• Don’t Let Relationship Issues Fester

    Don’t Let Relationship Issues Fester

    We all have problems that we keep putting off, hoping they’ll go away but knowing deep down that they won’t. The thing about them is they’re still there, constantly nagging at us, distracting us from getting on with other things and making us feel guilty about not tackling them. Relationship problems are particularly easy to ignore.  We often believe that our partners should know what we feel and what we need from them but this isn’t the case.

    The problem is that putting in the effort pays off over time but might feel uncomfortable in the short term.  Whereas if we avoid the issue and distract ourselves by doing something enjoyable such as watching a movie or going out to dinner, we can feel good right now!

    The reality is that problems often get bigger and harder to solve if left unchecked. So what puts us off tackling issues?

    We think that the problem is too small and not worth tackling

    Not all small problems in a relationship may need tackling.  Perhaps your partner forgetting to empty the dishwasher has really annoyed you today but you know that your annoyance is largely down to your bad mood and you could let it go.

    However, if a small problem keeps on coming back then maybe it is time to tackle it. If things get heated, its fine to go away and cool down but make sure that you return to it and talk about how the problem arose, what you can do to fix it and what you can do differently to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

    We are worried that we will come across as negative or complaining

    Problems can be tackled positively and people who tackle problems rather than avoid them are often perceived as strong and capable.  It can be really helpful to address your issue using “I statements” that express how you see things and how you feel such as “I feel hurt when….rather than using “you statements” such as “You never listen….”.  “You statements” can be accusatory and cause people to become defensive in response, often leading to arguments

    We are scared of a big issue and what might happen if we tackle it

    You might worry that you and your partner won’t be able to resolve the issue and that this would have a damaging effect on your relationship. Most problems seem smaller when brought out into the open and discussed.  You can also seek outside help with your relationship issue from a counsellor if it feels too big to tackle. They will be able to understand the issue for both partners and help you find ways to communicate and work through it together.

    So have a think, are there any issues that you have been neglecting, postponing or avoiding that you could begin to address today?

    Contact us on 0121 314 9903 if you would like to discuss relationship counselling.

    Relationship and couples counselling information can also be found here on this website

    By Nichola Saxton

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