All couples, regardless of their circumstances, go through rough patches. To expect a life together that is all plain sailing is unrealistic. This is true whether you have just moved in together or whether you’ve been married for twenty years. But what do you do when things go wrong? Can it be fixed or is it the beginning of the end?
Identify The Problem
The first step is to identify the problem. It may be something specific that your partner is doing or not doing. They may be spending too much time away from home. Or they may not be contributing enough to the household chores. Or you could suspect that they’re cheating. If the problem is easy to identify, you can take the necessary steps to fix it.
Sometimes, though, problems are not so easy to identify. It might be an uneasy feeling you have. You’re not spending as much time together, and you have started to bicker. It may take a little thought to figure out what’s bugging you.
The best place to start with resolving problems is to sit down with your partner and talk. It is important not to be aggressive or judgmental. Instead, listen carefully and consider his/her views. Remember, in your partner’s eyes, you may also be at fault.
Avoid bickering and arguing at all costs. Arguments may clear the air, but they are rarely productive. If you’re struggling to communicate and you’re not listening to each other, try this. One of the techniques sometimes used in Imago Relationship Therapy is to listen to your partner and mirror what they are saying. So, they may say, “It makes me feel really angry when you don’t let me know you’re going to be late home.” Rather than responding to this, you reflect back what they said. You do this by summarizing and putting it into your own words. Using this technique helps you each towards a clearer understanding of what the other is saying. In fact, you don’t need to be going through a crisis to use it. It can be useful in everyday situations.
If You Suspect Infidelity
If you suspect your partner is unfaithful, talk to them about it. Tell them your concerns and ask them outright if they are having an affair. This can be difficult to do. If you’ve got it wrong, they may feel hurt that you didn’t trust them. Therefore, some people prefer to hire a matrimonial investigator. An investigator will listen to your concerns, investigate, and confirm whether your fears are true.
If you find that your partner has been unfaithful, or if you have been unfaithful, you have a long way to go to build that trust again. You will each need to decide whether you want to rebuild your relationship and move forward together.
The last thing you’d want to do is end up in a toxic relationship. And although I am in a long distance relationship, here are some extra tips that has helped me make my relationship stronger with J – and in turn can also help anyone else in need.