When it seems like there’s no way out: 7 tips to get your relationship out of crisis
Quarrels, ignoring and inability to exist in one space – the crisis in the relationship is often their final frontier. However, those who manage to cope with it are rewarded with a strong and environmentally friendly union. Together with Maya Mukhamedjanova, CEO of the Soft Skills Lab and one of the creators of the first online simulator of negotiations, we figured out how to pull your relationship out of crisis.
Crisis is not a reason to leave
This stage in a relationship is almost always inevitable. There’s nothing strange about it: people who have survived the candy-boquetal period are taking it to the next level – they must now learn to be not just lovers, but allies in life. Most can’t stand misunderstandings, seeming indifference, lack of passion, and leave the relationship, even if they love. But is it worth it when you can try to make things work out?
Break down the situation.
First, determine what’s bothering you. For example, it seems like the guy doesn’t understand you, and when you talk about your feelings, he replies: “Well, you did it yourself two weeks ago,” or “Oh, you’re winding yourself up.” In this case, your partner probably doesn’t accept your emotions. But why is this happening? There are several possible reasons: one – you don’t know how to communicate your feelings correctly. Forget about accusations – accusatory phrases make a person shut down. Try saying “I’m hurt” or “I’m sad” – this is a transfer of your emotions, which can not be challenged.
The second reason is that during arguments, the partner feels that he or she is being “beaten” and closes down. To avoid this, convey to him at the beginning of the conversation that you’re not trying to make him feel guilty, you’re just conveying your feelings. However, if even after a correct expression of emotion and voicing your good intentions, the guy continues to attack you, do not shut down and stay silent. It is worth to show him that you do not like it.
Learn to communicate and hear.
Partner can talk about what he is not satisfied, in different ways. Not all of them are environmentally friendly and can please us. Every such moment is worth fixing. For example, you are constantly fighting over unwashed dishes. You are in a quarrel annoyed by two factors: the first – he does not want to wash dishes, and the second – the way he talks about it. To understand each other, it is worth accepting the fact that the other person may treat the same things differently, not as you do. To not fight, but to resolve the issue in a mature way, use the “unification” method: “I understand that you don’t like doing the dishes, but I like cleanliness, so let’s come up with some solution for this situation together.” If your partner has hurt you in some way during an argument, don’t keep quiet, but quietly draw attention to it by listing the phrases that were unpleasant to you.
Learn to see the emotion and work with it
More often than not, quarrels in relationships happen because of emotions and the inability to accept and process them. If your husband suddenly snapped at you in the morning because of an unopened tube of toothpaste, he probably hasn’t liked it for a long time, but he’s been holding on and putting up with it. Before you yell back at him, put yourself in his place. Use the technique of labeling, or “naming” the emotion: Say that you understand that he is upset by this and will always close the toothpaste behind him. And it’s worth discussing right away why your partner is holding it all in for so long, rather than voicing your displeasure right away.
Learn to see and assert your boundaries in a non-toxic way
Many people in relationships are used to being comfortable. They think adjusting is the right thing to do and, if they try, will magically change those around them. “I’ll do what he wants to do to avoid a scandal,” “I’ll keep quiet about what I’m not comfortable with so I don’t get on his nerves.” You think you’re doing better, but you’re actually making things worse.
When we step on our own throats, we often wait for our victim’s appreciation, the same reciprocal behavior, or for the person to figure out what we really want. As a rule, none of this comes out, and we continue to accumulate resentment and resentment that culminates in irritation and alienation. No need to agree with every accusation made, learn to see your limits and, most importantly, defend them in a non-toxic way: if you do not like something, calmly explain the situation. In conversation, learn to say “I” rather than “you,” in other words, avoid phrases like “You offended me” or “You disappointed me. Better replace them with “I was hurt” or “I didn’t like hearing that.”
Don’t manipulate and learn to work through the manipulation
“I quit my job for you,” “I thought you loved me,” “If you do that, I’ll do that too” – these phrases definitely won’t help you deal with a crisis in your relationship, rather the opposite, they will strengthen it. Forget about blackmail and manipulation, your relationship with your partner should be as transparent, honest and based on healthy discussions of the problem. If you are uncomfortable with his behavior, tell him how you feel: “Every time you do that, I feel unhappy,” “I don’t like it when you do that, so I started spending less time with you.”
