I’m sorry to say, but cheating scandals and major secrets aren’t the only events that can shake a relationship to its core. You both can wake up one day and realize, “we’re not vibing and we haven’t been for a while now.” This doesn’t have to be the sign of the end. In fact, it’s normal for long-term relationships to go through occasional rough patches.
Think about it—cohabitating is already major commitment and requires lots of compromises. But when you add diverse schedules, children, school, work, finances and the list goes on—there are a lot of decisions to be made by two different individuals.
Normally a rough patch can be induced by:
- A major disagreement that escalates or wasn’t resolved
- Family or friends interference in the relationship
- Lack of communication before marriage about a major decision
- An individual or both individuals not communicating hurt caused by their partner
There are many ways we can enter the relationship rough patch, just ask Rainbow and Dre. The fictional characters from the show Black-ish are now experiencing a disconnect that started because their one-year-old son wasn’t walking and they couldn’t agree how to handle it. Dre was openly concerned and wanted to take him to a specialist to be tested, while Bow remained (outwardly) calm and thought it best to wait it out. While their son did end up walking, that did not conclude their argument, which escalated into an argument over any and everything topic they discussed for the next few episodes.
This is a classic example of a long-term relationship rough patch. But there are ways to get through it if you both take action when you first see the signs that you’re not connecting.
This is one of the major reasons people decide it’s over. If you love your partner, communicating your feelings is key to getting back on track. Keeping your emotions locked away isn’t fair to your partner because it doesn’t give them the opportunity to improve and provide what you need from them. It’s not enough to drop hints or speak subliminally—in fact, I would recommend that you get straight to the point. Designate a time for you both to calmly open up about what you both have been feeling and explain your views. Just remember to say it and receive it with love and an open mind.
Remember the Good
There’s a reason you both fell in love with each other. Sometimes we need to remember why you like your partner and all the great things about him or her. Making a list can help you to see all the positive things about your partner and help you snap out of the notion that they just can’t do anything to please you. Once you’ve written your list, you can also ask your partner to do the same exchange. Not only can this instill confidence back into your relationship, but you both can rekindle that connection by doing the actions on each list.
Address Major Life Changes Early
I’m a strong believer in taking preventative measures, whether it’s for physical health, mental health or the health of your relationship. During your early stages are designated for asking major questions like:
Would you be open to relocation? If so, where wouldn’t you go?
Do you want children? How many?
How important is religion to you?
Although the answers to these questions could possibly change in the future, it’s so important to discuss major decisions in life and what you both want and don’t want. Trying to address these problems when they come up in a few years is so much harder and heartbreaking than getting on the same page in your early stage.
There’s always time to do a little Spring cleaning in your relationship. Get the sparks flying again between you and your partner with these tune-up tips.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose.
If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.