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How to Face Relationship Challenges & Overcome Them as a Couple

No union is without relationship challenges, they’re part and parcel of a partnership. Through conquering them, you become stronger as a couple.

relationship challenges

No relationship is smooth 100% of the time. There are always going to be ups and downs. Relationship challenges are part of the deal. If anyone tells you that their relationship is always fine and dandy, they’re literally lying to you.

Relationships are basically two people who don’t know each other at the start, learning about one another, and compromising in order to come together. Sometimes you come up against roadblocks and sometimes you just don’t want to compromise but find that you must over time.

If you want to stay together over the long term, you have to learn how to get over the hurdles you’re likely to face with humility and grace.

[Read: Why relationships fail – 25 most common reasons why love falls apart so easily]

Challenges are designed to bring you closer

It’s easy to think that if you argue, there’s something wrong. That’s not the case. Arguments happen to every single couple, even the most “together” couples you see. When two people love each other, it’s not possible to avoid arguments because they’re born from passion.

As long as you’re not arguing every second of the day and your entire relationship feels like one massive challenge, it’s perfectly normal.

Whenever you experience arguments or relationship challenges, however, it’s important to make sure that you solve the underlying issue. Without doing this, you’re simply transferring it to another day, when it will fester and grow.

So, when a challenge comes your way, work out what it really is and what you need to do to solve it. Then, do what’s necessary. You’ll probably need to communicate and work together to get there, but that’s the whole point.

Challenges are designed to make you stronger and bring you closer together. Problems are solved and chats are had. That’s exactly what is supposed to happen in a relationship. [Read: Are relationship fights normal? 15 signs you’re probably fighting a bit too often]

Learning to overcome relationship challenges successfully

Now, every relationship faces its issues, but they vary from couple to couple. One relationship might find difficulties in trusting one another. Another couple may find difficulties in communication. Yet a different couple might find that they’re a little incompatible in the bedroom! [Read: These healthy relationship expectations help you have a good love life]

These are all relationship challenges that can be overcome.

You must focus on a positive way to get the job done. If you don’t? Your relationship won’t be on a strong footing, and you’re probably doomed to fail.

1. Communicate effectively

Communication is the most important aspect of any relationship if it’s going to work. How are you going to overcome relationship challenges if you’re not able to talk about how you feel or listen to the other person?

You see, communication isn’t all about words, it’s about being able to hear the other person and read between the lines a little too. Any issue that comes your way will always be ten times harder if you’re not able to communicate with one another effectively. [Read: How to be vulnerable in a relationship and feel closer instantly]

2. Don’t be selfish

If you’re always putting your needs before theirs, you’re going to run into more hurdles than needed. It’s vital to think of the other person and be flexible in your approach. It’s not all about you, just as it’s not always about them.

Whenever you do or say something, make sure that you’re not accidentally being selfish.

Are you opening yourself up to seeing things through their eyes, too? This is a great way to overcome relationship challenges. Additionally, it allows you to understand the problem at its very core. [Read: The 12 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship]

3. Don’t be a doormat

It’s important to remember just as much that it’s not all about them either. You must have your needs met as well. Everything should be equal. If you want to overcome relationship challenges, focus on equality and understanding. Remember the first suggestion – communication. All of this comes together to help you work towards success.

A partner who only thinks about themselves isn’t a good partner because you will never have your needs met. Then, resentment starts to creep in and before you know it, even more relationship challenges are at your door. [Read: How do people become self-centered and stop caring about others?]

4. Be prepared to compromise

If you want to overcome a problem in a relationship, whether big or small, compromise is the answer. It doesn’t mean one person gets everything their own way and the other doesn’t have any of their needs or opinions listened to or met. Instead, you meet each other halfway.

You choose a suitable point where you both have a safe space in which to talk, express your feelings, and be listened to, then you find somewhere between the two points that allows you to overcome the challenge without one person feeling insecure. [Read: Compromise in a relationship and how to give without losing]

5. Always show empathy

Empathy is something you definitely need in a relationship. Without empathy, you’re not able to see the other side of the story.

You’re not able to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes, and as a result, you end up being selfish and focusing only on yourself.

Most relationship challenges don’t have a right or wrong answer, it’s normally about finding that middle ground we’ve talked about. You can only do that when you focus on having empathy and putting the success of your relationship before your own needs.

