No relationship is without its problems. Even if you’re rock solid as a couple, there will be times when you’ll face challenges that can be hard to get past if you’re not prepared to put in the work. That being said, if you can make it through these 8 things, you’re probably in it for the long haul:
- A death in the family. Grieving can bring out the worst in people. Lashing out and shutting down may be a person’s natural reaction to losing someone they love. Patience and love and knowing what to say (which sometimes may be nothing) is key to helping someone who just lost somebody through it.
- Losing a job. There aren’t many things in this world that can mess with someone’s confidence and self-worth like losing a job. The other person in the relationship has to pick up the slack while being supportive of the one that lost their job. Also, being able to leave for work every day while watching the other sit on the couch and surf the web for their jobs while watching Family Feud can get old FAST. Being supportive and giving each other your all in this situation can make the bump in the road much smoother.
- Getting a pet. Sharing the responsibility of keeping a living thing alive is something that will test anyone’s patience. “I took him out this morning, it’s your turn!” or “He peed on the rug… getting a dog was your idea, you clean it!” will probably be said on more than one occasion. Taking turns and mutually caring for something that belongs to both of you is a positive step and a bonding experience that will strengthen the relationship.
- When one of you acts like a drunken ass/ridiculous drunken fight. Most of us have had one of those nights that we were a complete douchebag to everyone around us, especially the people we love the most. If he’s an ass, looking past it and realizing this was a one time mishap will make you stronger. (If it happens more than that, reevaluate ASAP.) Sit him down, call him out on his BS, and tell him why he hurt you. If it’s the other way around, get your act together, apologize, learn from your mistake and don’t make it again.
- The ex conversation. Everyone has an ex that was important-ish to us. Have the talk. Tell each other what you learned from the relationship and/or what you want from a healthy relationship. It’s better to talk about the skeletons rather than screaming, “Joe never did this!” mid-argument. That’s a good way to end up alone with a foot in your mouth.
- The very awkward bedroom mishap. “What was that NOISE?!” “Did I just break his penis??” “Why won’t it go IN??!!” Sexual mishaps can be so embarrassing, especially early on in a relationship. Laugh it off, discuss what happened or keep chugging along. Whatever works for you is fine. Just don’t let it become this huge issue that’s hanging over your head and prevents you from feeling comfortable.
- A long road trip: “Take a left… YOUR OTHER LEFT!!” If you’re familiar with car conversations like this, then you’ve probably survived over a three hour drive together. If you can get through a road trip to from Boston to D.C. without murdering each other, you may have found your soulmate.
- Discussing what each other can sacrifice, and what has to stay. One of you likes Charmin, the other buys store brand; you sleep with a noise machine on, he needs complete darkness. Some things, like what toilet paper brand you use, can be changed without much resistance, but other things need to discussed and worked through. If he can learn to sleep with whale noises in the background to make you happy or the other way around, you guys are doing just fine.