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Lifestyle Tips for Overcoming Marriage and Relationship Issues

Eric Standridge offers relationship tips and tricks based on personal experience from the perspective of a former shy guy.

You wish the fighting would just stop.  The arguments, the hateful words, the silence, it's all hurting you so much you can hardly breathe.  Unless you're one of the rare few that doesn't seem to have any problems, at one point in time, you've felt this way.

Everyone does.  It's a normal part of life.  When two people have a difference of opinion, it creates conflict.  Most learn to overcome this conflict and find a place to compromise.  Sometimes this conflict escalates to a point that's unhealthy. It becomes a source for great heartache and depression. 

Still, most of the time, these relationship problems can be fixed, if only both parties are willing to work towards resolving them.

Relationship problems can begin a thousand different ways, but all relationship problems stem from a few basic issues. Over time, many people forget how to show their partner that they love them. Life becomes hectic and the relationship suffers. Communication is lost, and one - or both - people feel lost amid the hurricane of life. Still, there is hope. These relationship problems can usually be solved by learning how to communicate effectively, by learning to understand the other person, and by learning how to put yourself in their shoes.


Below, there are nine of the most important things that one must learn in order to solve relationship problems and create a healthy relationship.

To Summarize, one must...

  • Learn how to Make a Commitment to your Relationship
  • Learn how to Show Love
  • Learn how to Make Time for Each Other
  • Learn to Compromise
  • Learn how to Communicate
  • Learn how to Listen
  • Learn to Forgive
  • Learn how to Keep the Romance Alive
  • Learn how to Take Time for Yourself

With these things, as well as dedication and a personal resolve to make things work, most relationship problems can be solved, and relationships saved. Remember though, while only one person doing these things can have a significant impact, both partners working on this will have an impact much more magnified.

It is up to you to take control of your life - nobody else can live your life for you. If you want to save your relationship, you must do all that you can in order to do so.

Learn how to Make a Commitment to your Relationship

Before one can truly appreciate how to solve relationship problems and create a lasting friendship, one must understand the importance of commitment. It's easy to fall in love, but that's when things are still fresh and new - staying in love takes a bit of work.

Commitment lasts for a lifetime. It doesn't end as soon as you say "I do", or as soon as problems arise. The commitment doesn't end, period.

A relationship is always a work in progress. People grow and change as the years flow by. Those that have successful marriages have learned to grow and change together - in other words, they have made a commitment to understand the person they are with, to understand the changes they are going through, and to appreciate and support those changes.

Your relationship with your partner should be a top priority in your life. You must decide to give yourself completely to that person, no matter how good or how bad things may be. Once you have understood the importance of commitment, then you'll be able to take the first step in creating a strong and healthy marriage.


Learn how to Show Love

This is a concept, while simple in design, is both complex to understand and difficult to implement.  This is something that can overcome relationship problems and turn those problems into everlasting bonds.

Everyone feels loved in different ways. While your concept of love may contain roses and flowers, anothers concept of love finds those things demeaning. The first step in creating a successful marriage or in saving your marriage is to learn how to understand.

Think about what your partner values. Write their values down, get it on paper, make it concrete. This is something that you absolutely need to know - this is the core of who your partner is. What is it about them that they are passionate about? What do their core beliefs hold? If they could only live with three nonessential things, what would they be?

Once you've understood their values and core beliefs, then you can begin to get a true picture of who they are. Sure, you may think you know a lot about the person, but surprisingly, most don't. Take time to have that conversation with them, to learn about them, and then, to learn about how they need to feel loved.

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Now that you know what their core values are, you can use that knowledge to understand how they need to feel loved. Some people respond more to gifts, others to actions.

For example, a lady might get all excited because a man has bought her a card out of the blue and wrote a personal message inside. However, that man, if he received such a gift, would glance at it and it would soon be forgotten.

But, if that lady bought a man a gift card for a hardware store, and then surprised him by taking him there, he might get all excited about it and to him, that shows him that he's loved.

Words of love, actions of love, touch, gifts, time - these are all different ways that people can feel loved. Take the time to understand how your partner needs to feel loved. Realize that how they need to feel loved is different than how you need to feel it, and then appreciate that. Make a conscious choice everyday to follow through with what you've learned.

When people ask "How can I fix my relationship problems?", this is the one thing that can be done that will have the most impact. Understanding is the key to a successful relationship.

Learn how to Make Time for Each Other

With today's hectic lifestyle, it's not always easy to make time for your partner. Still, if you desire a happy relationship, this is something you must do. Set aside an hour each day where there is no TV, no computer, and no distractions. Take that hour to just be with your partner. Have a real conversation about the days events, or, better yet, take this time to talk to your partner about their hopes and dreams.

Simply taking the time to make time shows a lot about how much you care about your partner. Use this time to truly get to know the person your with, to understand the changes they are going through.  Simply making the time for a loved partner can help dissolve those hurtful relationship problems.

