I received this very sad letter not so long ago so am making it the focus of this blog article.
“Why is it that I and my girlfriend quarrel/argue every week for she says she doesn’t trust me and tells me every time that she doesn’t want to marry me?
I love her so much and want her be my wife. I have thought of things that she thinks that creates the argument, but when i start to work on those things it works a little while but fails and never lasts.
I am standing on two conflicting ideas. Marry her or start over another relationship.
What she says when she gets angry out of nothing gets me crazy. Even now, we are not giving phone calls to each other.
What should I do to keep and maintain happy and healthy relationship with her? I want to give love to her and expect the same response from her. How can I make that happen? When I stop things over, she starts and when I come to understating she pushes me away.
It has been like this for more than two years since I met her. One week it’s okay and another week hell.
Please help me save my relationship.”
Let me start to answer this multifaceted question by firstly saying that all relationships will have times of conflict especially as part of negotiating a long-term relationship. This is part of helping you figure out the ‘rules’ that are going to define how your relationship is to be managed. This involves who will make the decisions and who will be responsible for what aspect of your relationship.
This is a normal part of the transition into the next stage of relationship development as you move away from the symbiosis, the honeymoon stage that defines the first part of all relationships.
So the way through this is firstly to learn some communication skills so that you can each hear clearly what the other is saying before responding. Sometimes it is necessary to bring a professional counsellor/coach into the picture who can teach you how to do this and help you manage the process when things become especially difficult.
The next part of the process is to define what it means to be in relationship and what that relationship should look like to support both of your values of what a loving relationship actually is. Then take the time to ask each other lots of questions to assess whether these values are shared making you compatible as this value compatibility is what will determine whether your relationship has what it needs to make it long-term.
Just as importantly, for relationships to succeed it requires a selflessness that has at its core a willingness to do for another without any thought of what’s in it for me. If we only do for another for what we can get back then we’re not in it for love. And of course if you are both acting from that place then you’ll get what you want anyway but now for the right reasons.
For more information on the stages of relationship go and have a look at my product shop. There you will find several books including one titled “Relationships – A Couples Journey” that addresses the stages relationships go through as part of their natural development. Another book that maybe is helpful is titled “The Games Couples Play” which takes a look at conflict in relationships and how to manage it. You’ll find the bookshop at my website at www.acouplesjourney.com.
So until next time – Relate with Love