Relationships face all kinds of challenges.
Sometimes they come from the outside, such as facing a medical crisis or pressure from others not connected to your relationship. Other times, the challenges come from within, such as disagreements, conflicts, resentments, etc.
All of these, and other issues, can either “make or break” a relationship.
What’s essential for getting through these tough moments is relationship resilience. It’s not a complicated concept, yet it does require some explanation.
Here’s how to build it and why you should.
What Is Relationship Resilience?
First, let’s take a step back to understand resilience better. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of resilience includes:
“An ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
When we think of this definition, other words such as flexibility and adaptability may come to mind.
Now, apply this concept to relationships. Perhaps you have known of or experienced yourself relationships that were not resilient. What happened to them? They collapsed and failed, most likely due to a variety of issues.
To prevent this from happening now, you and your partner need to foster resiliency in your relationship. That way, it can endure even in the most trying of circumstances.
Listen to Each Other
One of the most crucial attributes of any relationship is the ability to listen to one another. And, also, to communicate to your partner that you hear them.
This approach, in turn, fosters understanding, and with understanding, comes trust. No healthy relationship can exist without trust.
However, listening is an acquired skill and must be practiced to be effective. So, why not take time today to start truly listening to your partner?
Follow Through on Commitments
Another way couples can build relationship resilience is by following through on their commitments to one another. For example, when you promise to do something for your partner, make sure you do it.
Empty promises are a sure-fire way to weaken a relationship. Keep in mind that if you struggle with this issue, that doesn’t make you a bad person! It does suggest that you need practice.
Start with small commitments, such as agreeing to wash the dishes or take out the trash, and build up to larger ones.
Sharing a Sense of Humor
Nothing says relationship resilience, like having a shared sense of humor. Humor brings couples together and strengthens their bond. It implies that you both “get” each other.
Sharing inside jokes or just having a good laugh is fun in both good times or bad. However, humor is also a helpful tool when facing significant relationship challenges. It’s a way of acknowledging the situation, while also communicating that your relationship is more secure than the situation is overwhelming. This approach brings challenging situations down to size, per se.
Expressing Compassion to Each Other
When times are tough, where do you turn? It ought to be your partner. Your partner should be someone who feels what you are going through, and that you can lean on for support. That way, you don’t feel like you are going through this challenge alone.
Instead, you face life together as a team. You know that your partner supports you no matter what. And for the other partner, they have the ability to open their heart to you.
It’s essential to note that relationship resilience is not something that you do overnight. It takes a lot of time to foster resiliency in your relationship.
Sharing everyday experiences and challenges is one way to build resiliency. However, therapy can help with this process, as well. Counseling will allow couples to understand each other better, process emotions, and develop tools for relationship resilience.
Contact me today to find out how I can help or visit my couples counseling page to learn more.