Getting Through The Tough Times
Relationships are hard to navigate at the best of times let alone the tough times. It’s hard to let someone into your heart. And, when we’re struggling with a particular problem, we often hurt our life partners the most.
They are the people closest to us, so we lash out, or pull away. For the most part, we do this because we aren’t sure the relationship will survive. In truth, our behavior can put the relationship in jeopardy without our realizing. If your partner is acting this way, your first reaction may be to respond in kind. You could find yourself pulling away because they are. But, it’s important you take a step back. It may be that your partner needs your support now more than ever.
Have you considered that your spouse’s bad behavior is a consequence of something more? It may be that they have something going on that you don’t know about. It may be that they’re struggling with mental health, and your relationship is suffering as a consequence. It can be hard to support a depressed partner when they’re treating you badly as a result. Even if mental health isn’t the cause, they may be suffering from addiction or a loss in the family. On the one hand, you can’t know what they don’t tell you. On the other, it’s your job to ensure they can talk to you. So, what do you do if you’re on the verge of giving up?
Never underestimate communication. No relationship can survive without it. If you suspect something’s going on, it’s important you confront the tough times. Let your partner know you want to talk. Be careful not to use accusatory language. Aim to keep your relationship out of the conversation. Mention your concern, and ask if there’s anything going on. Then, let them do the talking. It might be that they’re not ready to talk straight away. That’s okay. Once you’ve planted the seed, they’ll come to you in their own time.
Don’t close the communication once the issue is out in the open, either. Instead, have a conversation about how your partner can move forward. Again, remember that this isn’t your problem. Your partner needs your help, so don’t bring yourself into the conversation. Remember, too, that they have to make the ultimate decision. It may be that they need to see a doctor or sign into somewhere like Canadian Centre for Addictions. If there’s been a loss in their family, they need you to stay strong. Put your feelings about the issue aside for now.
If the tough times don’t improve, or if your partner is unwilling to seek help, it might be time to consider your needs. If the way you’re being treated is dragging you down, it’s important to know when to take a step back. This isn’t easy when you know your partner is going through a tough time. But, you need to put yourself first. Once you’ve done everything possible to help, it may be time to call it a day.