All relationships face challenges from time to time. It’s not reasonable to expect that any relationship will be all unicorns and rainbows 24/7 (Tori’s the rainbow – I’m the unicorn!)
We deal with this in depth in our upcoming book Beauty In Battle. We show couples how fighting is not something you’re supposed to give up in marriage. You’re supposed to simply do it the right way against the right person. You’re supposed to fight shoulder to shoulder and not face to face.
While we can’t cover everything, we made up a quick list of seven things you can do if you’ve found yourself fighting with each other rather than alongside one another. If you want a thriving relationship, the following will help you overcome the disagreements and struggles you may be having.
Use these tips to heal your relationship and feel close to your partner again:
- Return to the past. There was a time when your relationship was great. Remember those times together when things were going well. Remember your first date. Remember your favorite trip you took together. Relive how things used to be. You’re bound to return to many of the same feelings from those times.
- Identify the issue. What exactly is wrong? Are you feeling taken for granted? Neglected? Did your partner lie to you? Is there something you’re doing wrong?
- Be clear with each other about what’s coming between you. Identify the challenge and you can begin to find a solution.
- Schedule time together. Many relationships struggle due to not spending enough time together. The simple solution is to schedule time together on a regular basis. Turn off the TV and get out of the house together. Play a board game. Go see a movie. Take a walk in the park together.
- Forgive. The issue in many relationships is the accumulation of resentments over a long period of time. If you can’t let go of the times you feel that you were wronged in some way, eventually it becomes too much to bear
- Forgiveness is only possible when we think not about what our partner did TO us but what Christ did FOR us. He forgave, and so must we.
- Take a trip. Plan a trip together. Ensure it’s a place that you’re both excited to visit. Build some new, positive memories together. We did this recently with a trip to Italy and now we have a new archive of good memories to draw from. The key is to get away from your current home and routine, and you’ll find it’s easier to reconnect with each other. A trip is fun and bond-building.
- Compromise. You can’t have everything your way. Relationships require a lot of compromise. In fact, the compromising never seems to end. Compromising is a skill, and it’s not always easy to learn. I tell people to never compromise in their life, only their relationships!
- Bring God into the mix. This is by far the best thing to do. Many people struggle in their own strength to make things work, and then if all else fails they hire a professional counselor to help them get past their relational hangup. But have you ever considered the greatest professional of all is the God who created both of you and knows exactly what you need to get back on the relational fast track? Best of all, He’s free! He loves to give advice if we’ll simply be willing to listen.
If you have a relationship, you’re going to have challenging times. It’s not possible to feel close all of the time. There will be struggles to navigate.
Fortunately, most relationship issues can be overcome if both partners are committed and patient. Give your relationship the attention it needs to heal and thrive. After all, God made you for relationship.