14 Tips for Overcoming Common Relationship Killers
If you and your sweetie keep bumping heads, it doesn't mean your relationship is doomed. No two people view the world the exact same way, which makes it impossible for any relationship to be without issues.
Instead of viewing conflict as a threat to your relationship, welcome it as a chance to grow closer and better understand one another. Here are 4 common relationship killers and some tips on how to work through them.
Relationship Killer #1: Poor Communication
Holding things in or worse -- giving your partner the silent treatment -- only builds resentment. You need to speak up when something is bothering you. But more importantly, you need to know how to effectively communicate the issue. Otherwise, you may end up causing even more damage.
When having a tough conversation, keep these tips in mind to effectively communicate. Here are a few ways to do so:
- Be tough on issues. Avoid making character attacks on your partner and instead focus discussing on specific behavior that is causing tension in the relationship.
- Keep your emotions in check. Your words will resonate more with your partner if you remain calm. If things get too heated, take a time out until you're relaxed again.
- Listen. Good communication is about more than getting your point across, it's also about being a good listener. Make sure your partner knows you're really hearing what they say -- maintain eye contact, nod, and ask questions to show that you're engaged.
- Forget about "winning." Your objective should be resolving the issue, not being right. You only win if both people walk away satisfied with the outcome.
Relationship Killer #2: Trust Issues
If your partner can't trust you:
- Show how much you care. Mistrust often arises when one person feels like they aren't getting enough love. Make a point to show more affection and support toward your partner.
- Share more. It's easier to trust someone when you feel like you truly know them. Tell secrets, spill the details of your day, and talk about your past experiences.
If you're the one having trouble trusting your partner:
- Identify why there is a lack of trust. Has certain behavior warranted suspicion from one partner, or is the mistrust stemming from bad experiences from childhood or past relationships?
- Work on yourself first. Insecurities often lead to a lack of trust in a relationship. If you're not happy with yourself, you will be more likely to imagine outside threats to the relationship.
Relationship Killer #3: Money Differences
They say money can't buy you love, but it sure can destroy it. Many couples run into financial disagreement when one person is a spender and the other is a saver. Or one person is great at managing money, while the other one doesn't know how to balance a checkbook.
Money is like a four-letter word in many relationships. Being open about it is half the battle. Start by having a frank discussion about your values and differences when it comes to money.
- Set long and short-term financial goals. These will give you something to work toward together, rather than just spending month to month with no common goal.
- Develop a plan for how you will handle finances each month. Assign tasks so that one person isn't in charge of everything, like one person can track the monthly budget while the other one pays the bills each month.
- Agree to always be honest about your spending. Never hide purchases, but also don't monitor how every dollar is being spent. Determine a personal allowance amount that you can each spend monthly without consulting one another.
Relationship Killer #4: Not Enough Affection
Once the honeymoon phase ends, you may find you and your partner acting more like roommates than lovers. It's natural for the initial excitement of a relationship to wear off.
- Schedule date time. Bring the romance back by planning regular dates. Actually set a day in your calendar to spend time together, and stick to it.
- Don't underestimate a hug. Even non-sexual physical touch can reignite the spark in your relationship. Make a point to touch each other more, like giving spontaneous hugs, snuggling on the couch, kissing each other goodbye, etc.
- Know when to seek help. If physical problems are hindering your sex life, you may need to talk to your doctor or a therapist about solutions, like treatment for erectile dysfunction.
Once you accept that conflict is an inevitable part of any relationship, you'll be quicker to deal with issues as they arise in a productive and mature way.
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