Relationship Problems — no matter how wonderful your relationship is — HAPPEN. They happen to everyone. There are rough obstacles and challenges in every relationship. Let’s face it… even the best of couples have difficult moments they need to work through. The key though.. is how you work through them.
Knowing all about unhealthy relationship habits from my past partners — I can truly appreciate the solid communication I have with Matt — the guy I am with now. Sure we enjoy each other’s company and love each other very much.. and that is really awesome. But our best quality — I think — is how we communicate whenever their is a problem or obstacle in our way. And trust me.. we have had a quite a few hurdles – normal relationship problems – that we needed to overcome.
There were a lot of things we needed to work on when we first started dating… and then again we moved in together, we had a few more challenges. There were conflicts between us.. like every normal couple.. problems we needed to address – Like how when we moved in together, I felt I was doing all the chores ….or how I didn’t feel like he was being as affectionate or loving with me as I wanted him to be…(you can read all about that in our post about showing love and getting love.)
Then there were times that He needed certain things from the relationship and wasn’t getting them…. like how he felt he didn’t have enough of his own time to himself after we moved in. (See my post: Doing What Makes You Happy Even When You’re In a Relationship)
Or how he felt I was too critical or judgmental of him when things went wrong because I was treating him as if he were my X who I didn’t trust. (letting go of my past relationships was a big thing for me.)
or.. The biggest conflict of all…. the one that almost broke us up.. which I’m sure I will post about at some point….but not today.
The point is we have had a fair amount of relationship problems… moments when one of us felt like we weren’t getting what we needed or wanted out of the relationship…. and we needed to address our concerns… Those moments could have broke us had we not handled them correctly.. but they actually made us stronger! Our ability to communicate in a clear way without disrespecting each other is really the quality of our relationship that I appreciate the most. We are truly always smiling.. even when things are difficult.
Relationship Problems – When You Aren’t Getting What You Need
Here are some common relationship problems I hear from my close friends on the regular.
1.My guy doesn’t make an effort to spend time with me.
2.All he wants to do is watch tv all the time and he doesn’t pay any attention to me.
3.He’s flaky. He doesn’t call when he says he will or he shows up late all the time.
4.We live together, but he doesn’t contribute to the house hold chores… I feel like I am doing most of the work.
5.I talk to him and I feel like he is not listening to me. Or that he doesn’t care about what I am saying.
How To Fix Your Relationship Problems in a Way that Isn’t Destructive
Telling Your Guy He Needs to Change his Ways Without Causing an Argument
All of these Relationship problems seem small… but sometimes, handling them the wrong way can make them turn into a total disaster for your relationship. Here’s how we do it.
GET RID OF THE BLAME: One of the biggest mistakes I have seen people make (and I have made too in the past) is blaming my partner for all the unhappiness I am feeling in the relationship at that moment. No matter what habit needs to be pointed out or acknowledged, placing the blame on the guy 100 percent is NEVER the solution. Even if it is something you didn’t cause or control, “you do this” or “you do that” conversations can really belittle your partner. “I hate it when you do…” is a REALLY bad way to fix any problem. When having a conversation about a relationship problem, your choice of words really does matter. Instead of saying “you NEVER call me when you say you will,” … why not try something like, “You know, I just have a lot going on right now and my schedule is really busy… and I feel really disappointed when I make time to talk to you and it doesn’t happen. …. I miss taking to you. I think we need to try and find a better way to communicate. Maybe we should try picking a different time, or a different way to talk.” Get the point?
MAKE IT CLEAR WHY IT IS A PROBLEM AND HOW IT IS AFFECTION YOU (REMEMBER – WITHOUT BLAME): Addressing the relationship problem without acknowledging your emotions behind the issue is a big mistake. Without telling your guy how it makes you feel, you are never going to get your partner to see the importance of changing his ways. “It makes me feel unloved,” or “it makes me feel less appreciated,” are some key phrases I have used in the past. I don’t cry. I don’t yell. I stay calm and express my feelings in a clear and recognizable way so that he realizes how his actions are effecting our relationship… and doesn’t think I am just complaining about nothing.
ASK WHY IT IS HAPPENING: Instead of just acknowledging a problem… try to figure out WHY that problem exists. And figuring it out together is a great way to brainstorm the relationship problem and all the ways you can fix it. Why is it that we aren’t spending as much time together as I need? Rather than “You don’t spend enough time with me,” is a great way to come up with a solution, rather than just making an open ended insulting statement about how you feel. And this way… the relationship problem has a shot at being solved!
COME UP WTH WAYS YOU CAN HELP: I hate it when I hear girls tell me about all the things they need their guys to do… they feel out of control of the situation, but they don’t come up with any solution that allows them to TAKE control. NO guy should ever be the one bearing the responsibility of changing the relationship… it should be THE BOTH of you working together to improve it. There was a time where I felt like Matt wasn’t listening to me when he came home… and would just watch TV. Once we talked about why that was happening, I discovered that after a long stressful drive home, he really just needed to relax for a half hour or so and have time to decompress. Getting that explanation from him really reassured me that it wasn’t anything I was doing that made him uninterested… but I could HELP the situation too… Now, when I have certain things I want to talk to him about when he gets home from work, I am sure to give him a few moments to relax first.
When The Relationship Problems Turn Into Deal Breakers
This has happened to me before. Relationship problems can sometimes turn into the thing that makes you call it quits. You remember my post about the last unhealthy relationship I ever had? Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get a guy to change his ways. And that’s a really difficult thing to face. Have you been having the same conversation over and over again about an issue that just doesn’t seem to correct itself? By definition, that’s insanity. “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” You can never CHANGE people… If your relationship problems are really troubling, And if your guy is really attached to the habit that you for some reason cannot handle… it is time to walk away. Don’t drive yourself insane trying to fix something with someone who doesn’t really care. When do you know when it’s time to walk away? That is different for everyone. Just follow your heart and do what you feel is right. You should never be compromising your values and what you feel is important in a relationship. Compromise with your partner to find solutions… but don’t ever compromise what you need from a true loving relationship.
The internal fight you will have with yourself trying to not care about something you truly care about is way worse than any relationship fight you could ever have.
Like this post on relationship problems and how to work through them? Check out the others I mentioned through this story:
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