Staying Positive Navigating Difficult Relationship Territory

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Even the best and most successful relationships run into problems from time to time. Part of the challenge of being in any human relationship is learning how to skilfully navigate that territory, rather than merely wishing for things to be better or for the bad times to end. If you are currently going through tough times with your partner, you will find in this article some powerful ideas for getting through it intact. Or if you are just looking for tips for future troubles, then you will find that too. Let’s take a look at how you can stay positive during those times and enact real positive change in your relationship.

Get Rid Of Expectations

One of the main reasons that we have so much trouble during relationship difficulties is that we all expect too much from our partners. It is natural and healthy to expect certain things, of course, and you should have some basic sense of what you think you deserve from them. But having too many expectations, or expectations which are simply too high, will mean that you end up being disappointed again and again, and then that will turn into conflict and arguments soon enough.


Instead, work hard to get rid of expectations, as far as you can. Once you ditch the expectations, you are going to find that things get a lot easier and you both relax a lot more in each other’s company. That’s a great position to be in, and it means that you are going to have a happier future together.

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

According to one study, one in five men would end a relationship because they don’t like their partner’s surname. Clearly, there is a tendency in our culture to worry about things that are not central to someone’s personality. If you find that you or your partner are starting to hone in and focus too much on the smaller things which don’t really matter in the long run, you might want to try and work that around and think of a better way to engage with each other. As long as you are constantly tearing into each other for that stuff, you are not really engaging properly.

Be Grateful

For whatever reason, it is so much easier to be annoyed about what you are lacking or what your partner lacks than to be grateful for what you both have. When you get caught in that way of thinking, it’s not long before everything starts to look a little bleak, and you might then start acting out to your partner in unhelpful and unkind ways. Try the alternative: actively practice gratitude for your partner and for your relationship, in such a way that you start to really feel it. After a time this will become second nature, and you will start to feel much more grateful without having to force it. You will then find that you are less likely to get bogged down in the little things.

Try To Be Light-Hearted

As with the other things we have spoken about here so far, it is often much easier said than done to try and remain light-hearted during a relationship. It’s not that you should try to do this all the time – that won’t work – but you should aim to be as light-hearted as often as you possibly can if you want to remain positive during the tough times in your relationship. If you are able to approach things in a light-hearted manner, it is always going to make a profound difference to how you respond, and it will make life much easier. This is true in your relationships as it is in every other part of your life.


If you are struggling to enact this particular tip, try to remember how unimportant most of the stuff you argue about really is. It’s all about developing a sense of humour around the things which seem important but are actually quite silly. Over time, you will find this easier and easier, until ultimately it will drastically improve the nature of your relationship with that person.

Focus On Quality Time

Even during your worst patches, you should still try to spend as much quality time together as possible. Rather than just trying to keep away from each other, it is often far preferable to focus on spending as much time together as possible doing fun and valuable things. The more of these experiences you gather together, the more likely it is that you are going to encourage each other to get through the tough times, and you will find the relationship is just generally stronger for it.

Communicate Respectfully

You probably already know that it is important to communicate frequently with your partner. The amount that you communicate together is directly related to how strong your relationship is, so it’s something that is always worth trying to develop and improve upon if you can. As well as communicating more, you should also be working on trying to improve the quality of the communication. Most of all, this means that you should be aiming to communicate more respectfully.


What does respectful communication look and feel like? You probably instinctively know it already, but it is always worth looking into in more detail again and again. Respectful communication is kind and attentive, with more of a focus on listening than talking. If you are simply waiting for your turn to argue back, that’s not it. Instead, you need to make sure that you are engaging honestly and directly, and that you are working to build on your respectfulness with each other at all times. Do that, and you will both find it easier to get through the tough times together.


All of this is hard to take on at one time. However, if you work on each where you can, you will soon find great improvements in your relationship, not just when things are going badly, but at all other times too.

About Becky

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