It’s Complicated: Tips for Dealing with a Rough Patch

A healthy relationship or marriage can be hard work and even the strongest and most solid couples can experience tough times now and then. Sometimes it can feel like you’ve been going around in circles about the same subject over and over and perhaps even seem like it might be easier to just throw in the towel rather than stick it out.

But if you’re not quite ready to give up, there are actions you can take to help your relationship emerge unscathed and stronger than ever. Here are some things you can do to guide your relationship or marriage through a rough patch.

Give each other space after arguing

It can be tempting to stand your ground in a fight and keep having it out until one of you has “won,” even when you’re both past the point of listening to each other or saying anything constructive; but giving each other space to calm down and reflect is the really the better way to go.

Psychologist and marriage therapist Dr. Nathan Cobb coaches his patients to give each other times outs “to create space to calm down, to get into a different state of mind to find solutions.” That’s not to say that you should give your spouse the cold shoulder, but rather drop the subject, set your anger aside, and try to get on with your day until you’re both in a better place to revisit the discussion.

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