Is Your Relationship Volatile? Here Are the 5 Things You’ve Been Messing Up
Old habits can be hard to break.
No matter how strong your relationship, disagreements are bound to occur – especially when you’ve been with the same person for a long time. Not seeing eye to eye with your partner can inevitably bring up bad feelings. We all want our thoughts and opinions to be valued, understood and recognized – but sometimes, our emotions get the best of us in the heat of the moment. The result? Relationship drama.
No relationship is without its faults or fights, but there are some steps you can take to stop relationship drama in its tracks. Read on to learn what to know about keeping your relationship drama-free – what to do, what to avoid and how you and your partner can work together to improve your relationship.
What Causes Relationship Drama?
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship where things felt so stable that it made you feel like something must be wrong? Though being in a relationship where you feel safe and secure is the ideal, many people who get into these types of relationships find themselves looking for the “catch,” thinking something must be wrong even when things are going right. Or, the relationship becomes so routine that they subconsciously start to crave a way to shake things up.
Suddenly, you’re picking a fight with your partner about something inconsequential. This is a common occurrence since, as humans, we tend to crave a new challenge and novelty when things become too routine. If this sounds familiar, taking steps to make your relationship drama-free is an important step for you and your partner to take.
RELATED: How to Maintain a Long Distance Relationship
Plenty of other issues can cause relationship drama, from differences between partners that are hard to overcome to attachment styles that cause us to feel insecure in the relationship and lash out. If your goal is to stay in your current relationship, it’s important to take steps to understand why the drama is happening, then take action to stop the thoughts and behaviors contributing to it.
Steps for a Drama-Free Relationship
If your relationship is fraught with drama, here are a few steps to identify the problem and find a solution.
1. Understand and accept your differences
One of the biggest drama generators happens when we expect our partner to act or react the same way we would in a given situation. For example, if your partner is introverted and dislikes social functions, you may feel upset when they opt not to attend an event with you. If having your partner with you at every event is a must-have, this may not be the relationship for you. But if you love your partner, it’s important to understand and accept their differences to avoid relationship drama.
2. Pay attention to negative thoughts
Sometimes, relationship drama happens when we start to think the worst about our partner. Pay attention to the thoughts that arise when you’re angry with your partner, then examine where those thoughts are coming from.
Couples in long-term, secure relationships think about their partners realistically and kindly. They know they are far from perfect and don’t expect them to be. Because of this, the way these couples communicate with one another is typically more respectful and drama-free.
3. View disagreements as both of you vs. the problem
When we fight with our partners as if they are the problem, this point of view rarely results in resolved conflict. But when you approach a problem you’ve identified in your relationship as both of you against the problem, rather than you against your partner, the conflict becomes easier to work through. For example, say your partner has been spending more time at work, which has resulted in less quality time spent together. Instead of approaching this conversation by blaming them for not making time for you, ask yourself how the two of you can work on the issue together. Ask your partner how you can work together to find time for one another during this busy period.
4. Limit what you share with friends
When we don’t see eye to eye with our partners, reaching out to friends who always see things from our point of view can feel good at the moment. However, talking badly about your partner to your friends will inevitably create more drama in your relationship – especially in a long-term relationship where breaking up is not on the table.
If you and your partner are in it for the long haul, it’s best to resolve your conflicts together rather than involve an audience of friends. Once you and your partner resolve the dispute and make up, you won’t have the added work of updating your friends.
5. Approach conflict with empathy
This step is hard to master – especially in the heat of the moment when arguments escalate. However, couples who approach disagreements with empathy tend to have better outcomes and less drama. Instead of arguing with your partner and pointing blame, come from a place of curiosity to try and understand things from their perspective. Ask questions about the situation, and allow them time to talk about what happened, how they felt and what their intentions were. Then, calmly talk about how you perceived the situation and how their actions made you feel. To do this effectively, it may be necessary to step away from the conversation and return when you both feel calm. This is perfectly okay, as long as you communicate with your partner that the conversation is important to you, and you want to return to it when you’re better able to speak more calmly.
Stable, lasting relationships require work, effort and constant communication from the partners involved. Disagreements happen in any relationship, but it’s possible to respectfully disagree with your partner without causing drama. Take time to understand your differences, keep your friends out of the details of arguments with your partner and approach each situation from a place of empathy as a team. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Old habits can be hard to break. With time and practice, moving toward a drama-free relationship is possible for any couple that works together.