In a relationship there are two separate people who have their own thoughts, feelings, friends, interests, activities and opinions. In a healthy relationship each partner respects the other’s rights to these and this builds a foundation of appreciation and respect. Give and take is also an important feature of healthy relationships. Sometimes compromise may be necessary to move the relationship forward. Communication is the key. It is important that you each take responsibility for your words and actions. So saying “Sorry” will lead to your partner trusting you more. There should be a safe space for the expression of things that are bothering you so that a discussion can follow, with a resolution that is acceptable.
Staying involved with each other is good for longevity, but keep outside relationships and interests alive. Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet, says of marriage,
“You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.”
… “But let there be spaces in your togetherness.
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”
Honest direct communicating is an essential part of any relationship. If you are having problems with a relationship then there may well be something you can say or do to help the situation. It is much better to change something that you do, and then perhaps the other person will change his or her behaviour as a consequence. If you start the process and take action then the situation may start to change and your relationship may improve.
It might be helpful to keep a journal for a while so that you monitor the problem behaviour. Keep a note of when it happened, what led up to it, what was said, how you felt, and also your thoughts. Maybe you can imagine what the other person was feeling too. Write all this down in your journal at the end of the day. Make sure to include as many instances as you can remember. After about a week, provided you have a number of instances, have a read of your journal, and think about the pattern and see if the pattern holds for all instances. Now it is important to think about what would interrupt this pattern? What you want is a different outcome. It needs to be something that you can put into practise. Perhaps you become angry and respond accordingly. In this case, taking timeout to count to 10 might be a possible solution. Or it might be that you think the other person might respond well to being complimented. Whatever you think might work to make a happy outcome, it is worthwhile trying. Thus, when the next problem situation appears to be coming, you can get ready and put your new behaviour into practise. Journal this too so that you know what happened. If you think it had the desired outcome, then keep on doing it. If it didn’t have the desired outcome, then perhaps you could do some more research into communication in relationships, and find something that will work. It might be that you need to be more assertive in your relationship. So saying “No” to something could be your first step. After you are comfortable saying “No” to a few things, then you could ask for a change in behaviour in an assertive manner.