Do you dream of a long, successful relationship, but struggle to deal with everyday conflicts and issues? Every relationship has its ups and downs, and it’s not realistic to expect things to be perfect all the time. However, there are several techniques you can use to deal with problems in the best possible way.
Read on for details on three small ways you can improve your relationship and give it the best chance of succeeding.
When you’re angry, wait 24 hours before reacting.
You’re not you when you’re angry. Whether it’s a small issue, like your partner forgetting to do the dishes again, or something more serious, like an accusation of cheating, make an effort to give yourself some time before reacting. Making decisions while angry, hurt, or upset can easily lead you to do or say something you’ll regret. 24 hours isn’t a long time, but it is long enough for you to calm down and get some perspective.
If you still feel like you should take action after 24 hours is up, make an effect to speak to your partner in a mature and reasonable way. Avoid raising your voice or speaking hurtfully, and try to consider your partner’s perspective on the matter. You might be surprised by how many pointless arguments you avoid using this technique.
Stop saying “I don’t mind.”
Being in a relationship isn’t just about trying to be ‘nice’ and give the other person exactly what they want. It’s important to express yourself honestly, even when you disagree with your partner.
For example, next time your partner asks where you’d like to eat, don’t just say, “I don’t mind,” or suggest a place you know they like. Instead, propose visiting a new restaurant or trying out an unusual cuisine. Your partner will be happy to see you taking the initiative, and you’ll have a more interesting experience than if you’d kept quiet or left the decision to them.
It’s important to compromise in relationships, but that doesn’t mean suppressing your feelings or opinions. In the long term, this could backfire and lead to serious relationship issues. For example, if you say that you’re open to the idea of having children, but actually want to remain childfree, your partner could be hurt and confused further down the line. It’s unfair to your partner to keep things from them, even if you think you’re doing it to be ‘nice.’ Aim to be as honest as possible.
It’s okay to go to bed angry.
The phrase, “Don’t go to bed angry,” is commonly thrown around when talking about relationships, but it’s actually not the best advice. Arguments that take place at the end of the day are often made worse by the fact that you’re tired, you’re focused on the many small irritations of the day, and you haven’t had time to process your feelings. By taking a step back from the argument and getting a good night’s sleep, you’ll likely wake up able to deal with things much more constructively.
Next time you find yourself getting irritated with your partner late at night, try saying something like, “Can we discuss this tomorrow morning instead?” Explain that you’ll be able to think more clearly after resting, and reassure your partner that you’re not trying to brush the problem under the rug. Make sure that you address the topic the next day to avoid any resentments building – while it’s good to wait a while before discussing problems, avoiding them altogether is not constructive.
By taking time to calm down before reacting to things that make you angry, not being afraid to speak honestly to your partner, and avoiding arguments at the end of the day, you’ll be well on your way to a long and happy relationship. Try using these three tips over the next week – you might be shocked at how much of a difference they make.