Ten Keys for Addressing Perpetual Issues in Your Relationship

I know how you are feeling. You told yourself that if this situation comes up one more time, you just may explode. Let me help you extinguish the fire at the end of your rope to your dynamite. My friend, you are not alone, and all couples have perpetual issues. Even the happiest of couples. Why – you may ask? Just like we have reoccurring bad habits in other areas of our lives, we are all quite shy of being perfect in our relationships, and reoccurring cycles have a way of resurfacing.  Just like there are things about yourself that you desperately want to change, but they continue to resurface in your life. Your relationship is the same. Give yourself and your relationship grace, sometimes falls are part of the process that leads to change. And below you will find tips that can help your relationship move in the right direction by creating the change that only you can control – changing yourself.

It was pressed upon my heart to share with you how to manage perpetual issues because I don’t want you to get in the habit of living out your most treasured relationships through the filter of frustration. It could potentially contaminate the parts of your relationship that are going well. I also want to address an important caveat to managing perpetual issues – there are some issues that are totally unacceptable that must change in order for the relationship to thrive – infidelity, dishonesty, abuse, etc. If you need additional support in addressing these issues, I would recommend seeking professional support. Okay, let’s dive in.

Here are my 10 tips that will help you manage perpetual issues in your relationship so that you will be able to uphold the love and integrity of your relationship. Here goes!

  1. Resist the urge to make low blows when the perpetual issue surfaces. I know you are at the point where you just want to cut loose. Reign yourself back in, my friend.  Due to the likelihood of the perpetual issue resurfacing, we don’t want to get in the habit of cutting loose. We want to lean into discussing the matter in a way in which we don’t lose our cool. Because if we get into that habit – it will start to become a part of who we are and how we show up in the relationship.
  2. Don’t ruminate over the less than desirable aspects or tendencies of your partner. Hey, we all have blemishes, but you may miss the beauty of the entire picture if you focus on the small blemishes. Even masterpieces have slight imperfections.
  3. Remind yourself of the goodness of your partner and your relationship. I would suggest thinking about the last happy moment you had with your partner and rehearse that experience.
  4. Put the perpetual issue into perspective. If perpetual issues only come up 10% of the time, then you can rejoice over the 90% of the time that your relationship is thriving.
  5. Seek mutual understanding. A very important place to start is to consider your partner’s perspective. How is he/she experiencing the situation? What is your partner’s experience with you when the perpetual issue arises?
  6. Lay pride aside. Pride will only worsen the experience of the perpetual issue and delay or prevent its resolution.
  7. Repair, repair, repair. I repeated repair three times because it’s just that important. Do you remember when I said that all couples experience perpetual issues – even happy couples? However, the response of happy couples is different from unhappy couples. Happy couples successfully repair when perpetual issues arise. They speak directly to their partner’s apology language, and their efforts lighten the emotional load of the perpetual issue.
  8. Recognize and acknowledge your partner’s good intentions. At the end of the day, your partner has a good heart. It’s important that we see and acknowledge this.
  9. Avoid shutting down. The frustration related to the reoccurring nature of the perpetual issue may tempt you to shut down completely. There is hope, my friend. Things can get better, but it’s important that you show up with your best self to be the change you want to see in your relationship, which leads me to my final tip below.
  10. Change your role in the perpetual cycle. What is the one thing you could do to make the perpetual issue better? How could you respond differently? How can you show grace? Changing your role will inevitably change the very nature of the perpetual issue and the culture of your relationship. Changing your role will get you one step closer to where you want to be, and it will change you for the better in the process.

Well, you know that I love you, and I’m rooting for you! May God bless you as you endeavor to handle the less than ideal situations in your relationship with love and grace! You got this!


Dr. Cassandra

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