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Rough patches in relationships pretty much feel like sandpaper being rubbed on a fresh wound. Often times you don’t know if you should put a band-aid on it or just let the fresh air help heal the wound.
I fell in love with my boyfriend pretty much the first night we ever hung out, and I knew in my gut that this coworker of mine was going to change my life forever. We soon became inseparable, spending every day together. When we weren’t together, we would constantly text each other throughout the day.
We became serious very fast, and we started talking about having a home and a family three months into our relationship. But that seriousness also caused us to have rough patches pretty early on.
We had to compromise on serious issues that people often wait until they’re married to have. We discussed money. We discussed my problems with being around alcohol. I taught him the meaning of saving money. He taught me how to open up.
Without us being patient and understanding with each other, there probably would be no us. There have been times I just wanted to throw my hands in the air and say screw it. But I knew I would never find another person who I could connect with the way I connect with my booboo bear.
Being in a hardcore serious relationship takes a lot of adjustments from both sides, and rough patches in relationships may not always be fixable. But sometimes rough patches can make the bond between you and your partner that much closer.
Let me help you get through them.
If you’re having difficulty in your relationship, it might be helpful to talk to an online couples counselor! Using Talkspace makes couple’s therapy super flexible and convenient, as you only need your phone or web browser.
How to Overcome a Rough Patch by Strengthening Your Relationship
1. TAKE THE SPACE YOU NEED
Even the best relationships can leave you feeling suffocated at times. The first step to a better relationship is to get some breathing room.
If your partner is the only person in your life, we have a problem. A healthy relationship includes two independent individuals. You can’t know yourself in a relationship if you don’t know who you are outside of one.
This means alone time. This means having your own hobbies. Did you use to like playing video games, but you lost the controller along the way? Well, go find your PS4 controller. Did you lose the connection you had with your friends because of your relationship? Then pick up your phone ASAP and invite them over.
Yes, it’s important that you can support and enjoy your hobbies with your partner, but you do not need to do every little thing together. Even if it’s tempting to be around them the whole time because you love their guts.
2. FIND EACH OTHER’S LOVE LANGUAGE
We all have a love tank, and we all receive love differently. We also all give love differently.
How we love is one of The 5 Love Languages, There are 5 main love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch.
It’s so important to communicate with your partner, so you can both find out how you each receive love. Focusing on each other’s primary love language can help both of you show your love in a way that is understood by both.
You can figure out your love language here. I highly recommend reading up on it more in this book. It’s a #1 bestseller, and so many people have said it has saved their marriage. It’s changed my relationship completely!
3. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Communicate and try to discuss issues as they come up. Do not wait until you’re ready to throw your brand new shoes at your partner’s face. If something bugs you, it’s best that they know as soon as possible. Habits are hard to break. Please don’t let bad communication turn into a habit.
It’s obvious that it’s important to be completely honest. Try your best to not tiptoe around the subject, because it’ll only make it worse down the road. And as you’re being completely honest, try to be tender and compassionate towards your partner’s feelings as well.
It’s not good to start pointing fingers and playing the blame game. Avoid “You always do this to me!” Instead, use “I” language. Say something like, “I feel upset when you do this because…” Take turns between talking. If you have to interrupt, apologize before you do so.
*I do my most effective communicating by writing a letter to my better half. This way I can figure out exactly what my thoughts are, what I want to say, and how I’m going to say it. My boyfriend is definitely more open to communicating when we’re both in a calm state.
4. DON’T JUST HEAR THEM
Listening is another important form of communication. And no, listening isn’t just hearing the sound of your voice. It’s you listening intently. It’s something I learned back in school called active listening.
It’s very important that you fully grasp what they’re trying to tell you. Don’t just sit there waiting to get your word in, because then you’re just hearing the sound of their voice. You’re not actively listening.
Take note of the tone of voice. Maintain eye contact. Soak in what their body language is telling you. Respond to what they’re telling you. Ask questions when appropriate.
5. SUPPORT THEM ENDLESSLY
This is a must if you want your relationship to work. Even if your partner’s dreams feel far out of reach, you better support them. Unless it’s just a really bad, God awful idea. But then communicate with them and tell them why you think it’s a bad idea by helping them set goals.
A lack of support will only end with resentment. Why don’t you care about my dreams? You’ve never believed in me. We don’t want that to happen, because it’ll further lead to poorer communication. Your partner will be filled with apprehension when trying to talk to you. Don’t let your partner become scared of you.
Instead, encourage them. Congratulate your partner when they succeed, even if it seems small to other people. It could mean the world to your better half, and this will only strengthen your bond.
6. FIND SOLUTIONS
Most standstills in a relationship stem from a lack of compromising. Sometimes it isn’t easy to find solutions. Sometimes pride is at stake, or you’re for sure you’re right about the subject. Or maybe your beliefs won’t exactly let you compromise.
This lack of compromising causes the sandpaper to start rubbing on your skin. Trust me, it causes a lack of trust, and it’s very hard to recover from. You’ll want to avoid this like the plague.
Someone has to bend, or you’ll both end up butting heads the rest of your relationship. This is where communication, active listening, and supporting your partner all comes into play. You can’t find a solution effectively with one of these missing.
Do you have any relationship advice? What mistakes have you made along the way?
- 5 Little Things You Can Do to Improve Your Relationship Today
- 8 Questions to Ask Your Partner to Build Deeper Intimacy
- Two Relationship Tests to Make Your Relationship Healthy Again
Have You Tried Couple’s Therapy?
If you’re having complications in your relationship, it might be helpful to talk to a couple’s counselor.
Did you know that there is affordable online couples therapy?
Talkspace is a super flexible option for couples counseling, as you only need your phone or web browser.
Benefits of Talkspace:
- Won’t have to physically visit therapist’s office
- Won’t have to rearrange your lives or hire a babysitter
- You and partner will share same therapist
- You’ll share a private online room
- Communicate with your therapist whenever
What I love about Talkspace is that you can get incredible couple’s therapy from the comfort of your own home.