All relationships go through various phases, from the good to the bad. If you have hit a bad patch in your relationship, keep in mind that despite the distractions and problems, there is a solution to it all.
“Here’s the thing; it’s not the distraction or stressor itself that leads a couple to falter. It’s how the couple copes with them,” said Alexandra H. Solomon, licensed clinical psychologist. “Maladaptive coping strategies tend to come in two varieties: fight or flight. The ‘fighters’ cope with stress by becoming irritable, critical and impatient, while ‘flighters’ cope with stress by becoming withdrawn, silent or passive-aggressive.”
Instead of running away from the situation, it’s advisable to face it head on and deal with it maturely. Here are a few things you can say to your spouse to open communication channels between you’ll.
"Tell me more"
These words are synonymous with “I love you”. This phrase conveys to your partner that you want to hear about them and their problems, whether it is something trivial or serious.
“One of the primary reasons relationships falter is because we start to think we know the other person, and the wonderful listening and attention we paid them earlier in the relationship begins to fade,” said Carroll. “By practicing our listening — which is always about the other person and not about us — we remind them we are still here, and we are reminded that they are also still here.”
"Something I’m struggling with right now is … "
This is the other of asking your partner about your problem. By willing to open up to your partner, you are showing them your vulnerable side. You open them up to what is happening in your world and that can help bring you’ll closer together.
“They need to know if you’re feeling stressed at work, self-critical, or emotionally exhausted," said Solomon. "Understanding what’s going on inside you helps them practice extra patience and resist the urge to take it personally if you’re quiet or cranky.”
" … is really bringing me joy right now"
This is the extensive of the above phrase. Here, you are conveying to your partner what makes you happy, thus including them in your happiness. “Emotions are contagious, so let your partner ride the vibe of your good feelings,” said Solomon.
"How do you want to feel … ?"
This is a variation of asking your partner “what do you want to do?”. This helps you learn about things you partner wants and to nurture your love on a deeper level. For example, if your partner isn’t big on birthday celebrations, you will prefer to plan a low-key celebration than a big party that they would eventually not enjoy.
"I am trying to understand your point of view"
You and your partner will have several arguments and disagreements and in that case, understanding each other’s point of view is important. If you go on defending your own stance without giving your partner a chance, it will never get resolved.
Even if you don’t agree with your partner’s viewpoint, it is a good move to convey to them that you are trying to understand what they are saying. This one line could be a monumental step in solving the argument causing problem.
"How can I show up for you this week?"
Try and balance out responsibilities in a relationship. If you feel that of late, you partner has been doing all the heavy lifting in the relationship, then offer to do your part. If you or your partner gets into the ‘what have you done for me lately?’ mentality, it can be disastrous.
“If both partners flip the script and focus on ‘what have I done for you lately?’ then everyone’s needs get met, but through the lens of bounty rather than scarcity,” said Solomon.
"It meant so much to me when you … "
Appreciating the little things your partner does lays down a solid foundation for a relationship. In a world filled with negativity, make it a point to show your partner gratitude often. It will eventually lead to increased intimacy and better relationship dynamics too.