Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

a problematic couple

Dealing with a Relationship that’s complicated

Sometimes you meet someone. Things move along smashingly well. Little problems come up and you try to accommodate them. Then more problems come up and you are trying to deal with or accommodate them more and more until you are just overwhelmed. You’re dealing with a relationship that’s complicated but you don’t even realize it, since each problem seemed to creep up slowly, all on its own. Some people are in denial about the complications in their relationship due to how emotionally attached they are to a person. The truth is that dealing with so many complications can leave you exhausted. And are both people getting equal time and energy bestowed upon them?

There are all kinds of things that can complicate a relationship. There are someone’s pet peeves coming to bare one right after another. Working through infidelity can make a relationship very complicated. Sometimes insecurities can creep in. Falling out of love, squabbling, or hurt feelings on both sides can all make a relationship difficult. Manipulation or neediness can also complicate a relationship. Once things get complicated, it can be draining, and a lot of hard work. Relationships are supposed to be fun. But if yours is weighing you down, think about whether you’ll be ending it or trying a new tactic to renew your relationship.

No problems in any relationship are solved merely by dwelling on them. Each relationship is different and brings with it different problems. However, the issues you bring to the relationship are the same. Start to realize what emotional baggage you have from past relationships or from your parents and how they affect this relationship. Does this tie in or exacerbate the complications? Next, approach your partner. Pick a good time to talk about the situation. Put your electronic devices and all other distractions to the side and invest some time into talking about the issues. Get rid of blame. Jettison shame. Talk about how you feel. Ask how your partner feels about that and start a beneficial dialogue going.

If you have too many big problems perhaps tackle a little one, celebrate that success and use the momentum to try and affect a larger problem. If the problems are too difficult, if your partner is hurting you or taking advantage of you in some way, if the patient is dead with no hope of revival, or you feel that you give and give and get nothing in return, then don’t be afraid to break up with the person. Give it your best shot. But when it’s not worth it or doesn’t feel right any more learn to walk away and cut your losses. For more advice read, Women Are Crazy, Men Are Stupid: The Simple Truth to A Complicated Relationship by Howard J. Morris & Jenny Lee.

Little Things that Annoy Him if He’s not into you

NotIntoYou

Little Things that Annoy Him if He’s not into you

When we first fall in love, we often ignore the little things a person does that can be irritating. We even find someone else’s idiosyncrasies to be cute or endearing.  But if the little things you do annoy him than he’s really not into you. Either that, or he has a very A-plus personality, OCD or is just really anal. But how can you tell whether or not this guy is really rigid or if he’s not into you, when little things that you do annoy him? Not to worry, there are some surefire signs that he’s not feeling you.

If you’re watching what you eat, or have a certain diet, a guy who is into you will accommodate you as best he can. He’ll buy gluten free bread if you aren’t eating the stuff when he makes you two sandwiches for a picnic. He’ll steer clear of carbs, if he’s making you dinner. But if he makes fun of your diet, and fails to accommodate you, it’s not just the way he is, he’s not into you. Do you ever talk about your mom in front of him? The mother daughter relationship is very complex. If you ever have, see how he reacts. If he tolerates listening to it, even finds it informative, he’s interested in you. If he wants you to quickly change the subject, even though it’s important to you, he’s really not that invested in your relationship.

Do you ever share your worries with him? How does he react? If he thinks their cute, or even endearing, or if he tries to give you advice, calm you down or help you he’s totally into you. If he belittles your concerns, not so much. If you tell them you miss them, how do they respond? If they get annoyed about it, they don’t really want a long term thing with you. But if they can’t wait to see you, or come home to you, they are into you.

What about your hobbies, passions and interests? Oftentimes, couples have some interests in common and some that the other doesn’t enjoy. But if you are say a fantastic skier and he’s not, if he really likes you he’ll give it a try. No matter what you’re interested in, if he really likes you, but it isn’t his thing, he’ll at least think it’s cute that you like it, and once or twice or once in a while do it with you. A guy who doesn’t will complain about your hobby. And he won’t go out of his comfort zone to share it with you, to understand you better or get closer to you. Because he really isn’t interested in going the distance with you or for you. And if that’s what you want, why not find someone that does go the distance for you and who does go the distance with you. It’ll make all the difference. For more advice read, He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.

Signs you May have Found the One

happy

Signs you May have Found the One

So you’ve found someone you’re really into, and they seem really into you, and the chemistry is incredible. But how do you know if you may walk down the aisle with this one? There are signs that you may have found the one.  One of the first areas to check are your likes and dislikes. Do you two like the same type of movies, music, books, and hobbies and so on? The more alike your tastes the better a match you are.  It can be a surprise when you belt out a few notes to a song and your sweetie picks up where you left off. But it can also be a sign that you two are a really great match. How do you both act when talk of the future comes up in conversation? When you bring up taking a vacation in the summer when it’s winter, does your sweetie flinch, or are they excited? If talk of the future doesn’t scare either of you but in fact excites you or makes you both feel good, it’s a good sign that this relationship is ready to move on to the next level. If you aren’t sure, bring up something you’d like to do with them a little in advance, say a few months or so and see how they respond. But don’t make it a big deal like spending New Year’s in Paris if you two aren’t in that place in your relationship yet, or else you have a good chance of scaring him or her off.

