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Relationship Rough Patches: 3 Ways to Mend



    We've all been there. It's been a tough day, week or month. You're on edge and you take it out on your partner. You're at a rough patch in your relationship. That's totally natural and normal in a long-term relationship and indeed any relationship. As they say, "It's not about how well you get along together. It's about how well you get over arguments." The tough times can make or break your relationship. So make sure you work them out. Below, Rachel Colias recommends three ways to mend that rough patch in your relationship.

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    I, like probably so many of GetLusty for Couples’ readers, I am involved in a long-term relationship. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost six years now and, as you can imagine, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. To be with only one person for such a long time can be incredibly hard; people change over the years and so does the direction of a person’s life. When you involve another person intimately into your own life you not only add them to your own baggage, but more often then not take on theirs as well. 

    Needless to say I would imagine it is impossible for two, or more, people to be in the same relationship long-term without hitting a few bumps along the way. In the same way toddlers generally go through what’s known as the “terrible twos,” relationships also start becoming especially difficult around three years in. And I’m not talking minor fights, but the point at which two people have to look at each other and decide whether continuing on together is still worth it. 

    My boyfriend and I have both reached that point together in our relationship and we came out the other end unscathed. Though at the time it seemed almost impossible, we’ve made it through very rough patches together and learned a few things about each other and ourselves along the way. I hope the points I make and the advice my boyfriend and I gave each other can translate and help you get through your own hard times, because when it’s worth it it’s worth it. 

    #1 Communicate

    This seems like a fairly obvious relationship factor, but you’d be surprised how hard it is to actually follow through with. When couples start fighting, the communication is one of the first things out the window. You either say the wrong things in the heat of the moment or become so mad that you don’t say anything at all; neither of these tactics are healthy, nor do they feel good when you’re on the receiving end. 

    We’ve all thought about saying hurtful things, especially when you know a person so well. It’s easy to say what we know will hurt when we want to hurt someone. But when you love someone you just don’t mean it. Next time when you feel yourself becoming angry and those stinging words rolling around in your head, take a deep breath and refrain from using them. A relationship doesn’t need to be fought with weapons, you don’t actually want to see that person hurt. 

    Not saying something isn’t exactly helpful either, though. You don’t want to be malicious, but sometimes there’s something actually on your mind that you need to articulate to your partner. Are you unhappy about a certain way they treat you? Say something! But choose your words carefully. You don’t want to scream “Everything is your fault! I can’t believe you’re stupid enough to do that!” because that does nothing but throw fuel on the fire. What you could say instead is “It hurts me when you [...] and it would mean a lot to me if you stopped.” Communicating how you feel in a productive way that doesn’t have to hurt either party is a great way to make real, positive change in what could be a temporarily rough relationship. Holding how you feel inside for too long results in resentment; you end up blaming the other person for something they might not even know they’re doing and that doesn’t solve anything. 

    #2 Spend more time alone together 

    One thing my boyfriend and I realized we were both doing was drifting apart once things started getting rough. We spent less and less time together because we were either mad or frustrated about how things were going. We spent so much time drifting that we forgot what brought us together in the first place. The more you distance yourself from the person you want to make things right with, the less right things are going to get. 

    Of course, I entirely understand why people would want to separate and how that time could be used by a person to mend themselves. Individual needs and health are vital to healthy relationships. But if both people feel the relationship crisis doesn’t exist within themselves it might be better to try and help mend together. 

    Go on dates together, cook dinner together, take a shower or bath together, cuddle up and watch a movie together. There is an endless list of what people can do intimately together and, in the process of doing so, you both might just remember what it was that connected you two in the first place. Nothing helped my boyfriend and I fix up our relationship quite like getting away from the responsibilities of school and work and just laughing and relaxing together again. 

    #3 Forgive

    We’ve all done stupid things before. We’ve all made our significant other jealous by spending too much time with someone else, or said hurtful things, or unjustly blamed our significant other for our own problems. We’re all only human. But if what’s been said or done isn’t harmful enough for people to want to split up, then they need to move on. The lingering of guilty tension or making of passive aggressive remarks doesn’t help anyone and only reiterates the fact that you or your other has not in fact forgiven each other. 
    If both, or all, are willing to truly let something go and forgive one another for a transgression then the relationship can continue in a much healthier way. Carrying around unnecessary baggage, such as resentment, only hurts all parties. 

    These three exercises helped my boyfriend and I get through a lot when we feared the worst, but all relationships are different. If you’ve had a different experience pushing through a rough patch comment about what helped below!

    This article was written by Rachel Colias. She’s currently getting her bachelors in English and Women’s and Gender studies and feels especially passionate about advocating for the importance of consent and communication. 

    Her hobbies include shopping for new vibrators playing roller derby, and getting tattoos her mom doesn’t approve of. When she’s not writing for GetLusty or doing homework, she’s playing with her bearded dragon Terrance and you can generally find her reading comic books with her loving boyfriend of six years or eating pizza and watching Netflix. You can find and follow her Tumblr blog here! Email her at editorial@getlusty.com

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