OK, we’re guessing you don’t want to kill your relationship.
You might like your SO, even, maybe, love them, yeah? But there are some minefields to watch out for, so we’re going to let you in on 6 of them.
These 6 things almost always cause endemic problems that can be impossible to successfully get past:
Let’s just get these nasty issues out of the way right upfront. If your partner is jealous of you or your life or some aspect of your life or if YOU are the jealous person, if you get possessive with your partner in crowds and social situations and most especially, if you cheat, you’ve just thrown your relationship into a volcano. It might be able to be repaired, lots of air and water and time to breathe through everything, explanations, patience, compassion, kindness, and loads and loads of forgiveness. But it might just end up being toast.
2. Trust Issues
To be clear, “trust issues” envelopes everything from teaching your child to brush their teeth properly (in your partner’s eyes) to relocating 8000 miles away from your home. Trust issues can pop up anywhere and cause conflict, suffering and resentment. And often those happen long after your child went to college or you made the move. Trust issues can, fortunately, be remedied fairly easily: you just have to talk to each other. Doing so with a therapist or mediator can be sometimes helpful, too, in putting the issue to bed.
3. Compatibility Problems
They say that opposites attract, but it’s quite difficult to forge a lasting relationship from true opposites: opposite worldviews, opposite political parties, opposite religions…just one of those opposites can derail the whole thing.
Instead of killing your relationship with your totally opposite who you’re totally into, practice respect and patience. Be willing to compromise. You never know, you might just bolster the old adage a little more in the long run!
These relationships come about when one or both of the partners fails to prioritize the relationship, instead prioritizing some other person or thing in its place. The relationship goes topsy-turvy and without correction, will falter. Fortunately, the talking thing works with this one, too. Leading with “I” statements so your partner doesn’t feel cornered is a good way to begin this conversation.
Learning how to communicate effectively with your SO can be like learning a foreign language, not to mention all of the body language, gestures, looks and everything else that goes along with being in a relationship. Here’s where I go for humor. If something about the way your partner communicates with you is bothering you, you may well try to turn it into a joke or something funny, even if it’s quite serious. If you feel ignored or not listened to, well, then it may be time for a therapist. But if you can instead agree on a code word or look or eye slant when one of you is doing something that particularly bothers the other, it can be funny and charming and YOURS. Just make sure you both know the right word.
This is really the only one on this list that, to me, is an absolute and total relationship-killer. I don’t know that I would ever be able to trust a person who abused me in any way, ever again. Having children with such a person magnifies the problem significantly as well. Know that you don’t deserve to be abused, and call in the appropriate intervention -whether that’s your family or friends, a therapist, or the police- whenever you need to.