It’s not uncommon for a couple to run into problems in a relationship because you really are two different people trying to live as a unified pair and it’s nearly impossible to pull that off without some inconsistency, suspicion, or misstep, for, after all, this is life, and very rarely are we able to move through life without challenge.
Challenges arrive in life to give us opportunities for growth. Without growth, we become mediocre and stagnant. While that may work for some who find survival and barely getting by as acceptable, you find yourself wanting more.
A little conflict opens opportunities for inviting something more into your life, and great conflict, even more.
Of course, no one is blaming you, but to respect your partner and the relationship you share will go a long way toward a bright future you can powerfully share together without allowing the fire of your shared flame to go out.
If your relationship is in trouble, what can you do?
Establish trust. When relationships get rocky, it normally is d to a deterioration of trust. Whether there has been an actual betrayal or not, one or both of the parties in this relationship is experiencing a lack of trust.
To build or rebuild trust, just try to be normal, reestablishing routine. You still want to allow room to grow and change but if you’re changing it up too much, too often, you may find your partner responding to red flags which do not actually exist, raising unfounded suspicions.
Try sticking to a predictable schedule so that your partner knows what to expect. This will make him or her feel more secure, but still, allow a little space for informed spontaneity. Switch it up a little bit every once and a while, just to breathe new life with a little unexpected joy into your relationship.
When you’re feeling awkward in your relationship, be open and honest about it. Otherwise, it will look like you’re covering something up (and you are, your feeling awkward, for whatever reason), and your uneasiness will be infectious. When your partner is left in the dark, it allows his or her imagination to go to some dark places. Be honest open, and invite the light of life to illuminate who you really are, including your quirks and inconsistencies, and don’t be afraid to share and ask, “What are your thoughts on this?”
Be congruent. Make sure you and how you present yourself is in alignment with what you really mean. Often, we find ourselves just going with the flow to avoid any potential conflict, but if your partner starts to pick up on your mixed energies, these could be misinterpreted as potential problem areas.
Being open and honest about who you are (I mean the real person you are beneath all your persona and façade) engenders trust. Being uniquely you, naked, afraid, needy, expressive, overreactive, and vulnerable is the biggest power move you can make in taking your relationship to the next level. Be you, and share all of you with your partner. When you’re holding back, you throttle your relationship’s potential.
We all bring stuff into a relationship, our inconsistencies, insecurities, trauma, and emotional wounds from our past, and some of us have better communication skills than others. This is not a competition, but a cooperation. If you find yourself in a situation where you have tried to express yourself and it was received incorrectly don’t panic or get defensive. Just try to be understanding and willing to restate what you were trying to say in a way that might be better interpreted by your partner.
If you are keeping secrets from your partner, you can expect trust to erode. I know, there are a million reasons to justify keeping secrets from your partner, just be aware that this energy will affect the relationship, and your partner will be aware that something is not right, even if you’ve been so careful to cover it up that he or she will not be able to figure out what’s really going on. You might be able to sustain a relationship long term while keeping secrets which are never disclosed but be aware that such a relationship will never achieve its highest potential.
As you move through life together, times change, you change, your expectations, needs, and desires change. Be open and loving about what you need, want, or expect.
Sometimes, you might feel like if there’s something that you want from your partner, you think that giving it to your partner will make him or her want to give it back to you. If you aren’t open about your intention and just expecting your partner to “get it,” don’t be surprised when he or she just thinks you’re being weird.
Be willing to put yourself “out there” enough to say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about it, and I think I’d feel better about where we are and where we’re going if I could have a little more,” (fill in the blank). Of course, your partner might respond with, “Oh yeah, well I could use a little more…” No problem. This is an opportunity to get it out on the table and negotiate. Maybe there’s a way you can both get what you want.
Decline with dignity. If you find yourself giving in to things that do not resonate with you, start saying, “no,” to the things which do not serve you or do not make your heart sing. Keeping in mind also that it can be exciting to share something new, outside of your wheelhouse, just to mix things up.
If your partner is going through a self-destructive phase, you are under no obligation to participate. If you’ve come to the point that you cannot tolerate it, and you refuse to go down with your partner’s boat, there is no crime in getting off the boat. Just as long as you are open about removing yourself from the situation, which may include the relationship altogether. Then, be willing to walk away with your dignity intact.