Relationships get stuck from time to time. Problem is we can sometimes get stuck in our reactions to these differences and a kind of deadlock or drift emerges.
For most couples this deadlock can result in a mixture of emotional reactions and behaviour. Attempts to avoid, deny or distract from the problems only works for a short amount of time.
Some of the typical issues that create deadlock and accompanying avoidance, distraction and conflict for couples include:
These every day matters are natural parts of our lives, however they can be extremely stressful, complex and create chasms of distance in couples.
Partners talk to me about drifting away from each other and how these unresolved issues affect intimacy and support.
Let’s dispel the gloom.
There are ways to move your relationship forward and reduce the distance that conflict and stress has on a relationship.
It requires a good hard look at yourself and your relationship in the metaphorical mirror! And doing so together, not in isolation of one another.
Relationships that improve do so when both partners review their behaviours and communication as a way to move through differences.
Finding some flexibility and owning your part in how you adapt makes all the difference.
Spend a few moments thinking about the kind of partner you are in your relationship.
Conflict or differences are essential ingredients in a relationship as long as we can learn how to accept our partner even if we disagree with them whilst paying some attention to our own reactions.
Now, consider what are the most important values or features of your relationship?
In the context of an intimate relationship, values are how you act in your relationship as well as what you do.
These values, and particularly the values you are neglecting, may help you to work through differences and related stress.
Here are some examples of relationship values.
Step back and look at which relationship values you’re losing sight of. It could be respect, acceptance, honesty, connection or even care.
Have a close look at the behaviours or reactions that go against that value.
Discuss how these values are contributing to the conflict between you and your partner
Owning your own part of it and sharing that with your partner will provide you with options to do things differently and prevent getting stuck for too long.