| It's always easier to give up than to get up and try again.
Relationships are complex. The one you have shared with your mate
is the most complicated of all. Yet, there is always a way to resolve
conflict and bring healing to a relationship if both people are willing
to work at it.
Is your love for each other important enough to try?
If so, please consider some of the helps suggested below.
Making use of one of them, or even all of them, may make the difference
between restoring the joy of your love together or losing it forever.
The choice is up to you.
problems between two people has escalated beyond what seems right and reasonable,
the possibility of a tension-free conversation becomes almost impossible.
However, it is more than possible if both of you are willing to work at
it. The only way to get out of a tangled up mess is to untangle it
and that is never easy.
First of all, you are going to have to make sure that
you do not allow your discussions to become tense or angry. As soon
as they do, it is time to either step back or close out the conversation.
Secondly, just as each of you are going to have to be
patient with each other in regard to effective speaking, you are also going
to have to relearn how to be effective listeners. Avoid putting your
twists on what your mate is trying to explain to you. Take what they
tell you for face value. It is not as important what you think as
much as it is what they are thinking. Be a good listener.
A beneficial, collaborative dialogue between the two of
you will involve being able to safely express and receive the points that
each of you is trying to make to the other. It would be better not
to feel that you have to respond to each item. In fact, you would
be sending a real message of caringness to your mate if you were to ask
him/her for time to think over what has been discussed.
Generally speaking, women are the first to suggest the
idea of seeing a professional counselor. Men recoil at the thought.
They almost have to be coerced into attending their first session.
That being said, make sure that when you both agree to go (if he won't
go, lady, you should go, anyhow), that the counselor you decide upon is
reputable and highly recommended. If you are a member of an organized
church, you might seek out the help of your minister. Should you
being experiencing financial difficulties, look in your local phone book
for a state sponsored counseling service (usually found under the keywords,
When the issues between the two of you get to the point
where conversation is no longer possible, you will need a third party interpreter.
A good counselor will not only do this for you but will also provide you
with helpful insights and possible solutions to the issues you present.
Sometimes having an objective third party who is professionaly
trained can make all the difference in the world.
Attending a Good
Whether it's the Gary Smalley or the Dr. John Gray Seminars,
you can't go wrong attending these workshops when they come to your area--even
if you are not experiencing any relationship problems at this time.
Christians have enjoyed the Bill Gothard Seminars for many years.
Certainly, if there are serious problems between the two of you, these
workships, as well as the many others, are well worth attending.
The only drawback is that you will be in an environment that will not be
directly focused on your particular issues. However, this is one
way that men, especially, will take part in a relationship/marriage program.
Also, attending one of these workshops is a terrific preventative measure
to nip potential problems in the bud before they ever begin to be an issue.
& Friends Warning...
Everyone needs a support group when feeling the hurt and
confusion accompanying relational upset. Our close relatives and
dearest friends can be a tremendous emotional help at such times.
However, the very nature of such relationships is that relatives and friends
have little objectivity when it comes to such things. It is good
to use them as sounding boards (that is, if they are wise and insightful
in the first place) but, should they take up your offense, may prove to
be more destructive than helpful in attempting to reconsile with your mate.
There are many relationships that were finally killed off by a friend or
relative who made it their business to put their loved one's mate in his/her
place. Be careful in this regard and make sure that those you confide
in refrain from direct involvement in your marital problems.
Reading the Right
There are a large number of good books on the subjects
of marriage, relationships, romance, and marital problems. Of course,
the Bible of relationship-themed publications is Dr. John Gray's "Men are
from Mars, Women are from Venus." In fact, he has written an entire
Mars-Venus series; all of which will benefit any couple who are seeking
for positive solutions to their relational challenges.
Another recently published book by Michael Webb, entitled
"The roMANtic," contains hundreds of creative ideas to keep the romance
in your relationship.
Whether it's "Passionate Marriage" or "True Loves," you
will be able to find someone who has written directly to your current need.
Better yet, read a good book on the subject together and comparae notes
in regular conversations. Doing so will give you insights in to each
other that you never had before. Learn from reading to love each
other more and do it together.
Truth be told, no one is equipped
within themselves to deal with all of the many facets regarding relationship
issues. Being willing to go beyond oneself to find the appropriate
help that is needed may very well make the difference between saving or
ending a longterm primary relationship.
There is a whole world of experience
out there that is available to you if you availe yourself of it.
Hang in there and don't give up
until you have tried everything.
© all rights reserved - 11/21/2000
The mission of this not-for-profit website is to promote clear insights
and toleration regarding the many variations of primary relationships that
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with a better understanding of the numerous cultural, historical, preferential,
religious, sexual, and sociological approaches to coupling that have always
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the basic human need to love and be loved takes on many forms which are
accepted by those who practice them, whether right or wrong as determined
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