Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stay in that romantic stage of a relationship? Where your partner can do no wrong. And neither can you (in their eyes).
All their quirky little habits are so adorable. Their snoring sounds like music to your ears. Their gluggy cheesy rice tastes like a Masterchef dish. And their lame jokes are the funniest thing you’ve ever heard.
You could not even begin to imagine that you could ever not worship the ground they walk on or find them annoying or worse still – argue.
Aaahhh – those wonderful, irrational, days of blind love and too many feel good hormones cascading through your brain.
Well guess what! I am the bearer of bad news. Those days end. They come to a grinding holt. The fairytale does not continue.
But hey – that’s a pretty good thing really.
Can you imagine how many work hours are lost due to staring into space all dreamy eyed while thinking about the cute thing they said/did/thought?
And quite frankly I wonder how many car accidents happen for exactly the same reason. “I was thinking about how wonderful his touch was when he held my hand and I completely missed that I was supposed to stop at that red light.”
So….like I said it all comes to a grinding holt. You lose the dreamy eyes. And eventually there is…….wait for it…….(insert drum roll)……..conflict!
But don’t despair. Conflict is actually a good thing. And it was bound to happen. Cos let’s face it – we are all very different and the idea that we could get along about everything all the time is a bit of an ambitious thought.
The trick is how you handle conflict.
Communication is key.
There are also some times that are better and worse for communicating.
- Bad times: drunk, super-angry, tired, super-stressed, at a party, in front of friends, kids or relatives (in front of the dog is ok but still not great).
- Good times: pre-arranged/pre-agreed on time, private, relaxed, not super-emotional, TV is OFF.
When you have a time that works for both of you and you’re alone try talking about one topic only. Bringing stuff in from the past “remember when you….” never ends well.
And try to listen to your partner. They may not be able to put what they’re feeling into words that make sense to you straight up so keep asking them to clarify if it sounds hurtful to you. Chances are they meant something other than how it came across.
If they said something that hurt you, let them know without blaming them e.g. “That was really hurtful to hear” vs “Jeez you’re an insensitive bastard. No wonder we’re arguing.”
Try to do something that lets them know you’re there for them even if this is hard to talk about. You can use those exact words “I’m here for you even though this is hard to talk about” or keep a hold of their hand or whatever comes naturally to you. Conflict gets scary in a relationship when there’s a threat to your closeness. Let your partner know there’s no threat and your communication will be a whole lot easier.
Most of all try to remember that resolving conflict can create more intimacy and make you closer than ever.
So don’t despair that the honeymoon is over. This phase of a relationship gives you the opportunity to grow and develop a truly deep love.