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Getting Through Obstacles in Relationships

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr, studioD

Every relationship hits bumps along the way. Obstacles form when couples lose trust or respect for each other or are unable to communicate. The trick is to overcome those bumps without derailing the relationship. But a couple committed to their relationship will find solutions and overcome obstacles.

Maintaining Trust

Dishonesty poisons a relationship with doubt, suspicion and mistrust. It ruins intimacy between partners, writes John DeMarco, a relationship counselor, in the article, “Obstacles to Healthy Relationships.” To overcome these obstacles, rebuild trust by keeping agreements. Maintain a zero-tolerance policy for lies -- including white lies. Be open with your partner about your feelings and actions.

A Balance of Power

Relationships thrive when there is a balance of power and respect, according to DeMarco. Both partners deserve to be treated with dignity and kindness. Pull an equitable share of the financial and emotional load in your relationship. Maintain your home and family by dividing up chores and responsibilities. Treat your partner with dignity and respect. This creates emotional security and a sense of protection that allows the relationship to thrive.

Effective Communication

Couples with relationship problems don’t communicate well, according to the WebMD article, “7 Solutions That Can Save a Relationship.” Set appointments with your partner for relationship talks. Don't interrupt one another or call names. Work to resolve conflicts. If you talk about enjoyable topics, as well as problem areas, you won't dread the conversation. Discuss your emotional and physical needs and work out strategies that allow you both to feel appreciated. Show gratitude for large and small things -- taking the garbage out, cooking dinner or doing the laundry. Sacrifice something you wanted to do. Do what your partner wants instead. Go to his favorite restaurant. Go to the movie she wants to see.

Staying Present in Marriage

Don't become disconnected by avoiding either conflict or intimacy. Other habits that distance you from your partner include computer time, texting or emailing friends, home chores, working late and activities that exclude your partner, suggests Tammy Nelson, a psychotherapist, in her book, “The New Monogamy.” These issues can lead to an affair or divorce. When you don’t spend time together, you encourage him or her to meet needs in an outside relationship. Date each other. Talk about your relationship. Reconnect at a deeper level.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

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