus on me.

Solution:Couples need to find the right amount of time together so they don’t feel cheated or overwhelmed. You don’t want to grow apart or feel like you are being smothered. Somewhere in between these two extremes is a healthy balance. Talk about this with your partner and assess what you are doing to achieve this balance. Negotiate alone and couple time. Both are important.

Common problem: We fight about the same things over and over.

Solution:Most couples don’t solve all their problems and do fight about the same issues regularly. This fact doesn’t lead to divorce. But the way you deal with each other during a fight really matters. If you are being critical, defensive, mocking and really negative, it is going to pull you apart. But if you disagree in a nice way and remain kind and respectful, conflicts don’t destroy marriages. This means no name calling, yelling, throwing, disrespect…the things that add fuel to a fire. You can have conflict but need to exercise self-control.

Common problem: The in-laws are causing us marital problems.

Solution: Are these people really as bad as they seem? Maybe your partner’s mom  or dad is not your cup of tea, but you have to look past their irritations and focus on the way they raised their son or daughter.Why? Because that’s what really matters. They produced this wonderful person you love. Now, your partner is supposed to defend you, stand up for you and intervene whenever his family becomes negative towards you. Therefore, it is up to the partner to put boundaries on their family and address problems when they treat you poorly.

Be encouraged when you hit a problematic issue in your couple relationship. As long as you are both willing to look at the problem, just know that these common problems have common fixes!

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