Relationship problems are a part of life. All couples have them – yes, all couples. In fact, some of the happiest couples on the planet have unresolved relationship problems. Yet, it is in the face of problems that so many relationships fail. So what’s the trick? Why do some relationships succeed and flourish through struggles while others crash and burn? The secret is perspective.
What is a Blissful Relationship?
When most couples think of a blissful relationship, they think of the honeymoon phase. You remember it, don’t you? That’s what you keep hoping your relationship will get back to. The countless hours talking and cuddling, the constant feelings of admiration, the daily romps in the haystack, the lack of arguments and going out of each other’s way to make the other happy – that’s how most people perceive a blissful relationship.
It’s really not all your fault. You see happy couples and they are talking and laughing and seem to be so caring towards one another. You see happy couples plastered all over magazines. You hear ‘relationship experts’ talking about how perfect your life with your partner should be.
Then you look at your relationship. The dog chews up your briefcase and your partner is too engrossed in the screaming baby to care as much as you think she should. You lose your job so you and your partner argue about the bills. Dinner’s running late because you got stuck at the office and your partner feels neglected because you’re not spending enough time together. Your car breaks down on the way to work and since your partner forgot to pay the phone bill, you can’t call work. Your partner loses a family member and is unresponsive to efforts to provide support. You don’t agree on how to raise children or if you should even have children. You like this apartment but he thinks it’s too much. Your partner has a bad day and says something out of frustration and you can’t figure out how to forgive and you’re too tired at the end of the day to be supportive…..
So what’s wrong with your relationship? Why do you have so many problems? Why can’t the two of you get back to that loving place you were in the beginning? Why can’t you have that blissful relationship you keep hearing so much about?
Exposing the Lie
The truth is that, if you really look at your relationship – REALLY look at it – you will probably find that you already have a blissful relationship. The problem isn’t your relationship; it is your perspective of your relationship.
Let’s go back to the beginning and look at it from a different perspective. Remember when your partner made you that special dinner? They tried so hard to make your favorite dish but they aren’t exactly the best cook. They wanted to make you happy and, even though the meal was burnt, you laughed about it together. You thanked your partner for trying so hard and even made an attempt to make them feel better by taking them out to their favorite restaurant.
How is that scenario different today? Has your partner tried to do something loving lately but, instead of seeing their efforts, you saw the fault. Let’s turn the above example around for today. Your partner wants to surprise you and makes your favorite meal but they really can’t cook very well. They burn it. You get frustrated about it because you’re tired and hungry. You argue. You failed to see their loving efforts.
You’re Not Alone
Everyone does it sometimes. We forget that effort is everything. We forget that love goes into the little mistakes in life. We forget that our partner is human. Most of all, we forget that our partner is different from we are – their strengths are different from our own; so are their weaknesses.
Some couples, may forget this momentarily, others fail to see it at all. They forget that there are so many wonderful traits about their partner they love. They forget to nourish the effort instead of scrutinizing the end result.
If you really want to save your relationship, then start seeing the effort. Maybe your partner forgot to pay the phone bill – but what did that money go for? Maybe they bought your birthday gift and forgot about the bill. What were they doing at the time the phone bill was due? Maybe they had spent all day at the doctor’s office. Are they overworked and overstressed like you are? Maybe there is a way that you can sit down together and manage the bills.
Yes, a healthy relationship does take work. You and your partner may need new tools and techniques for learning how to be mindful of each other’s feelings, be supportive of each other and communicating with each other. But once you discover the truth – that you already have a blissful relationship and that you have exactly the relationship you were meant to have – you realize that the effort needed to maintain a healthy relationship is worth it.
There is no such thing as a relationship without problems. Even in a life as a single person, you are going to have problems. If you are like most couples, your relationship is already blissful – you just have to put life’s problems and your relationship problems into perspective.