Last night we were talking about relationships and the secrets to making them long lasting and workable. Yet, here is another insight that you need to consider when dealing with issues that arise in a relationship, and trust me they can be as many and varied as any other types of problems or issues. The secret here is that there is no predefined way to deal with them, the solutions are as varied as the issues themselves. Be flexible and think, because if you really try you will find that there are so many options and choices to deal with the issue. Don't always settle for the first thing that comes to mind, because you might end up regretting it later. Take the time to think outside of the box and look at the problem from all sides and angles. The best thing to do is divorce yourself from the problem and tackle it from a logical standpoint. You will be able to address the situation more effectively and efficiently if you come at it from a standpoint where your emotions are not involved. Take the time to distance yourself from the problem, search for the root cause and deal with that issue and then tackle the symptoms and ramifications afterward.
A line from one of my favorite movies is "A problem is not as permanent as the solution." For a long time I didn't understand what that meant, and took the easy way, or the path of least resistance and work to deal with the current issue not the underlying cause of the issue. So by ignoring the original problem and just putting out the fires that the issue caused, I was in effect treating the symptoms and not the root cause. This would be like a doctor throwing a bunch of antibiotics in your system to deal with an infection and not first finding out what type of infection it was and taking the time to find the right antibiotic to deal with the infection, just hoping to get lucky with the barrage of antibiotics hoping that at least one of them would do the trick. In the above example the doctor might get lucky and one will help, reduce the symptoms and might alleviate the problem for a little while, but if it wasn't the right one, and the root infection wasn't treated correctly or properly the chances are that once you stop taking them or run out of the antibiotics, the infection will come back stronger than ever. This type of hit and miss treatment is not good for your body, and you can start to build up a tolerance to the many different types of antibiotics. The same happens to you when you try to handle situations and problems the same way, you become immune to the solutions and the problems come back with a vengeance.
As I have told you there are as many ways to deal with a problem, issue or challenge as there are types of problems. You must use your head, separate yourself from the feelings associated with the issue, look at the situation from every possible angle, talk about the problem, get feedback from your partner and come up with a workable solution that not only addresses the symptoms but the actual root cause itself. Remember that two heads are better than one and brainstorm together, reach a compromise solution together, don't be afraid to try some unconventional solutions, be creative and inventive, and keep the level of communication open. The worst thing you can do is alienate your partner by trying to assign blame. Be adult enough to realize that the issue, situation and problem is affecting both of you, that no matter who is at fault it is going to take both of you working together to get yourself out of the messy situation. Keep in mind that what's done is done and cannot be undone. Assigning blame cannot benefit anyone and will actually probably cause more issues in the long run. If you work together peacefully and logically versus emotionally you might be surprised at how easy it was to deal with the issue.
The biggest issue that relationships face these days is the one dealing with money. There is never enough money to go around or the bills are coming in faster than the money to pay them, or some other type of variation. There are ways to deal with situations like this that will keep harmony in the house. Communication is key to dealing with this issue. You have to come at these types of situations analytically, removing the emotional feelings that are associated with it. You must keep from assigning blame, and work together to come up with a solution. One thing you might think about is setting aside specific credit cards or accounts for personal use, that each party is personally responsible for. Or some other compromising solution, it is okay to think abstractly and try many different types of solutions, work together to come up with a budget that you both can accept and continue to work at it. Remember that the problem didn't occur overnight that it took time to build up to become an issue or problem so it might take just awhile to resolve as well. Trust me when you take the time to handle things and deal with them permanently the better off you will be. Working together to deal with the issue is going to make your relationship that much stronger, both of you are going to feel an equal partnership and it is going to be rewarding that you have effectively dealt with it.
As I said when I started this entry there are no hard and fast rules that apply to handling situations that might crop up or occur, you have to deal with them individually, and you must take into account all the variables and aspects of the issue. Communication between you and your partner is vital, and working together to come up with a solution that is both attainable and agreeable is paramount. Making sure that assigning blame doesn't become an issue and make the situation worse is also key to ending up with favorable results. Money matters are always going to be a problem and they don't get easier, but you must maintain a strict discipline when dealing with them, acknowledge that both of you are at fault and work together to come up with the answer. As I said a solution is more permanent then the problem, try as many options as you can think of, work backward if you have too. Be patient and understand that it may take time and hard work to achieve the desired result, but in the end you will be glad you did.
If you read the earlier blog entry on making relationships work, I stress over and over again that you have to be flexible willing to change, adapt to new and arising situations, you have to talk to one another and come at the problem together, maybe even try coming at it from two different sides, whatever it takes to make the problem finally and totally disappear. Don't be afraid to compromise and think outside the box, be willing to take a risk and see if it won't pay off. Don't alienate yourself from your partner, and include them in the decision making process, make it both of your problems and both of you take total ownership for it and responsibility, because when you do both of you feel like you are invested and have some degree of control over it the happier you both will be.
I think you will find that when you work together, great things happen. When you talk about the issues and are genuine and matter of fact about both of your involvement, assigning blame becomes harder and almost impossible. You both will feel better, the stress will be less in your relationship and you will feel a sense of accomplishment that you haven't felt before. Don't hold grudges or use guilt as a weapon, and because you have separated your emotions and feelings from the situation you will find that it has become that much easier to talk about, tempers won't flair and things that are discussed and thought about in a calm relaxed way will have a greater tendency to work out faster and better than before.
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,