It is natural for relationships to experience problems for a number of reasons, but most of the time, it is the lack of open communication that makes it more difficult for people to solve their problems. If you are in a relationship right now that is going through some rough patches, you need to learn how to solve problems constructively together as a couple.
It might not be as easy as it sounds but you will eventually be able to deal with the problems as they arise and move past the misunderstandings and arguments. And if you do not know where to start, you can follow these pieces of advice:
1. Talk to your partner, and describe the problem
The very first step in solving a problem is discussing it, making sure that it is described in just a few words to allow each other to respond. It is important to talk about issues because you cannot always expect them to guess or know immediately what has been going on.
2. Uncover deeper issues and concerns
This is the part where you have to uncover and understand underlying issues. This is not the best time for you to convince your partner of the reasons on why you are right. This is the time when you have to listen carefully to the concerns of your partner, and you must do it while you keep an open mind. The ultimate goal here is for you to know and understand each other’s issues so that you can see the bigger picture.
3. Come up with a win-win strategy
When you try to arrive at a resolution, make sure that the solution is something that will work for the both of you. Do not demand from your partner the things that they can do. Instead, think of what you can do for your partner and for your relationship. You will be able to arrive at the best solutions if you are able to figure out the things that are most important for the both of you and the relationship.
How do you avoid a fight?
Determine if you have a problem or just differences. If your issues are not really something that is threatening to your safety, health, or financial security, then it might mean that the two of you are just really different when it comes to views and perspective about things. And that is natural, so you just have to respect that.
Choose the right time to talk. Trying to solve a problem is not recommended during the times when both of you are tired, stressed, hungry, or distracted because the problem and argument might just get worse and heated up if both of you are not calm and able to pay your full attention.
Practice loving acceptance. If you want to find better solutions to your problems as a couple, you need to learn the art of accepting your partner for who they are and valuing them for both the things they can do and the things they cannot. Avoid bringing up each other’s mistakes and shortcomings.
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. If ever there are times when you feel disappointed or hurt by your partner, do not jump to conclusions immediately that they have done it on purpose. Remember that your partner is also a human, and they may also fail to think about the impact of their actions. Give your partner a chance to explain their side.
Learn from successful couples. When you begin your problem-solving, avoid starting your conversations with confrontations. Instead, try to talk softly, so as not to stir up anger. Ask your partner for their input, and take their ideas and opinions into consideration so that you can arrive at a joint solution.
Be patient. It is important for you to stay patient with both yourself and your partner. Effective problem-solving skills do not happen overnight. It will take a while. But you can practice it together with your partner and notice how much each other improves. Give yourself as well as your spouse the credit you deserve even for the tiny progress you make.