Why The Next Few Months Could Be Partnership Peril
The best way to avoid an obstacle in the road is to recognize it in advance. The reality is that it's been a hard year and the coming months could be rocky riding for a relationship. Here are three potential partnership challenges and some ways to survive them.
The Tragedy Continues:
Unless you've thrown your television out and sport earplugs all day, you can't help but notice that the world is in chaos. Your partnership doesn't have a magic "forcefield" against the emotional strain of war and loss. Everyone reacts differently to this situation and you may have already noticed changes in your significant other. Some people need more support, comforting and affection. Others need a little space to process the situation and channel their feelings. Make it a priority to effectively communicate with your partner about how you can best meet each other's needs in the current environment.
The Economy is Depressing:
Financial issues are the number one cause of divorce and separation in America. Your partnership's economic situation may see drastic changes. The key is to tackle these issues with knowledge, dignity and a focus on communication and mutual decision making. Don't ignore money matters - they won't just go away. Be smart, not sentimental about these issues. Set aside time to talk seriously about your relationship's financial status. Make educated decisions about spending and saving together. If funds are tight, plan activities together that are inexpensive and focus on enjoying each other's company instead of fretting over the lifestyle change. Adjust, adapt and communicate every step of the way.
Is it a Holiday or a Horror?
While it's supposed to be a time of celebration and unity, I hear more and more stories every year about the strain the holidays can put on a relationship. Schedules are often overwhelmed with parties and related events. "To Do" lists become longer with gifts to buy, trees to trim and cards to send. Somehow those family members and in-laws you hide from all year are suddenly around way too much. My suggestion is to redefine your holiday experience to be beneficial. Don't feel pressured to live up to any standards for what is or is not acceptable during this time of year. Take time to have a focused communication session with your partner where you make decisions about what events you want to attend, what you can afford financially in the form of gifts and how you will deal with difficult family members. Divide responsibilities so no one individual is overwhelmed. Be creative in strengthening your connection during this season of celebration - shop or make gifts together, make a commitment to save quality time for you to be alone. And don't send me (or anyone else) any Christmas Cards without a return address because I won't open them.
Educating men and women on the importance of equality in marriage and divorce, www.equalityinmarriage.org