There are tons of common reasons why partnerships come to an end. Maybe you realize that your long-term goals aren’t as aligned as you thought they were. Perhaps your partner doesn’t treat you with the respect that you deserve.
What if your relationship issues are creating bumps in the road but you don’t want the relationship to fail? Is there a way that you and your partner can move through these issues together and come out stronger?
The answer is yes. When both people (and this is key) are willing to approach relationship issues with eyes wide open and willing to make appropriate changes, the relationship can survive.
Ready to find out how this might work? Read on to learn how to overcome relationship issues with your partner.
Admit That There Is an Issue
A lot of couples deal are simultaneously dealing with conflict and brushing that conflict under the rug. This can look like one person compromising their needs in order to avoid rocking the boat. It can also look like misplaced anger or frustration that stirs up a conflict that doesn’t need to exist.
The first thing you and your partner need to do is admit that something isn’t working. This will open the door to open communication and mutual problem-solving that will bring about true conflict resolution.
Communicate Honestly About What the Relationship Issues Are
The next step is to communicate honestly about what the issues are. What this should not look like is laundry-listing, where one or both of you rattle off everything the other has done over a long period of time that the other person didn’t like. Stay focused on what each of you perceives as the primary issue or issues.
It is useful to use I-statements when talking about relationship issues. I-statements allow you to express your feelings without blatantly attacking your partner. For example, instead of saying, “You drink too much and it’s ruining everything,” you can say, “I feel unsafe and worried about our mutual health and safety when you consume alcohol.”
Create Agreed-Upon Goals
Once you have discussed the issues that are causing tension or making your relationship untenable, it’s time to talk about what to do next. Both partners should be involved in specific and measurable ways when it comes to goal-setting. What can this look like?
Let’s say that your issues are financial. Your agreed-upon goals can include assessing your financial situation each week, creating a budget together, and reassessing at the end of the week. This can also include micro-goals, like cutting back on unnecessary spending or using financial planning tools.
Use Appropriate Resources
Oftentimes, couples face issues that have deeper roots or that require outside help. Part of honest communication and goal-setting is acknowledging when you need help. Let’s take a look at some of the resources you might need to use and when it’s appropriate to do so.
Mental Health Counseling
The way we deal with conflict often reflects the trauma of our past. We learn certain behaviors that are designed to meet our needs, and some of those behaviors are harmful even when the needs are valid.
Attending mental health counseling can help you both to heal on an individual level. This can be useful when you’re dealing with trust issues in a relationship, abusive behaviors, avoidant behaviors, and more. Chances are, the issues you’re experiencing in your relationship are reflective of a deeper problem.
Substance use disorders don’t just jeopardize our health and safety. They also jeopardize our relationships.
If one or both of you are struggling with substance abuse, one of the most important things you can do is seek rehabilitation. Remember that addiction is a medical condition. Trying to muscle through it without medical and professional support isn’t worth the potential negative outcomes, including the loss of your relationship.
Many couples benefit from a combination of individual and couples counseling. For example, you may want to seek family counseling if your partner is in rehab. This is a great way to heal open wounds caused by addiction and learn how to support one another during the recovery process.
Relationship counseling provides a safe space to discuss your relationship issues with the help of a trained and impartial professional. This can help you to uncover the true issues that underlie your day-to-day conflicts. You can also learn new ways to relate to and communicate with one another.
Prioritize Growth and Accountability
When you’re trying to overcome relationship issues, it’s important to reframe your goals during times of conflict. Stop fighting to win and instead, aim for a middle ground where both you and your partner can feel seen, heard, and held.
Part of this process is prioritizing growth. As we mentioned, your goals should have measurable outcomes. It needs to be clear and acknowledged when one or both of you meet those goals and when you fail to meet those goals.
Recognize When It Isn’t Going to Work
The hard truth is that some relationship issues will not undergo the resolution required to save the relationship. If your relationship is not safe, whether that means physically or emotionally, it’s important to prioritize your safety and remove yourself from the situation.
Even if it isn’t unsafe, be honest with yourself. If your partner is not committing to the steps needed to fix the relationship, it’s time to move on.
Many Break-Ups Are Avoidable With the Proper Approach
It’s normal to experience relationship issues. How you handle them, however, is what will make all the difference. If you and your partner are committed to doing the work, then you can likely avoid the otherwise inevitable breakup.
Do you or your partner need rehabilitation or therapeutic services in San Diego? Apex Recovery Rehab may be able to help. Contact us to learn more about our services, payment options, and more.