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I want to delve a little deeper into the subject of hardship. I talked about a specific one in the last entry (financial), but there are many other hardships a relationship can face. These include: distance, unemployment, loss of a child/loved one, infertility/fertility treatments, ED, hormonal changes, boredom, etc. What do we do when we hit a rough patch? Do we turn and run, part ways, give up on the relationship? Do we continue on just to make each other miserable? Or do we try to move through it and get to the other side with a stronger bond?

There are a couple of things that I’ve found to be helpful dealing with hardships in my relationship and, even though I can speak to the married relationship experientially, I can quote some married people.

The biggest help in my relationship with Mr. P. has been evolving my communication skills. I am learning to discern between things that he says and what response he needs. Sometimes I’m relating/commisserating; other times, I’m providing possible solutions. Sometimes I just ask questions or stay silent–whichever let’s him get it all out.

Another communication technique that’s important has been to make sure we each know what the other person is really saying. It’s very easy to assume you know what the other person is saying and how they feel when you really have no clue.

Things other than effective communication that I find help with getting through tough times: having a similar faith–when I don’t have anything profound to say, I could pull out scriptures that say what I want. I can (sometimes) get away with an (occasional) “all things work together for good for them that love the Lord.” I can comfort Him by praying with him & for him;

be a restful companion and have a peaceful home– I don’t share a home with Mr. P., but I can be a restful companion. I don’t have to undercut him with how bad MY day was or start a fight about something. I don’t have to point out what he should have done so he didn’t end up in this mess. I believe that people should have peace in their home (that I don’t have, :D), that it should be a haven from the outside world. I give a big sigh of relief when I get home to my apartment. I feel stress just fall off my back. That’s how I want it to feel for my future husband. I will try (keyword: try) not to be waiting at the front door with nothing but complaints or a to do list. I will work on being appropriately subdued (if I have to be).

That’s all I’ve got right now, so help me out. How do you get through hardships of all kinds? What advice would you give to a couple that’s hit a rough patch? Leave your two cents in the comments section or email me at 2blu2btru4u[at]gmail[dot]com.