Lots of people believe that introducing your love interest to your parents is the big one. But the real test is your friends. Your family’s opinion is important. But you can’t choose your family. Your friends however are another matter. Your friends are actually a reflection of who you are inside. So if they don’t fit in with your clique how can they fit in in your life? If you’ve ever had something serious happen when you were dating, if you found that you could depend on him or her to get your back, help you out and be there for you, then this is a great sign that you could have found your perfect match. Do you two think in terms of me or in terms of we? If every time a social commitment comes up you say you have to check with your lover’s schedule, and they do the same to you, then congratulations you are already thinking as a unit, and there’s a good chance you’re ready to bring your relationship to a higher plane. Do you accommodate each other? If your sweetie is lactose intolerant and you found yourself only buying that kind of milk for your kitchen, you definitely want to stay together long term. Do you text or email throughout the day with little things you want to share? If so, you guys are in tune with each other. If you go places by yourself and you and they are reminded of the other throughout the day, then you are in love and they are always with you, because they’re on your mind. For more on this topic, read Are You the One for Me?: Knowing Who’s Right and Avoiding Who’s Wrong by Barbara De Angelis, Ph.D.

Forming a Retirement Plan as a Couple

finance-issues-and-couples

You certainly can’t depend on social security as a means for sustaining you throughout your golden years. One of the most important things you can do in your life is saving for retirement. Financial experts state that the best time to start is as early as possible, generally when people start working full time in their twenties. Even if you are farther along, saving for retirement should start right away. One of the biggest issues couples fight about is money, that’s no surprise. So it’s important for you to sit down with your spouse and decide how you will plan for retirement. If you and your spouse have different visions of what retirement is going to look like, how to save for it and how much to put away per paycheck you could have a problem. Having a sit down meeting or more than one with your partner about saving for retirement and forming a plan as a couple is probably one of the most important things you can do to secure your future. What are your plans? Do you want to live a simple life? Take part in some of your hobbies? Travel or indulge is some dream you’ve always wanted to accomplish but never had time for? Write it down and then share it with your partner. Ask what they envision. Do your visions fit? If not, how can they both be accommodated?

Then there are some more practical questions such as when is it best to retire, how much will you need to live comfortably and what compromises will you both need to make to make your retirement dreams come true? Once you have a figure in mind it’s time to get busy figuring out how you are going to reach that goal. What is your income status? Are both of you working? How much will you put away from the paycheck or paychecks each week, two weeks or month depending upon how often you are paid? If one of you isn’t working or you have children certainly those things need to be taken into consideration. Next look at the retirement options available to you such as an IRA, you or your partner’s company’s 401K plan and others and see which one best fits your needs. Commit to a certain amount that is put away and don’t veer off. Have a system put in place that you both like that will help you retire. Keep in mind any financial situations such as if you are planning to have a baby, start a business, put a second mortgage on the house and so on and take that into consideration when doing your calculations. Revisit the issue every five years and see if your plan is on track or if you need to adjust or even revisit it. Saving for retirement, having a plan and putting it into place will ensure that the golden years are the happiest of your life. For more advice on this topic, read The Big Payoff by Sharon Epperson.

Setting Boundaries in a Relationship

boundaries

Setting boundaries in a relationship is necessary to its overall health. Sometimes we tend to tolerate the things our romantic partner does that offend, annoy or hurt us but don’t speak up, especially in the beginning. We let it all build up and explode at them. Then a fight ensues and the turmoil drives both parties apart. Your partner may have never known there was a problem to begin with. At other times you keep giving in little by little until there’s nothing left. We hate to say no to our loved one. It makes us feel horribly uncomfortable. But the truth of the matter is that without setting up boundaries and being assertive we’ll be walked on by anyone. They don’t mean to do it. But it you don’t draw the line somewhere then there is no line that can be crossed. Everyone needs boundaries to know how to operate and interact with others. So how do you set boundaries in a relationship? The first thing to notice is what things you can tolerate and what you cannot. Some people need a modicum of privacy, even from their spouse or significant other. When you need some alone time, let them know in a positive way. Perhaps schedule it each week so that they know. If certain things that they do annoy you let them know in a calm manner. And perhaps share some strategies on what alternative behaviors would indeed be acceptable.

You may feel the need to forgive your spouse for such behavior. But if you just keep forgiving them they will keep doing the offensive thing. If you are naturally shy, a people pleaser or aren’t used to speaking up for yourself, perhaps try this strategy and see if it works for you. It’s an acronym called ASSA. It stands for Alert, State, Sell, and Agree.  First, alert; let the person know that you want to speak with them about a particular issue you see coming up that is bothering you. Don’t use emotional language. Don’t blame. Simply state what you want to talk to them about, the thing that has been bothering you. When the time comes, state what it is that they did to offend you. Use “I” statements. Let them know how you feel. Say “I feel upset when you…” and tell them what the offending behavior was. Now it’s time to tell them what other behavior would best replace this one. “I would feel much better in the future if you would…” Have a couple of alternatives available if you can. Now it’s time to seek agreement. Do they agree? Is there some aspect that you didn’t think about? What other accommodations can be made for their needs? Negotiation and compromise are key at this stage. Be honest. Lying is only going to make things worse, perhaps even damage the bond of trust. And make sure that you stay calm. Getting upset isn’t going to help. Your romantic partner will just reject what you are saying because it will make them defensive. Setting boundaries will make both of you happier and provide for a healthier, happier relationship. To explore this topic further, look for the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.