A great relationship takes work. It requires dedication and commitment. And while it would be wonderful if every relationship we entered was mutually respectful and perfectly balanced, the fact remains that humans are complicated beings.
So, problems happen, and complications arise, and sometimes we need to seek advice on how best to manage a relationship issue. You might ask a trusted friend, you might turn to a family member, or you might hit Google for the answers, asking the internet “what should I do about my relationship?” No matter what advice you get, it will vary from person to person as to how helpful it will be – but there is some advice that’s just plain unhelpful no matter which way you spin it.
We’re going to go through some common relationship advice you should ignore so that you’re aware and can spend more time focusing on what is important.
You Can Train Your Partner to Be a Better Mate
When it comes to people, they are headstrong, stubborn, and fairly single-minded when it comes to what they want. Training is something that you can do for your dog, but if you’re pinning your hopes for your future happiness on your ability to adjust your partner’s habits, you may be waiting a long time.
Sure, it’s possible to tell your partner what you would prefer them to do, and how you would like to be treated but you cannot change the core of someone. You cannot adjust how someone behaves because you would prefer something different unless they want to change themselves. Many a man and woman has stayed in an unsuitable relationship for far too long because they laboured under a misapprehension, believing that their partner was changing or ‘getting better’. For most people, this is simply never going to happen.
Never Go to Bed Angry
It might be that you and your partner are arguing about something trivial, and it’s something that can be resolved before your head hits the pillow. But if you and your partner are arguing about something that’s actually really important, and are still upset when bedtime rolls around, it might be worth getting some sleep and getting some space and perspective on something.
While it’s not advisable to go to bed furious with each other (you might, for example, agree to disagree in the interest of harmony prior to sleep) it is actually ok to go to bed with something still on your mind and unresolved.
As Long as You’re Honest, Everything Will Be Fine
Honesty is vital in your relationship, but it’s not everything. You need to be honest with each other, while also operating with respect and kindness. And just on the topic of honesty, it doesn’t pay to be 100% honest all the time – for instance, if your partner asks your opinion on something and it’s not what you would choose or is your preference, it might be helpful to err on the side of positivity in the interest of good relationships. Honesty is vital when it comes to the big stuff, but you can definitely work a couple of white lies into the mix when it’s appropriate.
The Fun Doesn’t Need to Last
Actually, we think it does. While not every day with your partner should (or needs to be) filled with side-splitting laughter, the moment the fun starts to disappear is a sign that something may be wrong. Fun should be part of a healthy and happy relationship and it’s important to continually be silly and playful with each other as part of your relationship.
When you’re being playful and loving to each other, the fun happens naturally. If you’ve noticed that things are not as fun as they used to be, it might be time to have a considered talk with your partner and find out if there’s anything they would like to talk about.
Dealing with some relationship issues? You don’t have to go it alone. At the CFHP, our relationship counsellors we are here to make navigating the pitfalls and problems associated with poor communication and troubled relationships and make it easier for you to work through tough times with your partner. Call us to make an obligation-free appointment on (07) 3211 1117 or get in touch online and speak to us about your relationship troubles.
Clinical Psychologist Annabelle Young has extensive experience in working with people with depression, anxiety (including panic), adjustment difficulties, stress, trauma, PTSD, bipolar disorder, low self-esteem, grief and loss, interpersonal difficulties, as well as alcohol and drug use issues.