If your partner is the manipulator in the relationship, you don’t have to be silent. To his “If you go out with your girlfriends, I will not talk to you,” answer: “Okay, but tell me why you do not want me to see them. I don’t like it, I rarely get out of the house as it is.” Work out with your partner the reason for his or her displeasure, voice your opinion about it, and offer a compromise. For example: “I realized last time you didn’t like that I didn’t answer your calls for a long time, so I’ll always have my phone with me at the meeting today.”
Understand and respect other people’s boundaries
Your partner also has his or her own opinions, desires, actions, and beliefs. Don’t try to control him, manipulate him, take offense when he says “no,” expresses dissatisfaction with a particular issue, or expresses his point of view. Respect his privacy and don’t look through his phone at night. If he likes to spend time with friends on Sundays, give him the opportunity to do so and don’t make a scene. If he does not like that you spend a lot of time at work, talk to him about it and try to reach a compromise. In case your partner’s boundaries, on the contrary, too wide, he does not let you speak up and thinks only himself is right, go back to tip number 4.
Set a goal
Perhaps this is one of the most important points. Ask yourself questions: Do you really need this? Are you sure you want to get your relationship out of crisis, or does it not make sense? Sometimes there are personal boundaries in a relationship that can’t be crossed. For example, the girl doesn’t want kids, but the guy does. You can’t turn a blind eye to these boundaries, and it’s worth discussing exactly how critical this point is for both of them. Often partners are not ready to put up with these things, and then it is better to separate.
A complicated relationship between a man and a woman
Usually, when we enter into a relationship, the shortcomings of our lovers do not matter to us, sometimes we just do not see them yet. Very often we, even noticing the abnormal and dangerous behavior of a person, try to ignore it, and very wrongly. Because in the future it is bound to reflect, and we will probably regret that we ignored it earlier.
The main signs of a difficult relationship and ways to solve these problems
An intimate person does not respect boundaries in communication.
A complicated relationship is something that many couples fear. Usually in the beginning it’s like a fairy tale: love thrives, you respect each other and everything is fine. Or does it seem that way? The rose-colored glasses are a harmful thing, but useful for evolution. Because if we saw all the faults of our partners at once, we would hardly want to fulfill our reproductive function, namely to continue the human race.
That is why usually everything seems fine in the beginning, right up until people have children. Many people still try to pay attention to flaws and try to be choosy when choosing a partner.
As for boundaries, if a man appreciates you, he will respect your personal boundaries. You won’t have to constantly try to please him, and you won’t have to sacrifice your time in order to talk to him. Girls can manipulate you and break your boundaries, they can forbid you to see your family and friends. However, most often men do this, trying to tie a woman to you and deprive her of her social ties with her loved ones.
Constant picking on your partner.
If you notice that the girl constantly finds a reason to complain, then of course, your relationship can be called problematic. Simply because it is impossible to live in a constant atmosphere of tension, dissatisfaction and negativity. The girl may basically not appreciate you, not consider your opinion, and everything you do will annoy her. This is a really complicated relationship, and she may have already found someone for herself because she’s not afraid of losing you, making constant complaints. This is up to you to decide what to do about it. But most likely this is the case.
The girl or you are in a bad mood all the time.
And from her side it happens not only during PMS, and after a hard day at work on the background of intense fatigue, she is basically the kind of person who is always unhappy with everything, and blames everyone around her for her bad mood. All you do is get under the hot hand. Is it worth it?
Or maybe you’re in a bad mood all the time, and that’s why you have a complicated relationship?
What to do about it? You have to understand that no one has to serve you psychologically, and you don’t have to be your emotional cushion. If you’re an adult, it’s your responsibility to self-soothe, support, and motivate yourself. If you don’t do that, what makes you think the other person has an obligation to do that? Is this a reason to have this conversation? Definitely yes.
Your significant other is trying to assert himself by making fun of you in public.
Maybe your girlfriend is still emotionally immature, maybe she’s just a child, because many people like to get into relationships with young and inexperienced girls. Since they don’t know how to behave properly, they try to raise their self-esteem by any means, leading up to this.
They hide information from you about their whereabouts in their free time and their spending.
It’s worth noting here that this doesn’t mean you have to control your girlfriend by forcing her to geolocate you and have a joint account for two. She has the right to go where she wants to go and spend her money and the money you yourself want to give her on whatever she wants.
