Communication: the key to overcome any relationship hurdle
Romantic relationships can be a source of extraordinary joy – there’s truly nothing like the excited butterflies, the nerves, the emotions of falling love. Meeting a new partner doesn’t come without its challenges though, as you quickly have to learn how they deal with difficult times and how hard you have to fight to keep the relationship on track. Life isn’t a Hollywood film, and not all relationships have happy endings. Regardless, the optimists among us would say that after your first argument, you have one of your best moments: the first making up. From disagreeing over their style choices to discovering infidelity, here’s how you can overcome relationship strains.
You don’t see enough of each other
With increasingly taxing work-lives, people have less and less time to find and fall in love, hence the popularity of on-the-go dating apps such as Bumble and Tinder. When you’re in a loving relationship, other demands on your schedule can make it feel as though you’ve not got enough time to dedicate to your partner. ‘Quality time’ can quickly before a few minutes in the morning before work, and then an exhausted cuddle on the sofa at the end of the day. What happened to the wining and dining?
There’s no easy fix here: the solution is finding, and protecting, time to be just the two of you. Try trading Netflix in your PJs for a date at the cinema, and save a day at the weekend to spend time with each other doing something you both enjoy.
Their friends are difficult to get along with
No one wants to be the spouse who steals their partner away from their friends, but sometimes individual differences mean you struggle to see eye to eye with your partner’s peers.
If you’re struggling with this in your relationship, you’ll know that this situation requires understanding and compromise from both parties. The last thing you want is for your partner to start resenting you, for not being able to spend time with their friends when they want to. Equally, you should find a way to discreetly communicate your woes with your partner, to try and make them understand the position you find yourself in. Try to avoid placing blame on their friends, saying instead that you’re struggling to connect with them – ask your partner for advice on how to nurture a good friendship with the group; it may be that they felt the same way about them when they first met! It’s possible that you just don’t know them well enough yet, why not suggest a fun group date night to try and bond?
You dislike their style
On the first few dates, you were willing to look past the ugly shoes or unflattering outfit choice, because you were trying to get to know the person below the surface. Now, however, months in, you may be tempted to make subtle suggestions to adapt their wardrobe. Remember though, whether you’re a girl trying to change a guy, or a guy trying to change their girl, clothing can be very personal. Tread carefully, plan what you’re going to say, and ensure you don’t accidentally make any judgments about why they dress the way they do right now.
Why not suggest a joint shopping trip? If you open it up to their suggestions on your style too, you may find your partner much more receptive and engaged with the restyling. You should avoid, at all costs, throwing out any clothing without your partner’s permission; you never know the sentimental value an item might have.
There are issues in the bedroom
Great sex life is crucial to a happy relationship; being intimate with your partner increases the feeling of closeness and makes you stronger partners. Sex should also be fun, and it’s a great way to laugh with and enjoy the company of, your partner while exploring your sexual preferences and desires.
Sometimes, though, there are certain medical or psychological barriers to having a healthy sex life. Luckily, there are many ways to remedy these issues. If you think there’s a psychological reason behind your, or your partners, insecurity or reluctance in the bedroom, try to create a relaxing and open environment. Talk openly about what you want from sex; communication truly is the key to everything. If the issue is more physical, you can explore what kind of products may be able to help here!
One of you cheated
It is arguably the most killer of relationship hurdles, and certainly many relationships cannot withstand the emotional trauma of infidelity. As such, it’s hard to say how you should cope with this situation should you, unfortunately, find yourself in it. Some relationships manage to get back on track by taking the next steps very slowly indeed; trust is something that is slow to gain but easily broken.
It’s worth trying to ascertain whether the affair was purely sexual, or emotional as well – did you or your partner act once, out of impulse, or is there now love with someone else? You may find a physical affair requires different recovery steps – had your physical relationship fallen by the wayside of late, do you just need to be more loving to each other? Emotional, or more drawn out, affairs can be relationship-shattering; there are no two ways about it.
Whatever the story behind the infidelity, give both you and your partner time to deal with what has happened. You don’t need to come to any decisions before you feel ready to. Speak to your friends, confide in those whose advice you respect, but ultimately how you continue from there will be up to you and your partner.
Communication, communication, communication
By now, you’ll have seen that being able to speak to your partner is paramount to a lasting, happy relationship. If you can find a way to communicate with your partner about an issue in your relationship, you’re a much bigger step closer to solving any hurdles that may get in your way.