Working Through Any Problem
" Eventually even the most loving couple runs into problems "Like it or not, eventually even the most loving couple runs into problems. Whether it is a two-hour snitch or a week-long cold war, chances are, none of these problems will destroy the relationship, at least not in the short-term. They do affect the quality of your life, and over a period of time, if you do not deal with these problems; your relationship takes a beating.
You can never take back something said in a fit of anger. That means bite your tongue instead of snapping out wounding statements like, "You look hideous in that", "Even your friends think you're boring," or "I pity you." Never, ever say these things. Don't open the ex-files, unless the ex in question is directly involved. Do not lie, and especially do not use half-truths to manipulate the other person. Never pick on something you know your partner is insecure about. If you fight fair, you have a greater chance of actually figuring out a solution to the problem, instead of getting sidetracked or trading abuse.
Don't point fingers
This is not to say that you should never point out the errors of your partner's ways. On the contrary, you should feel free to discuss, openly and honestly, what is bothering you. Do make sure your complaint does not come across as a whine ("you ignore me," "you never clean up," or "you're selfish in bed"). Rather, let your significant other see a solution even as you let them know they have been remiss. Statements like "I would like to see us share responsibilities more" and "I would love to try something new" are the way to go.
Identify the core issues
We all do it. We bury what is really bothering us, and hope it will go away. It doesn't, does it? Our annoyance comes out as snippy little comments or deliberately selfish gestures. Whenever my friend's spouse Jay is having a very stressful time at work, he loses his temper about "the state of the house" and makes small barbed comments about the "easy life" some people have. Now Mia works from home, and very hard. Jay is trying to be nice by not unloading his work stress on her, but he needs to vent. By bottling up the real problem, he hurts his partner even more through seemingly irrational criticism. So the next time you have a fight or feel slighted by your partner, sit down with them to see what is really wrong. You would be surprised how much it helps you as an individual and as a couple.
Don't make everything personal
There are some key reasons why you should not turn every habit or mistake into an analysis of the other person's deeply flawed character. First, always keep in mind why you chose to be with this person - what makes them special in your eyes. Second, not every hurtful gesture or thoughtless statement comes from a deep wellspring of misogyny or insecurity or whatever. Turning an argument into an analysis session only confuses the issue. Three, when you get personal, there are consequences for you as a couple. When you make sweeping generalizations about whom they "are," it alters how you feel about the other person. Finally, you have a much greater chance of getting your spouse to alter a trait or admit that they are wrong if you can keep the discussion objective and histrionic-free.
Listen to what people say, not what you think they say
While you may not agree that men are from Mars and women, from Venus, authors John Grey, PhD, and Bonney Grey, RN, have some solid advice on how to communicate more effectively. Listen to what your partner is really saying. Try to hear their voice. Do not project your own insecurities and fears onto their words. If he says he feels like eating out for a change, he is not dissing your cooking. If she suggests a different outfit, she did not say you look like a beached whale. That is in your head. When it comes to discussing more serious problems, you can really mess up by hearing only what you want to hear, or "anticipating" their negative responses and going in with all guns blazing. Your partner may be expressing genuine concerns, or even appreciation, but if you focus on your own hurt, all you will hear is them telling you that you are not good enough. Be careful, really careful.
Don't let the sun go down on nastiness
Yes, it is something that people who win awards for their 60-year-long marriages say. They have a point. If you have said unkind things or had a nasty fight, try to resolve it before going to bed. The prospect of getting to bed will eventually push both of you to wind down the argument. Going to sleep with a foul temper means waking with a guilt-cum-unresolved-angst hangover. Another day of your life lost to bitterness and annoyance. It is not worth it. When you start a discussion or a get into a fight, resolve it the same day.