Being in a relationship is a tough full time job that requires lots of work and caring. Even when you do everything right there will still be challenges. Here are some ideas to help you work through any challenges with your significant other.
Understand Their Emotional Side
When you are in a relationship with someone there will be good times and bad and times when you have problems that are difficult to navigate. What couples need to understand is that sometimes the reasons for things being hard to navigate is not just the issue itself, it is the belief system and emotional maturity level they have. This is not a criticism only an acknowledgement that there is usually a lot going on in addition to the exact issue causing the problem. We are quick to focus on the intelligence level of someone in problem solving, but just as important is their emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is a set of skills that help us better perceive, understand and manage emotions in ourselves and in others. Collectively they help us make intelligent responses to, and use of, emotions. These skills are as important as your intellect (IQ) in determining success in work and in life. Everyone, no matter what job function, has interactions with other people. Your capacity to understand your emotions, to be aware of them and how they impact the way you behave and relate to others, will improve your ‘people‘ skills and help you ultimately be more satisfied and successful.
Understanding that a person’s emotional intelligence will always play into their decision making and approach to difficult and emotion provoking topics allows for a different and more effective approach to be taken when there is a disagreement or misunderstanding. With an understanding of this topic, both sides can resolve issues more quickly and in a more lasting way.
Don’t Keep Score
One of the biggest relationship killers is when one of the couple keeps score of every mistake or bad thing the other person does and then hurls this at them during an argument. This act of keeping score can seem like a great way to punish someone when you are angry, get the other person to do what you want or win an argument, but what it does is make the person being accused feel as if they are being treated unfairly. While it is true that if a person makes repeated mistakes it should be brought up, doing it when you are in the heat of an argument is the absolute wrong time.
Instead you should point these issues out to the person when they occur and not let them build up to the point that they become ammunition in an argument or even a reason for one. The goal should be to get the person to stop doing the bad thing not to use it as a knife. If you take an approach that focuses on the former, you have a much better chance of getting the person to stop doing this thing and you also have fairer disagreements which have a much better chance of resolving amicably.
Accept that They Will Never be Perfect
We all have an idea that things in a relationship will be perfect once we agree to be in one, however this is never the case and our having this expectation can make things unmanageable. Instead focus on finding ways to amicably work through problems and never go to bed unless a problem is resolved. The more time you spend with the problem festering the more likely it will grow. So expect some unhappiness but also commit to do all you can to pass through these times as quickly as possible so you can get back to loving each other.
Time and patience are also important keys to a happy marriage or other relationship. Keep working at things when times get tough and always put love in the middle of things and you will get things right.