Relationships are hard things to maintain. Two people loving one another isn’t enough to sustain a relationship; a relationship is about how well two people work together. You need to work well as a team, be able to communicate, and, in most serious relationships, be able to live together without tearing each other’s hair out.
There’s far more to keeping a relationship alive than caring about one another. You need to both be ready to put in effort, listen to each other, and even compromise on occasions so as to reach a level playing field which makes both of you happy. You’re both still individuals, after all. Here are some tips on what you could do if your relationship starts to turn sour.
Examine the root of your arguments.
Arguing has most likely been a core part of this rocky patch in your relationship. There are different levels to this; you may have occasionally bickered due to stress and then quickly resolved the issue, or you may find yourselves locked in a heated, never-ending debate. Obviously, the latter is worse. Arguing about the same things over and over again is a sign that you’re not moving forward, and relationships need to overcome obstacles rather than freezing in front of them. You need to be trying to resolve the argument rather than trying to “win” it. You can only win an argument when both sides have got over the problem at hand.
Figure out if you both want the same thing.
This is the question you need to ask yourself. If you think there’s any chance of resolution within the relationship then your partner has to believe the same thing. You need to think about the bond you and your partner have; if you’re arguing or you’re distant but you both feel great pain over things being that way then that’s a clear sign that you both want things to change. If the arguments just lead to more arguments and neither partner is listening to the other then you may want to think about whether you want to carry on going in circles, find a way out, or call it a day altogether.
Know when to get help if things become toxic.
You have a support network outside of your relationship: family, friends, and other loved ones. It’s important that you talk to those people if the relationship is getting bad; especially if you feel as if your partner doesn’t want you to talk to your loved ones. Don’t let yourself feel isolated. Get an outside opinion on your situation if you’re lost. If things have become too toxic or the fighting has become physical then you might want to look into a domestic violence attorney. If things do blow up then you’ll want to ensure that you’re represented by a legal professional who understands the complex laws surrounding your rights in a domestic situation. It can feel very lonely and terrifying as the victim, so it’s important that you have a strong support network in terms of both family and the law. Be honest with yourself if arguing has turned to full-blown abuse; at that point, relationships are rarely salvageable.
Figure out whether you’re looking forwards or backwards.
You need to look over all the issues within your relationship and figure out whether you and your partner are working to resolve them. Are you moving forwards? Communication is key to figuring this out. You need to both be actively listening to one another if you want to overcome your problems. If you both of you focus solely on listening then neither of you will have to fight to “be heard” when it’s your turn to speak. If you’re both still trying then there’s still hope.