When you're in a relationship, ruts aren't usually the part you look forward to. The butterflies, fun traditions, companionship, and "other" parts, yes. But no one gets excited about the hard times. Try as you might to avoid them, however, the hard times will come. But are there any ways your relationship can benefit from being in a rut? Surely, hard times don't have to mean the end of a good thing, right?

According to one study by the University of New York, the honeymoon phase lasts about 30 months — at which point most couples have apparently gotten "enough" of each other. Kidding. But in all seriousness, after the honeymoon phase has worn off, the odds increase that you'll encounter a rut or two in your relationship together.

Big or small, serious or easily resolved, ruts are bound to happen. But the good news is that, in the long run, your relationship will probably be better off for having made it through the hard times together.

Granted, there are situations that are much more than just a rut, and those should be dealt with accordingly. But for the "rough patches," the arguments, and the ruts, know that there's a light at the end of that tunnel that might turn out for the better.

1. You Learn How To Do Real Life Together


Real life is messy. It's not always easy, and neither are relationships. Ruts help "lower your expectations" in the best sense of the word, meaning that they help you realize that hard days will happen, but that it's not the end of the world.

2. You Appreciate The Great Times Even More


After you've made it through a rut (or two or three) you'll learn to cherish the times when it's smooth sailing. Though the great times should always outweigh the hard ones, knowing that it's only a phase to work through can bring a new appreciation for how great your relationship really is.

3. You Learn To Choose Your Battles Wisely


When you've been with someone long enough, you learn which things to let slide and which battles to fight. Eventually, you'll get into a rhythm of remembering to shut the toilet seat, and cleaning your hair out of the shower, and the things that felt like huge deals in the beginning won't seem as detrimental anymore.

4. You Learn How To Communicate With Each Other


Learning how to fight fair is part of any relationship. After going through a time of fighting, you'll learn how the other person communicates, what's working and what isn't working. And that place can only be arrived at by going through the rut.

5. You'll Build Trust


Hopefully, if the rut was resolved properly, you'll emerge with a greater sense of respect and trust for each other. As strange as it sounds, according to Women's Health fighting can actually help you clear out negative thoughts, see things from their perspective and practice compromise.

6. You Learn More About Yourself


In the process of learning more about your partner, you'll learn about yourself too. You'll discover pet peeves you didn't know you had, ways you communicate best, and how you handle spending time alone. They're valuable lessons, though not always easy to learn.

7. You Learn Not To Fear The Hard Talks


At the beginning of my marriage, I dreaded going through hard times. I thought it meant something was wrong, or that we shouldn't even be together. It sounds crazy to me now, because I don't fear ruts anymore. I've learned that they're merely part of the normal ebb and flow of relationships and as long as ruts aren't happening too often and the great outweighs the bad, your relationship will be stronger for them too.