Struggling Relationship Advice

couple in the pool

Love and anxiety can go hand-in-hand even in the strongest relationships. Something about them gets on your nerves, you’re fighting constantly, or you’re starting to have worries on whether this is really the relationship you need.

When you find yourself and your partner struggling to stay together, put these 4 tips into practice to get your romance back on its feet.

1. Remember the Reasons Why You’re Together

By taking the time to reevaluate the relationship and remember why you’re together in the first place, you can begin appreciating the traits that attracted you to them in the first place, focusing away from the bad. What stood out about them right away? How do they make you feel on a daily basis? If they were to fall off the planet tomorrow, how much would you miss them and what would you feel lacking in your life? Taking a step back can give you the chance to remember why you need them in your life.

2. Air the Dirty Laundry

Sit down together for a mini intervention where each of you is allowed to lay out all your irritations, fears, angers, and problems under the agreement that neither of you will be cut off, argued with, or rejected until you’ve finished speaking. Then the other can calmly and reasonably reply to each point, either explaining or apologizing, and come up with an agreement that ensures it doesn’t happen in the future. Once this dirty laundry has been aired, it’s a closed deal. From now on you can both live in the present without old problems coming to haunt you.

3. Don’t Cut Off Communication

Trusting a partner is important. When you feel that trust has been violated, the natural reaction is to shut down. But shutting down communication is the first nail in the coffin of your relationship. When silence is allowed to prevail, you grow farther apart and discover fewer things to connect on about. Even worse, what led to the shut-down will have a chance to fester, making the original problem bigger than it is. It’s fine to take a few days to cool down and get your thoughts straight, but if the problem continues to bother you, force communication. It won’t get better otherwise.

4. Set Boundaries and Establish a Set of Rules

Be honest with your partner about what you are and aren’t comfortable with, and set rules for ensuring you’re not forced out of your comfort zone in the future. The same applies to setting rules for your codes of conduct going forward, such as not talking with friends about your relationship, not staying out late, or not bringing up mothers when an argument swings around. Be willing to negotiate on these points, and allow them to set rules and boundaries of their own. Once you both know the code of conduct, you can begin rebuilding off a steady foundation.