​​The Importance Of Working It Out In Your Relationship


Intimate relationships are a thing.  In fact, they can be one of the biggest stressors in your life if you don’t keep up on current events in your relationship.  It’s easy to reminisce about what is going well & where your relationship is flowing but it becomes exponentially more difficult to get honest about what is not working, particularly if what you are contemplating could end your relationship.  This type of fear is what stops relationships from growing because it stops the honest communication that can illuminate what isn’t working in order to figure a way through it.

For example, I have counseled men and women who knew without a shred of doubt that their partner was going outside the relationship to get their sexual needs met and they were too afraid to confront their partner out of fear that it would end the relationship. I had one client who held onto this knowledge for 15 years, knowing her husband was having a full-fledged relationship outside of their own.  Just one conversation with him back when she first found out would have given her the power to get to the truth and communicate her feelings.  They could have talked about how they both weren’t being fulfilled and how they could have remedied it.  If she only had the courage to talk to him in the beginning, she wouldn’t be facing down 15 years of built-up resentment and anger.  When she came to see me she was depressed, and shut down by living in a loveless relationship for so long.  In fact, she told me that they both knew what was happening but no one was talking about it.  He would come home, often late, slip into bed and wake up earlier than she would, and slip back out to work.  This went on for years.

The point I’m trying to make here is a little courage goes a long way. If you tackle the hard topics and, stay in communication around them in real-time, anything can be worked out.  My friend often said, “if you just stay in the conversation you can figure out anything together but if you leave the conversation (or don’t ever enter into the conversation) then all hope is lost of coming into a compromise.” Compromise is a cornerstone of any relationship.  It is the grey zone of the relationship where you are both seen, heard , valued.  You may not get everything you want, which is often the case, but at least you hammered out the best possible way to make the relationship work and, move forward.  Remember nothing is set in stone, compromises can always be changed for the better.   Have you ever been around a relationship that didn’t have many compromises going on?  That was the case in my mom‘s relationship with my father. His idea of a relationship was; my way or the highway. Not much room for compromise. My father would often say, “You either do what I say or you can get out.” Back in the 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, and, before this parenting through authoritarianism was the norm.  I lived in a male/father-dominated family where my mom, my siblings and, I did what we were told. You just didn’t get to strike a deal with my dad.  The relationship with my father was an extreme case of authoritarianism. We didn’t have the freedom to share our feelings, nor be seen, nor heard in what we wanted.  If it did not match what he valued, then it simply wasn’t included in the family plan.  This is an extreme example of severe lack of compromise but it’s pretty common even today. Here’s my point. You deserve to share what’s important to you in your relationship. You deserve to have the courage to talk about challenges and, struggles that you’re going through even if it challenges your partner.  The brilliant wisdom that came from my relationship with my father is this, it’s really important for me to share what I need and, what I can offer in my relationship, no matter the conversation that follows.  You both are in a relationship in some ways to fight for what you really believe, particularly when it really matters.  Your partner needs to know what you need and, want from them and you need to hear from them about what is most important to them.  It is vital to make yourself seen and, heard particularly if your partner keeps shutting you down. It’s important to find a way for each of you to know the deeper more hidden aspects of each other and, work out the rest.  Relationships that matter take work and this type of work is some of the most important that you will undertake in this life. It is simply better when you work it out!