Couples with everything going their way shouldn’t feel like they are struggling. However, some things can test the strength of a relationship, no matter how much love the couple feels for each other. The harmony of a relationship can often become derailed, especially during stressful or uncertain times.
Things like a death in the family, job loss, money problems, and even parenting issues are some of the events that can break up even the strongest of relationships. However, some qualities can make a relationship more resilient, helping to bind the partners even through trouble.
Here is why some couples struggle, even when everything seems to go their way:
1. Not Accepting Each Other
Research suggests that emotional accessibility is vital to sustaining a long-term relationship. Feeling emotional availability is often far more critical than love, helping couples to solve many problems and contributing to a healthier relationship. However, sometimes couples without emotional safety or when they don’t feel valued find it challenging to weather tough times.
2. Not Knowing Themselves
As a couple, each person has a different way of reacting to stress. For example, one person might shout, while another might withdraw or avoid their partner. Therefore, it is imperative that each person is aware of their tendencies and learns to manage their emotions, helping prevent marital problems.
According to psychologists, when one person is distant, it creates a sense of panic in the other, much like children feel when they can’t find their caregiver. Recognizing patterns within themselves and their partners and giving each other the time to cool down before talking about the issue can prevent struggles in couples.
3. Not Appreciating One Another
Strong couples show meaningful appreciation to each other. However, saying thank you, especially during a tense period within a healthy relationship, can have a more positive impact when done authentically and profoundly.
One study on relationships by researchers at the Gottman Institute found that positive interactions outnumber negative ones by five to one in happy couples. Therefore, the more mindful a couple is of pointing out the good, the better a relationship can weather the bad.
4. Not Communicating Skilfully
Communication is a dynamic tool for couples to use to connect on an emotional level. Proper communication skills can transmit the right signals, including talking about anger without acting angry and showing the right amount of empathy. Couples can drift apart when one person can’t deal with anger properly, even when everything else is going their way.
Often, one person can say something that may come across as hurtful. However, by communicating (both asking and listening), one can give the other the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes, this is more difficult than people think because the brain naturally does a threat assessment in these situations, primarily when one of the two doesn’t feel emotionally safe.
Therefore, communication in a validating way that creates a shared experience instead of being judgemental can help every couple navigate a tough patch. On the other hand, negative communication habits like refusing to talk or becoming defensive can prove destructive in even the best relationships.
5. Not Working As One
Unequal partnerships where one partner feels they have sacrificed more than the other can negatively affect the relationship. Creating a balance in more things than just the chores remains significant. These balances (including emotional support) need constant reviewing and compromises because they can change.
Two people in a relationship must consider themselves a team that communicates, collaborates, and genuinely tries to understand each other as they solve their problems.
6. Not Being Independent Yet Committed
Every team member within a relationship needs to feel free to do what they want within reason, each requiring to hold onto their thoughts and feelings. However, decisions should include partners, and they should help make the best decision for the other, supporting each other if it means they have to spend some time apart for work, family commitments, or studies.
Therefore, individuality is as important as understanding and commitment.
7. Not Sharing Values
Couples share some core values of happiness, family commitment, a shared faith, etc. Whatever values two partners share and work toward can help make them stronger and better. However, when couples neglect to spend time together, especially in doing the things they care deeply about, they miss out on the chance to build the defense required to see them through tough times.
8. Not Knowing When Things Aren’t Okay
Relationships have ups and downs, and some couples have more of what it takes to survive an ebb flow than others. It requires that they know that they are going through a difficult time, but more importantly, to have the trust and confidence to work their way up from a difficult time. If they have not placed a safety net, it is often challenging to work through these problems.
Being honest and loving requires hard work from both people in a relationship, like ensuring all the important stuff is worked out, including needs, trust, and values. Even the best relationships can fall apart without the proper fortification. However, even when all seems to go their way, couples can use their weaknesses and strengths to recognize signs of trouble and work through them without a struggle.
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