Despite that, you shouldn’t agree to or do anything which goes against your core values. There is such a fine line to walk here, but following your gut will always help you out. [Read: 15 healthy relationship boundaries you should set to have a good relationship]

6. Give yourself a little space

It’s not possible to overcome common relationship challenges by being in each other’s pockets. Give yourself a little time and space.

If things are heating up and threatening to come to a head, it’s far better to spend a few hours or days cooling down before revisiting the situation with a clear mind. If you focus on things while feeling super-emotional, it won’t end well, and the other person will feel exactly the same.

So, while you don’t just cut all ties and say, “I need space,” both agree that you need to allow things to settle and have a few hours or even a few days to chill out. Then come together to talk things through. [Read: Relationship arguments and 23 dos and don’ts to remember]

7. Avoid shouting at each other

We talked about communication being important, but that doesn’t mean shouting. That’s not effective at all.

You need to sit down and talk calmly once your emotions have settled. Also make sure that you avoid blame language, such as “you make me …”, “you do …”. Instead, focus on language such as “I feel like …” That way, you can talk about things without emotions rising once more and you both end up back at square one. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow stronger]

8. Identify what the actual issue is

When you’re having relationship issues, there is normally something behind it. What is the actual crux of the matter? It’s easy to sit down and talk about the argument you’ve had, but are you actually solving the issue behind it?

It might take a little soul searching and you might need to spend some time considering the issue before deciding upon what it is, but you can do that together.

However, make sure you don’t sit down and talk about this until you’re both calm and in a state of mind where you want to work together to fix things.

9. Don’t compare your relationship to anyone else’s

When you’re having problems, it’s easy to look at your relationship and wonder what’s going wrong. It gets even worse when you then compare it to your friend’s relationship. That’s the worst thing you can do.

We rarely show our relationship for what it truly is to the outside world.

Most of us pretend everything is fine when we’re speaking about our relationship with other people, because we don’t want people to wonder what’s wrong. So, when you’re comparing your relationship to your friend’s, you’re probably comparing your real-life romance to a projection of a perfect relationship.

Just focus on your own union and don’t think about anyone else’s.

By comparing, you’re looking for problems that were probably not there to begin with and you’re also standing it side by side with something that’s not even real. So, those coupled-up photos you see on social media? Ignore them, they were probably taken after an argument anyway! [Read: How to be a happy couple that’s envied by all other couples around you]

10. Keep your relationship challenges off social media

Whatever your relationship issues are, avoid posting about them on social media. This will only make the matter worse.

Make sure that you keep it between the two of you. Of course, if you need to talk to a friend for advice or for a little bit of an outlet, go for it, but don’t tell the world.

If anything, you’re betraying your partner’s confidence too. [Read: The happy couple’s guide to social media etiquette]

Every relationship challenge is different

Relationship challenges are different for every couple. But, you probably won’t only run into one problem throughout the course of your union. You might have a series of challenges all happening within a short period of time, or you might have one and then a long gap before another occurs.

It varies and depends upon your own circumstances and how you feel at the time. [Read: These are the big things that can ruin a relationship – here’s how to keep an eye out for them]

What you shouldn’t do is assume that if you have a problem in your relationship then it’s the end. You can always work things out if you really want to.

But it should be a joint effort where you both commit to talking things through and understanding each other better. You can’t have one half of the relationship not bothered about sorting things out, and the other half desperate to get things back on track. It simply won’t work.

The perfect relationship doesn’t exist

In reality, it comes down to expectations. We see perfect relationships in movies and in TV series and assume that’s how it will be for us. Reality is a totally different ballgame.

Everyone has arguments occasionally; everyone has problems and there are always going to be relationship challenges every so often. The difference between a couple who makes it and a couple who fails is their commitment to making it work. [Read: The secrets you need to have a perfectly happy relationship]

You might see a golden couple and assume that they never have problems. Of course, it’s not the truth.

The perfect relationship does not exist… no matter what Hollywood wants you to believe! If you go into a relationship with your eyes open, that means you know that at some point you’ll face a challenge, then you’re far more likely to overcome it.

If you go into it assuming everything is going to be roses, you’re going to get a shock and probably throw in the towel early. Because you assume there is something fundamentally wrong with the relationship at its very core. There’s nothing wrong, it’s normal!

[Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in your relationship]

Overcoming relationship challenges relies upon communication, open-mindedness, empathy, and the ability to compromise. So the next time you face a relationship challenge, use these steps to overcome them as a couple, and as smoothly as you both can.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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