Relationships can be hard.
Even if you get along great and enjoy each other’s company, problems still arise. There’s no way around it. Different personality types and different communication styles can cause relationship problems for even the happiest of couples. Even more problems if the relationship is strained.
Ups and downs are normal for any relationship, yet successful couples learn how to manage the bumps in the road so they can keep their relationship strong. They stick it out, work through their problems, and learn how to work together on the issues of everyday life that continually come up.
Here are a few of the most common relationship problems along with a few ways to solve them. See how many you can relate to.
Poor communication is at the root of all relationship problems.
Even if the problem is something else, not being able to communicate about it makes the problem worse. Learning to communicate your needs and thoughts to your partner and developing better listening skills can help nip most problems in the bud.
If you can’t discuss what’s on your mind in normal, everyday conversation, make an appointment to sit down and talk. Put your cell phones on silent, turn off the TV and computer, tuck the kids in bed, and send any calls to voicemail. Focus your attention on your partner, 100%. Doing so will make your partner feel valued and will let them know that what they have to say is important to you. This is something that working with the horses through equine gestalt coaching can help with tremendously.
Different communication skills may mean that you don’t always understand each other’s point of view right away. Check out my article on extroverts and introverts. Don’t stop working towards common ground. Keep talking and explaining your point in different ways until you feel like you’re getting through to your partner. Communication is always tough in a new relationship, yet over time you start to learn the best ways, and times, to talk to your partner.
If you are not able to talk without raising your voices, go somewhere public like a park or a restaurant where you’re more likely to keep your voice down. It’s okay to be angry or frustrated, however it’s not okay to keep it to yourself. It will only eat away at you and cause you to resent your partner. Whatever’s on your mind needs to be said. You are not able to control how the other person receives the information but you are able to control the delivery!
Set some ground rules for your talk sessions. Don’t interrupt your partner; instead, wait until they’re done talking. Really and truly listen without wanting to respond or to be right. Let them say what they need to say so that they can feel heard. Don’t use phrases like “You always …” or “You never ….”, this will make your partner feel defensive and turn your discussion into an argument.
Be an active listener by making eye contact and nodding your head in affirmation. Repeat back what you’re hearing in your own words so that your partner can be sure you’re understanding them.
Ah, money! “Money is the root of all evil,” they say. Who told you that; your mother or father?
Money problems can start even before you exchange wedding vows. If you don’t address them early, they’ll only get worse. They can start coming up early in the relationship with the expenses of dating or the high cost of a wedding. Money issues are the number one cause of relationship problems so they really need to be dealt with head on.
The best approach is to be honest. Talk to your partner about your current financial situation. If things aren’t good, continuing the same lifestyle is unrealistic. Moving forward into the relationship, you will need to decide together how you will handle money.
Don’t approach the subject when things are tense, that could make you and your partner shut down and not discuss what you need to. Money is not only an important issue to discuss, it’s also a very sensitive topic for most people. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and discuss the issue in a non-threatening manner.
Acknowledge that you have differences and understand there are benefits you both bring to the table. Don’t hide income or debt. Trust each other enough to discuss it all. Leave blame and judgement at the door, they have no place in a relationship discussion about money.
If you find that you are not able to completely agree, look to find a compromise that you can both live with. Allow each other a little financial independence by setting aside money to be spent solely at his or her discretion.
This is a big one and the horses will be able to help you resolve this issue that goes way back to childhood. Equine gestalt coaching can help with money issues.
In most cases, both partners work outside the home so it’s important to divide the household chores fairly so that one person isn’t doing all the work.
Before dividing up the chores, there are a few things to take into consideration:
Schedule – does one-person work fewer hours or work from home, making it easier for them to handle more of the day-to-day chores?
Preference – are there chores that one of you dreads doing while the other one doesn’t mind? If so, divide the chores so that no one has to constantly do that one chore they really dislike.
Ability – some chores can be harder to do for some people based on their size or strength. For instance, someone who’s five-feet tall might have a hard time dusting the ceiling fans without having to pull out a step ladder.
Perfectionism – if one of you is a perfectionist about how the laundry is folded or the dishwasher emptied, it may be easier for them to handle that specific chore.
Be organized and clear about each person’s responsibilities. Create a chore schedule to help keep track of when things need to be done. Compromise on the things that neither of you wants to do by taking turns. Or see if your budget can afford to hire someone to take care of it so you have more time to spend together.
Time is money! Do, dump or delegate it!
Not Prioritizing Your Relationship
It’s so easy to fall into the comfort trap, especially the longer you’re together.
In the beginning, you probably spent a lot of time talking about your relationship and making compromises to make life together a little easier. Now that you’ve been together for a while, making your relationship a priority is just not at the top of your to-do list. You’ve fallen into the day-to-day humdrum life and stop working on improving your relationship. If you want to keep the romance alive, you need to make your relationship a priority all the time, not just until you say “I do.”
Being in a relationship with someone you love is the most important and precious job you will ever have, however it still takes work. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Whether you’ve been together 2 years or 20 years, relationships always need work and attention.
Plan date nights and getaways, show your appreciation for each other, pay your partner a compliment, show a genuine interest in what may be happening in their life. Let your partner know that they matter to you and your relationship is a priority.
Conflicts are a natural part of life in any relationship.
You’re never going to agree with everyone on everything. If you’re constantly having the same arguments and the same situations keep coming up, it’s time to break free from the toxic routine.
Instead of arguing about it, agree to come together and have a discussion about it, no yelling, no name calling, no judgement, just talk. Share your point of view without raising your voice and be a good listener when your partner shares their point of view. Find a way to resolve the problem, find a fair compromise, or agree to disagree on that subject.
When you make a heartfelt effort towards resolving the conflict you can let go of the anger and find a much calmer perspective with what’s really going on.
Recognize and accept that you are not a victim. It is your choice whether or not you react to conflict and how you react.
If you are constantly blaming or being hurtful towards your partner, it may be time to take an honest look at how you respond and start making a change to how you approach each other during conflict. A kind, well thought out response will make a bigger impact than one of anger.
Just one simple little shift can make a big difference. If you usually interrupt your partner to defend yourself before they’ve finished speaking, hold off for a moment. Just take a breath and hear them out. You may be surprised at how such a small shift can change the whole tone and resolution of an argument. Equine gestalt coaching is perfect in helping shifts happen it gets to the root of the problem with the love of the horse guiding you.
No relationship is perfect and every relationship deals with different struggles, it’s part of life.
In most cases, finding a way to openly, honestly, and calmly communicate about the problems will help you find your way to the other side of them. Talking will help you find a way to compromise and see each other’s points of view.
If you still aren’t able to resolve your problems, it may be time to seek help from a neutral party, like a horse. Make an effort to make your relationship enough of a priority to work through your conflicts together and find a resolution.
Therapy is much cheaper than a divorce.
Check out our workshops and reading material on couples
We offer FREE consultations and I know my horses and I can help you work through any of the above problems with Equine Gestalt Coaching. Listen to the whispers… schedule your free consultation at 970-682-4405 or click below. Get Started on Your Dreams