But. It’s important to realize that if she goes out, and does so regularly, absent for a long time, and doesn’t tell you where she is, and with whom, then you have reason to suspect her of dishonesty. If you originally had an agreement to have an open relationship, no problem, but if you’ve decided to be faithful to each other, and you’re bothered by the situation and her behavior, then you have a right to know where and with whom she is.
You don’t have to be maniacal or feel insecure or wrong to do that. She can tell you where she is and you’ll have peace of mind. About money: spending can be joint or personal. But if you notice that there are large sums missing from your joint here on a regular basis, and no new things in the house, you need to have a serious talk about this issue.
What to do. A relationship is all about mutual trust. If you don’t have that, living together will be too difficult. When you realize that your partner has started hiding something from you, or you feel like you don’t want to tell where you’ve been, what you’ve been doing and what you’ve been spending, your relationship is most likely cracking at the seams. Should we discuss it? You probably should, especially if you notice that you’re spending less and less time together and someone is disappearing somewhere. Or one of you is doing it, and the other is bored and angry.
The solution can be this: you tell each other where you are with whom, otherwise your partner should not push and control every hour. Also try to agree that you will spend some time and certain days just the two of you, so that your relationship doesn’t go to waste. Again, all of this should be done if you want to save the relationship. If not, the solution is obvious.
Anything happens in a relationship: scandals, insults, serious arguments, and so on. But it is very important to be able to make amends, and to do it sincerely. Because if you are emotional, you can say anything to each other, and then very much regret it.
Insulting words are stored in the memory, and if you never apologize, all your beautiful moments will turn into the memory of constant quarrels. Also, if you insult the girl and then pretend as if nothing happened, she will think that the relationship is not important to you and you are basically irresponsible, can’t admit mistakes and don’t understand how seriously words can hurt.
This usually means not being close to the person’s walls and won’t help resolve the situation. It’s better to apologize, even if you’re right, but don’t make a habit of doing it all the time. If you care about the relationship, try your best to show how important the girl is to you and what you’re willing to do to keep your relationship alive.
Your partner spends days and nights on the phone.
It’s okay to occasionally hang out on your smartphone, but it’s not okay when it crosses the line and happens all the time. If you’re trying to communicate with the person you love and they don’t lift their eyes from the display, or are even texting with someone else, you’re not likely to enjoy it. A difficult relationship is also exacerbated because the person is usually aggressive when you ask him or her to put the phone away.
Living on your cell phone is a serious problem of our time, because with a phone, you can really undermine a relationship that’s already overgrown with problems. It is also worth noting that if you see how jealously a girl guards her phone, tries not to give it to you, even if you have a serious reason for this, say, need to make an urgent call, then it’s time to ask what she has there so personal.
No, everyone has a right to his personal life, and communicating with friends in chat rooms, but if a person is afraid to show you the screen, and then he may be discussing you, or cheating. This is not certain, and you should trust your loved one, but attempts to take your phone, the constant updating of passwords and tantrums at the sight of you with his phone suggest that the case is not clear.
What to do about it? Being on the phone all the time can make an already complicated relationship worse, so you’ll have to somehow establish communication by discussing this with each other. Agree on a time that you will spend together, with your phones lying separately.
Also try to find out what she is hiding from you, if nothing, then maybe you should trust her more, but it is important to let her know that you want communication. The person will hear you if they care about you. That said, if your relationship is complicated and the love is almost gone, she may not even hear you. In this case, decide for yourself what to do about it, but you will most likely regret keeping the relationship, because your place will eventually be taken by the phone.
Your loved one is constantly rude to those around him.
If you think it doesn’t matter, because they’re strangers, you’re wrong. This kind of behavior, namely behavior toward people who aren’t close to you, is a good indication of how a person can relate to you.
The fact is that people can rarely be very different towards others and towards you. If you see your partner constantly being rude to others, behaving inappropriately and arrogantly, and allowing themselves to insult a person for no good reason, then all of this awaits you in a relationship. You may have already noticed it, or you will soon, but if you already have a complicated relationship, it’s likely that your partner has already shown himself negatively in some way. Whether you need it further, whether you’re willing to put up with it, is up to you.
What do you do about it? You can ask not to talk to strangers like that. But there is only a small chance that you will be heard. The fact is that people don’t change, and even if they do, they need a bigger incentive to do so than your request.
