The fairy tale of relationships I believe is deeply rooted in our culture. You know, the idea of Mr. Amazing sweeping you off of your feet and showering you with the picture of happily ever after. However, the reality is we live in a world where there are no perfect people, with no perfect relationships, and a fairy tale consists of brief moments of bliss with the one you love. Outside of those brief moments there are problems and a lot of work making your relationship exist. But problems in a relationship are not necessarily a bad thing for your relationship – here’s why.
Problems can be Good for a Relationship
Problems highlight what’s not working in your relationship. This is an opportunity for you to clean house in your relationship by discarding the trash causing problems. For instance, you may find you’re arguing more, misunderstanding each other, or spending less time with each other. Arguments are a sign of needing to be seen or heard by each other. You need to see each other, and find meaning in your connection with each other. So fight about it, argue about it and duke it out or whatever, but find a solution to the problem. Fixing problems in your relationship help you grow stronger and tighter as a couple. This is because there is less trash separating you and your partner.
Problems help you to grow closer as a couple. Problems have a way of opening the door to the perfectly imperfect. Having the humbling experience of growing through problems and issues is not only relieving but real. You will begin to experience a realness in your relationship and connection that’s harder to break. Understanding your faults and your partner understanding theirs offers a sense of grace and acceptance not experienced in other relationships. Working through problems deepens your bond and strengthens your connection in ways others may not witness or experience as family or friends.
Problems can be Good for You, Too
Problems can be good for you, too because they make you more self-aware. Many times I hear “I had no idea I was doing that to my partner”! Facing and accepting problems in your relationship has a funny way of making you look at what you are doing to your partner. Facing your faults is painful and a very humbling experience. The funny thing is, from that humble place you grow deeper in your connection with your partner and you find you can trust them more because they are accepting your faults and forgiving them. Knowing you can change and knowing your partner can change strengthens your relationship in unimaginable ways. You both will begin to trust that each person will come back with accountability and seek forgiveness, instead of judging or dragging problems out longer than needed.
Don’t think of problems as relationship breakdowns, but rather as buildups! If you don’t face problems or address them then, yes, the relationship will breakdown. This does not have to be the case and I hope you embrace problems as a way to strengthen your relationship and grow closer to the one you love.
Tristan Beymer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and marriage and family counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She specializes in helping couples rebuild their relationship to be strong, healthy and passionate. She also works with individuals to overcome difficulties related to trauma and addictions.