Whether you’re starting out in your first serious relationship, have been together for a while, or have years of marriage under your belt, problems can arise at any time.
Difficulties don’t mean you should run for the hills straight away, but recurring problems certainly need dealing with in order to maintain the relationship. Here’s how:
- Identify the Problem
Perhaps you fully understand what the problem is, or perhaps you have no idea. You should work to identify the problem before you work to solve it. Is it a lack of time spent together? Is your partner not pulling their weight with housework? Is there a sudden lack of intimacy? Be honest with yourself about what is bothering you, and don’t be ashamed to admit it to your partner.
- Try to Avoid Being in Denial
It’s always difficult to admit when something you care about just isn’t salvageable. If you’ve tried your best to sort the problems but it just isn’t working, you shouldn’t brush it under the mat. You need to accept that a separation is needed, even if you have been married for a long time and you can’t bear the thought of such an upheaval. Hanging on to a relationship which hasn’t been working for a long time will make it harder in the long run.
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- Communication is Key
The only way problems are going to be solved is by admitting that there is a problem in the first place. Communication needs to work from both sides, which means talking with each other openly is encouraged. One partner may be more accommodating than the other in regards to willingness to discuss a problem, but it’s important for both parties to stay calm and not accusatory. You shouldn’t play the blame game; you should aim to talk about how you feel without blaming your partner for it.
If communication simply isn’t happening due to either one party being too stubborn or both of you unwilling to communicate, it may be time to part ways.
- Listening is as Important as Talking
You may have been stewing on a list of problems you have with your partner for a while, or maybe you’ve just sensed the negative atmosphere and made your own conclusions. Your partner will have their own feelings, too, and it’s important to listen without judgement to what they have to say.
The negative atmosphere may have been created by both of you based on presumptions formed after a lack of communication. Simply talking and listening may be all it takes to resolve the misunderstanding.
Likewise, they should listen to you, too.
- Get Back to Your Roots
Once the so called honeymoon-phase is over, things change when you become busy with work and life. Perhaps the issue is simply that you haven’t spared enough time for each other. You should take the time to remember why you fell in love in the first place – this could be a designated date night to go out socially like you did in the early days. Or you could write a list of what made you attracted to your partner in the first place.