Of course, most often men behave rudely, trying to show their strength and thinking that in this way they will impress the girl. But this is not true, and being rude to other people only shows the weakness of the person. It is also a sign of being unbalanced and aggressive. It’s bad for the family, especially if you want to continue to be in a relationship.
The partner has a habit of insulting you or raising his or her hand against you. (Even in jest).
Hand-holding and outright insults are serious reasons to end a relationship. After all, safety is at stake. Even if he doesn’t hit you, he’s just rude and used to insult you, regularly probing your boundaries in search of what’s allowed, it’s already a sign that you have serious problems.
Difficult relationships that include violence and swearing should be ended. Girls can be like that too, but mostly guys do it. Are you like that?
Pay attention to how comfortable your girlfriend is around you, try to watch your words, if during an aggressive outburst you have a strong desire to insult your beloved.
Also, if you feel the urge to hit the girl, you may have very serious problems, but most likely you have them. Try to break up with the girl at least for a while and take care of your mental health.
See a specialist. Take pills, learn to control your anger and tame it. It’s all possible, and it doesn’t even take as much time as it might seem at first glance. But it’s necessary if you love your girlfriend and want to start a family with her. Because no man in his right mind would agree to live with you, knowing that if you get mad, he will be in real danger. How can you have children in such a situation? Ask yourself this.
Your loved one refuses to meet and basically communicate with your close family and friends.
This is a very bad sign, which means that your relationship is complicated. Not wanting to know who is important to you, what people you consider close to you, who raised you and who is your family is very strange.
Maybe the girl doesn’t want to build a family with you or is having fun. Or she’s just the kind of person who doesn’t value family ties. In any case, total ignoring, and even more so, any negativity towards your relatives and close friends from your other half is not normal.
If you have noticed this, it is worth finding out what the relationship is. Maybe she has some sad experience under her belt, and she will open up to you, tell you why this is happening. But if not, and she’s just an aggressive person who doesn’t care about your relatives, it’s worth thinking a few times before you build something serious with her.
What to do in this case? Of course, you need to talk. That’s the first thing to do in a situation like this. If talking doesn’t help or she tries to pretend that it doesn’t matter, it shows that she doesn’t care about your feelings, and the same situations will arise in the future when she will be aggressive toward your relatives.
It will worsen the relationship with them, or if you choose relatives, the relationship with your partner will worsen. Very often such people demand to stop communicating with relatives, arguing that they can see better that you are not appreciated, that he needs you more than they do, and so on. None of this is an option of the norm, and it’s worth thinking a hundred times before you sign up for such a relationship. Especially if they’re complicated now, you risk messing up your life a lot in the future.
An attempt by your partner to make you doubt your own adequacy.
This, of course, means that you have a complicated relationship, and it also means that your partner is manipulative. He’s probably used to living that way. Yes, most of the time men do this kind of thing, they try to let the girls know that they are a bit of a jerk, don’t know what they’re saying, what they’re doing, etc. And the man will be able to help them and take care of them.
This is not just a sign of a difficult relationship, but a serious enough reason to break up.
What to do in this case? Several times you can try to let the man know that he is wrong and if he once again allows himself to doubt your adequacy, then you will break up, as you will not tolerate such an attitude. If he agreed with you, but continues to behave as before, then you don’t need to repeat like a parrot that it offends and stresses you out. You have to break up. There is a small chance that the person will then realize that he was wrong, change, and you will start your story over again. But such a chance is negligible, so do not have any illusions.
The loved one is constantly insulting his exes.
If you notice that your loved one speaks ill of those who were close to him before, it is likely that your complicated relationship has now become such for a reason. Maybe he’s used to blaming others for his problems, maybe he doesn’t know how to draw conclusions from different situations. Believe me, this person will tell his next partners things about you that will make your eyes pop out. So maybe you should end the relationship, because it is not normal.
In general, if you understand that now you are in a relationship is difficult, it is foolish to hope that in the future everything will be better and easier. Understand this if only because people don’t change, and also if your problems have layered on top of each other and turned into a huge snowball, it is bound to roll down and take you both down with it.
Of course, you can try to fix the situation somehow, arguing your requests or even giving ultimatums, but if you yourself do not want to go along, there is no need to torment yourself and the other person. Maybe in the future both you and the girl will have better luck with someone else. In any case, it’s not the end of the world and there are millions more people around who might be better suited for you than your current partner.