This is a guest post by Mark Greene; he is a professional writer and digital nomad.
If you’ve never found yourself stuck in a relationship riddled with drama on the daily, consider yourself one of the lucky few. Perhaps it’s because of your no-BS manly exterior, or maybe you got lucky the first time ‘round and met the girl of your dreams (if such a thing were to actually exist).
Whatever the case; most people, at some point, will tie themselves to somebody who regularly teaches them the true meaning of being volatile. Turning insignificant irks into insurmountable arguments, playing emotional games, and going out of each other’s way to stick the knife in and turn it (hopefully, so to speak). Each of these is common enough in every relationship as to make the fabled grasslands of love seem a lot more like a battlefield for the sexes.
There is no reason to assume that daily drama is the staple of a healthy relationship. Why not rather keep the wolves out by being able to spot them, and learning how to tame them properly when they come around?
Try to look at yourself objectively
“She’s a complete psycho.” How many times have you heard, read or said those words. Maybe she is, I don’t know her. But if you find you tend to debrief all of your relationships using those words, then you should probably wonder why all of your ex’s are crazy.
The fact is, we are all human, and that makes us a dynamic mixture of wonderful and terrible personality traits. Being aware of which parts of your personality trigger craziness in your partner and working on those, are likely to make things better. It’s not about being whipped into shape; it’s about becoming a more pleasant person to be around.
If you make changes but the situation stays the same, then yes; perhaps she is psycho.
It’s never too late to draw boundaries
Set boundaries early on in your relationship, and be sure to stick to them. Remember that you are an individual with your own schedule, friends, hobbies, likes and dislikes; and your partner should be sure to remember that too.
If you’ve been caught up in a boundless relationship for a while, then try setting new ones so that both you and your partner can learn about yourselves. Have a schedule of things you do without her; good, clean, fun things like squash, poker evenings or drinks with mates. But remember, she too should be entitled to do the same.
Keep it fresh
Being stuck in a rut is one hell of a relationship killer. If things have gotten stale between you and your partner, there’s a good chance that you’ll both get frustrated and take it out on each other. People need stimulation, whether it be in the bedroom or in the social sphere. Constantly trying new things will ensure that neither of you are overpowered by boredom, and will alleviate the tension of cabin fever or relational decay.
You’re a team, act like it
The words “you’re not listening to me” are said far too often in just about every rocky relationship, and while every so often these words may be meaningless, more often than not, there is weight behind them. Part of being a team is fostering honest, open conversations. Try and be a good listener, you might actually learn something.
When it comes to matters that affect you both, good communication where both sides listen and speak with equal attention will ensure that misunderstandings and that feeling of being ignored is kept to a minimum. It’s never too late to work on this common problem which plagues just about every relationship on Earth.
Maintaining a healthy and correctly balanced relationship is hard work, and won’t come as naturally as Hollywood romances would have you believe, but with careful attention and the setting of good habits for your relationship will make the relationship flow more easily and eliminate most opportunities for drama.
You might need to get out of there
Alternatively, if nothing you try seems to make a difference, you might just have a difficult person on your hands. If that is the case, and nothing seems to change, then it is up to you to make the choice of whether you want to keep that person around or not. It might sound counter-intuitive, but at the core of every relationship, you should be putting yourself first. If you choose to keep a person around who causes you strife, you are indenturing yourself to a drama-generating relationship… and you should probably get out of there.