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Relationship Problems: Finding the Answers

August 8, 2009

relationship problems

When you are having relationship problems, it’s not easy to find answers or solutions. Do you search online in hopes someone can tell you what to do? Do you talk to a friend about it? Do you try to work it out with your partner but realize talking about it either makes it worse or only solves it for a little while?

It’s not uncommon for people to have rough patches in their relationships from time to time. This has nothing to do with how much you love and care about each other – it’s about your ability to work together through your life. Couples who work together well will last – the ones who don’t won’t likely stay happy for long.

How do You Define a Relationship Problem?

Different people will have different definitions for what a “relationship problem” really is. Those who are single might define a relationship problem as having a hard time finding a date or meeting eligible singles. Those who have only been dating a short while might have the problem of getting to know each other as well (or as fast) as they would like to. And then there are those who are in committed long term relationships where the problems may be fueled by distractions like kids and money.

Do We Have Relationship Problems?

This is a question that most couples probably dread to ask or admit to themselves. It seems that most of us will deny that there is anything wrong not only “until the cows come home” but as long as it takes for them to fly over the moon also. I’ve seen and known people stay in both physically and emotionally abusive relationships – and while to the objective outsider it seems ridiculous – when it comes to love and commitment in our own lives it’s hard to know where to draw the line. I personally have stayed in quite a few dysfunctional relationships and can’t even explain myself why I denied there was ever something wrong.

It’s almost like someone trying to cure alcoholism – the hardest part is admitting a problem and identifying what it is.

Problems Aren’t Always What You Think They Are

Not all problems are obvious to identify. For example, one of the most common problems every couple faces is money management. Maybe one of you has a bad spending habit and the other is a control freak over the bank account. On the surface, it would seem like money is the issue here. If you had a million dollars, what would it matter, right?

However, the real culprit is not the amount of available funds to spend – but instead the fact that neither partner is working “together” in the same direction. Instead of both saving or indulging responsibly equally, they are pulling apart and going their own ways rather than taking into consideration each other’s needs. Instead of moving together forward, they are moving in opposite directions apart.  If you examined the relationship more closely you would likely notice other areas where they are not working together in their lives.

It’s Not a Problem: It’s An Idea Emergency!

As a mom of three, I’ve been blessed by watching too many episodes of the Disney show Imagination Movers. Their philosophy is a good one: It’s not a problem – it’s an idea emergency.

It’s easy to get stuck on the notion that you have an insurmountable problem or that there is no solution or end in sight. But really, when you think about it – a solution MUST exist. You just need the right idea to find out how to solve it. It’s the power of possibility thinking.

Not all solutions are right for every couple. I have seen couples turn it all around from a violently abusive relationship to a loving and caring one. I have also seen couples who no matter what they’ve tried through counseling or staying together still can’t make it work. Sometimes ending a relationship is a solution. Sometimes addressing the problems works instead.

The idea you need to figure it out most likely isn’t come from a relationship expert or some random blog post you happen to read. These are all excellent sources of inspiration and great tools and resources for educating yourself about people and love – but the answer to all of your problems is not in any of these places.

It’s in YOU.

As I wrote in my post about how to change someone – you might not be able to change your circumstances or force someone to act a certain way. But you can always change yourself. You can only control the actions and behavior of one person in this world. And whether you decide to act lovingly and supportive and try to work it out or decide that it’s best for you to move on with your life and break up – it’s ultimately a decision you have power and control over.

What do you think? Have any thoughts on relationship problems and how to solve them? Comments are always welcome below.


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