Learn to Compromise

We compromise every day, even when we don't realize it. It comes natural, and in fact, most of the time we don't even think about it. We'll choose a different brand because of price, or find a different parking spot because it's closer to the door. It's an easy thing, but yet, when we're asked to compromise in our relationships it suddenly becomes much more difficult.

It's obvious that compromise is important in any relationship, but it's especially important in a marriage. You must realize that everyone is different, that nobody will have your exact core values, hopes, and dreams.

Again, understanding is the key to overcoming relationship problems. Take the time to understand what your partner values, and then respect those values. Listen to what they are saying, and then, once you fully understand their meaning, explain your point of view. Somewhere between those two sets of ideas is a common ground. It's up to you and your partner to find it.

Learn how to Communicate

Next to understanding, communication is the most important key to a strong, healthy relationship. Without communication, relationship problems remain problems; they never get worked out. Still, it's one of the things that people have the hardest time with.

Communication involves three main steps: 1. Listen without judgment, 2. understand what is being said, and 3. repeat back what you understand.

Learn how to Listen

Listening is an art. It is a major part of the communication process, but it entails it's on heading. For relationship problems to get solved, one must learn how to listen.

Listening involves understanding. Most people spend too much time trying to phrase a reply rather than trying to understand what the speaker is saying. Once you understand what has been said, then take a moment, think of a reply, and speak.

Learn to Forgive

Every relationship, from a teenagers first brush with love to an old couples mature love will have it's problems.  There is no way around that - it will happen.  Anytime you have two people with different ideas, there will be friction.  It's a fact.  Understand that.

Once you understand that, then you know that you must, at some point, forgive your partner or be forgiven by your partner.  Many times, these issues arise without thought or harmful malice.  Be understanding of this, and realize that most of the time it's not near as important as it tends to be made out to be. 

It's alright to get upset, it's ok to be angry.  That's a natural part of life.  But, you must also learn to manage those negative side of things.  Learn to forgive - and forget.  In other words, once the issue has been resolved, let go of it and never mention it again.  You'll never be able to save your marriage if the past is constantly brought up.  Let go of things.


Learn how to Keep the Romance Alive

If you're asking, "How can I save my relationship?", then take the time to learn how to be in a relationship.  There are things that can be done to solve relationship problems.  Relationship problems can be overcome, it is possible, but only through a deep desire to do so. After the first 3-5 years, many relationships fall apart due to incompatibilities. In other words, living with someone full-time is a lot different than dating someone, and many times after those first few years the flame starts to fade. She wants romance, he wants a new car. It happens, but managed right, both people can have what they want.

As you begin to learn how to show your partner love, and you begin to learn how to communicate with them and understand them, then your marriage will slowly start to rebound.

But, don't stop there. Keep practicing those things that make your marriage successful. Keep on making time for one another, keep communicating, keep showing the person you love that you love and understand them. Make a commitment to do these things every day.

Sometimes it's the smallest things in life that mean the most to us.

Learn how to Take Time for Yourself

Relationships are hard work, but it is also extremely worth it. Still, there are times that you need to take a break - not a long break, of course, but just time to sit back and do what you want to do.

Create a special area that is just for you. When things get hectic, go to that place and take time to relax. Find a hobby, or read a book - but set up boundaries. These are places where you can get away from everything for a short period of time and regroup.

It's up to You to Make a Stand

In all relationship problems, there has to be at least one person willing to stand up and make a difference.  Just by understanding and implementing a few simple concepts, one person can make a difference. 

Typically, when these relationship problems arise, both parties soon engage in the "blame game."  Neither side wants to admit that they have done things wrong.  Many times, when one person steps back and begins the process of change, the other person will follow.  It may take time, but nobody has ever proved that relationships are easy.  With time, determination, knowledge, and most of all love, two people can overcome these relationship problems and, in turn, go on to lead happy, love-filled lives.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Eric Standridge


Ann on May 26, 2018:

Very true. . Very useful ideas..thanks a lot for sharing

Joyette Helen Fabien from Dominica on December 06, 2012:

Great points! great use of pics! Voted up! There's bound to be one or two of your points that will work for everyone.

Indeed, the most important factor for a relationship to succeed is commitment on both sides. Will certainly share this one!

Ian D Hetri from Papua New Guinea on July 07, 2012:

An excellent account of relationship advice. I enjoy reading it and learnt much from it. Voted up and sharing.

Joy56 on December 11, 2010:

it is a life long learning process, it seems.... some great points to ponder on here, and so well written, thankyou

sexeducationnow on February 23, 2010:

true true true !! thanks you so much for sharing such thoughtful points.

sharongilo on February 19, 2010:

Lots of good stuff to reflect on here for all couples --- the kind of stuff we should always be aware of to help make a relationship the best it can be. Readers here might find helpful: "A Short Guide to a Happy Marriage" ...

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