Many relationships break under the intense pressures that we often find ourselves under, but if there is one guarantee in life, it’s that sometimes things don’t go our way, and sometimes many things don’t go our way all at once. Instead of letting inevitable challenges undermine your relationship, use them as a way to draw even closer as a couple.
Be honest about what you're feeling as you face hardship. The more you open up about your fears, your overwhelm, and your self-doubts, the more your partner can open about his or her own worries, and the more your relationship will be founded on transparency. But don’t just focus on the bad. Also communicate the joys you are experiencing alongside the bad, and ways you can benefit from the experience.
Remember the Positives
When the main waterline to my house burst, when my heater broke in -20 degree weather, when my kitchen ceiling started leaking yet again, I’ve had to remind myself that at least I have a house that bad things can occasionally happen to. When I have to fork out hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an unexpected home or car repair, it helps to remind myself that I’m so glad that I have a job, and even if it’s tight and I’d much rather spend the money elsewhere, at least I have the money to pay for it.
The old adage, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,’ can often be true in your life. If you lost a job, could it be an opportunity to go back to school, get a new certification, try a new career path, start a business, or find a company that suits you better? Sometimes life has a way of pushing us out of our comfort zone into a better direction.
Lean on Each Other
It can be humbling to reach out for help, even to your partner. But learning how to serve one another and accept service is a fundamental cornerstone to any relationship. So take the opportunity during challenging times to lean on your partner for emotional support, as well as other forms of support they can provide. And don’t forget to provide the same in return. Strong relational connection is formed more deeply and easily in times of trial than in times of peace.
Don’t let life’s downs stand in the way of experience life’s ups, even at the same time. Take time to go out together on a date, or stay in and do something fun and interactive, like a game. Let yourself laugh and be playful. Don’t wait for challenges to pass to enjoy life. There will be more mountains after these pass. It’s life’s way of helping us grow. The challenge is to life large in the face of fear, disappointments, and loss. Take time to seek joyful experiences right now, even if everything seems to be going wrong.
Continue to express physical and verbal affection for each other. Life’s troubles may swirl around you, but you still have each other. There’s no better way to remember that then by expressing appreciation for one another and holding onto one another physically.