I have a history of viewing love and relationships through rose-colored glasses. That was evident when I married my now husband and quickly realized that the perfect marriage I pictured in my mind was just an illusion created by modern media. Relationships are great, but to deny the inevitable "rough patch" is naive. The good news is that the rough times can be a tool to help fuel the good times. Learning a few of the worst things you can do if you're going through a rough patch with your partner can help you avoid despairing that your relationship is over and, instead, focus on getting through it stronger and closer.
After almost five years of marriage, I've learned that hard times aren't only necessary for growth, but that they're basically unavoidable. As hard as it may be, being intentional with your arguments (and what you do after them) is essential for the long term health of your relationship.
Whatever the cause of your rough patch - be it boredom with your sex life, the busyness of two separate schedules, the lack of energy that comes from raising kids, or something else all together - treating the rough patches like a finite period that will help the two of you grow in your relationship (and avoiding these critical mistakes), can help the rough patch be just that.
1. Ignore Your Feelings
Psych Central noted that in the hard times, it can be especially tempting to push your feelings aside and neglect to communicate with your partner. However, whether or not you both agree, it's important to communicate your feelings, both internally and out loud, so that you don't create more distance between the two of you. Shutting down is just as bad as blowing up.
2. Ignore The Cause
Similar to ignoring your feelings, ignoring what caused the rough patch is just as damaging. Even if it's been years in the making, expressing what has caused the issues to each other is the only way to heal from the hurt.
3. Not Allow Space After An Argument
Although it may seem counter intuitive, there's actually evidence in support of the dreaded "break" after a fight. Giving each other a bit of space can help you cool down and give you clarity about the situation. Reader's Digest noted that you shouldn't let too much time pass before you deal with the issue or tension will continue to build.
4. Talk About It Online
In really bad times, it may be tempting to share about your relationship woes to friends or online circles. According to Business Insider, however, sharing details about your relationship causes more harm than good. Whether you're hoping for genuine support or not, keeping your rough patches between you and your SO is usually for the best.
5. Bring Up The Past
As difficult as it is to give your partner a "fresh start" without bringing up old mistakes, letting bygones be bygones is a cliche for a reason. An article from Psychology Today noted that bringing up the past is usually an attempt to gain the upper hand in an argument, not a genuine attempt to solve a problem.
6. Say "Always" And "Never"
Along the same lines as bringing up the past, using sweeping generalizations during a hard time will almost certainly (always) make things worse. Even if you feel like your SO always forgets your anniversary or never picks up their socks, using broad terminology has a way of driving the wedge even deeper between you.
7. Compare Your Relationship To Ones That Seem "Perfect"
One of the most dangerous things you can do during a dry patch is compare your relationship to others who seem to have it more together than you. The truth is that every relationship has its own issues and comparing only makes you more dissatisfied with your own.