For many couples, complaining about your partner is almost second nature. You find yourself telling your friends, family – maybe even your partner himself – how much he snores, or how stubborn she is, or how little she helps out around the house.
It’s common to complain about your struggles with each other. But what you may not realize is that is you may actually be feeding off this dynamic in a positive way.
Struggles Can Mean Excitement
Some individuals thrive in this challenging dynamic. It provides an excitement that makes life and the relationship far less dreary. Fighting and arguments can be forms of passion. They stimulate emotions, and emotions of all kinds can make a relationship something that you want to hold on to.
There is nothing wrong with stimulating this kind of excitement. But as a couple, you do need to make sure that this dynamic is manageable. You want to find a ways to make sure that you’re still working to preserve the relationship. If the complaining and quibbling are not in good humor, there is risk of the relationship deteriorating and ultimately failing.
How to Maintain a Challenging Dynamic
If you feel like this relationship describes you, we can look for strategies to help control it in couples counseling. There are srategies that can help you to ensure that this dynamic does not draw you too far apart as a couple:
- Keep it to Yourselves – Complaining can excite you, but relationships still need the support of others to thrive and grow. Have a plan in place so that you are not consistently complaining about your partner to others. If others think your relationship is not worth preserving, pretty soon you may not as well.
- Maintain Positive Communication – It’s okay to complain often if that complaining also has reminders of love in it. There has to be moments of genuinely positive communication – telling a partner you love him, telling her the things that are great about her, etc. Complaining, over time, can give the impression that love and positive feelings aren’t there.
- Effort to Resolve – There should also be an effort to resolve differences. You cannot simply complain, give the silent treatment, and let time pass. Nor can your only goal in complaining and arguing be winning. There should be effort made to move forward throughout, and come to resolutions on issues of genuine concern.
These are only a few of the strategies that can be used to maintain a challenging but fulfilling relationship. These relationships can be positive and successful. But there should be effort made to manage the dynamic, and not simply let the negativity overwhelm the entire relationship.