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.

Deal Breakers Post-Marriage


When we get married we think “happily ever after” but we know that isn’t always true. Once in a marriage, we hope to have learned something about relationships, the type of person we are with, and how we ourselves act in relationships, or at least what patterns contributed to negative behavior patterns in our previous relationships. We think this is it, that we will stay with this person for the rest of our lives and become divinely happy. But oftentimes things come up that could put the relationship on the rocks, or wreck if for good. These are post-marriage deal breakers. Of course everyone has them. They may say “until death do us part” but there are perhaps other extenuating circumstances that could end a marriage way before that. For instance, what if your spouse lied to you for years after you got married about how many sexual partners they had, that the number was far more elevated than you were lead to believe? Is this grounds for divorce? What if they had a debt from gambling or some other vice that you knew nothing about? What if they had had an abortion or been a part of one? What if they lied about having a terminal disease such as cancer to gain an advantage? What if they had spent time in prison yet had never mentioned this dark period of their past to you? It’s easy to say you love someone no matter what, but when certain real life circumstances come up things get much more complicated.

When caught in a situation such as this, the first thing people ask themselves is “What should I do?” First calm down. Don’t start to fill in the gaps in the story with your own imagination. Lots of people start to imagine what the things they don’t know are instead of finding out for real what they are and they make the situation far more complicated than it already is. Some people start to believe everything is a lie and the whole relationship begins to unravel in their mind. Sure that’s a possibility but it’s probably not true. Still, you should courageously move forward and begin to find out what the truth actually is. Don’t lead with your ego. You may want to fight and argue with this person. You may want to retract all trust and intimacy from the relationship. You could want to use passive-aggressive behavior, sarcasm, trading barbs and many other negative approaches. But in the end this just complicates things even worse than before. Remove your ego from the situation and begin to see it logically. Why did they do this thing? Why did they conceal it from you? If you were in the same position would you consider doing the same thing yourself? Look at ways to move forward. Was it out of embarrassment that they lied to you? Was it that they didn’t want you to think less of them? Or was there some other, more vicious reason? Talk in depth to your partner and as the story unfolds your way forward will become clear. For more advice on this topic, read Deal Breakers: When to Work on a Relationship and When to Walk Away by Dr. Bethany Marshall.

Give Up these Outdated Phrases


Love, dating, sex and relationships have changed so much. Yet we still walk around with the same old thinking, the same dating advice, and the same tired phrases that don’t fit the modern state of love. We need to invent new verbiage and phrases to explain the kinds of interactions people are having today and talk more about how lovers should interact and what would be most beneficial to human happiness and society at large. To do that we have to let go of our old thinking and our old verbiage. Here are some outdated phrases about love that we should give up. “In a relationship.” This is fine if this is what you are actually in. But too many people assume that they are in a relationship when no one has said so. You can’t just assume. Exclusivity has to be verbally established. If you are just talking or hanging out, don’t be upset if your lover spends an evening with someone else. On the other hand, there are people who never even considered themselves having ever been in a relationship. But then they’ll talk about someone whom they loved, someone who broke their heart. That’s fine. But make sure you know the difference and it is clearly established.

Some people perpetually stay in the Facebook relationship status “It’s complicated”. But what does that even mean? Today’s dating landscape is confusing and hard. But if you can’t sum up what you are, then you really aren’t anything. You’re either dating or not. Why not make things easy? Complication though interesting will sooner or later wear you down.  Instead, look for straightforward relationships where you know what’s going on and you know where you stand. It shouldn’t be rocket science. If it is then this person is probably just too complicated to be worth your time. “There are no men!” This could be changed depending upon the circumstance to “There are no REAL men” and “All men are dogs.” But once the previous lackluster relationship and the aftermath is behind you, realize that there are eligible, single and worthwhile singles of both sexes out there in every town and city right now. All you have to do is be patient, keep trying and keep your head held high. Usually the person you want pops up when you least expect them to. “He said (blank), but…” If your significant other said they don’t want kids and you do or they don’t want to get married and you do, don’t stick around and think they’ll come around. Chances are they won’t. Know what you really want deep inside your heart. Once you figure that out, get out there. Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for. For more on contemporary courtship, read Modern Dating: A Field Guide by Chiara Atik.

Avoid Making Sarcastic Remarks Toward The Opposing

sarcasm in court

Both you and your legal counsel should avoid using sarcastic remarks directed toward your ex and the opposing legal counsel.  Try sticking to objective evidence and factual statements that are less emotionally-charged.  When you use sarcasm, you are demeaning the other person’s intelligence or some other personal aspect of that other person’s identity or ego.  Although you might succeed at irritating your ex and the opposing legal team, you will also add fuel to the emotional fire, which could make your own life more complicated.  The bitterness this sarcasm could stir up could end up creating more problems in the long run, as your ex might seek vengeance for your insensitivity.

Sarcasm should be especially avoided by your legal counsel by way of courtroom conversations and also written demos.  A battle of the egos could ensue between your legal counsel and that of your ex, distracting from the real issues of the divorce and making the process take even longer.  This is going to cost you and/or your ex more time and money going toward your divorce when the main goal is to get it over with quickly and efficiently.

Don’t allow your legal counsel and that of your ex to draw out your divorce in order to make an increased profit.  Make sure that all correspondences are practical and have productivity as their main objective, so that you can move forward as swiftly as possible.  Sarcastic remarks will only work as a hindrance to a final resolution, so they should be avoided and ideally eliminated by you and your legal counsel.


Refrain From Dating Until Your Divorce Is Finalized


Dating during your divorce could make a complicated situation even more complicated and confusing for the parties involved.  This is especially true if you have children from the marriage.  Dating someone else could be brought up against you in court, and make it easier for your ex to claim infidelity or deception during the marriage.  If you date during your divorce, try to keep it light and try not to get your family and close friends involved with the new person/people.  You can’t be completely sure if any of your family or friends will share your romantic life with others, and through the grape vine your ex could find out about it.

Aside from the possibility of dating being used against you in court, it’s also probably not the best time for you to start dating someone new from an emotional standpoint.  Your thoughts and emotions surrounding your divorce may not be completely clear, and it’s likely that you won’t know for certain what you truly want from a romantic relationship following your marriage.  It’s better to focus on what needs to be taken care of right now so you can create a clear space for someone new to enter, rather than dividing your energy between two people.

If you and your spouse separated some time before getting divorced and you’ve had ample time to consider what it is that you want, it’s still wise to refrain from getting involved in anything too serious if you can.  There is always the possibility that you met someone new and fell in love, but if this is the case, do this new person a favor by taking the necessary steps to resolve things with your ex.  If there are residual problems from your marriage, they will likely become intertwined with your new relationship, which is an unfair scenario for your new partner.