How fast should a relationship problem be fixed? How long should it take to solve a problem between a couple? Or, when going through a rough patch, how fast should your relationship recover?
It’s 3am and nothing is resolved.
Your tired. Angry. Possibly hungry. Your mouth is now dry. And you’re probably raging inside feeling unloved or so sick of staying up you can’t hold your head up and just want to be left alone.
Now, logically, it depends how big or small your problem is.
If it’s tiny, like a 1, on a scale of 0-10 (0 being not bothered, and 10 being the worst thing that could happen in your relationship), then 1 is an easy problem to fix. You’ve probably already figured out a way to solve it by the end of this sentence.
But if it’s more than a 3, you might be thinking, “How do I get rid of this issue? Yesterday?!?!”
Don’t feel wrong in any way if you feel like you’re problems seem to be recurring. That’s the main question we get: how do I get this problem to stop happening over and over again? Even more so, how long will this take?
We know you have a life. We’re all busy people, or try to have as much free time or downtime as possible. We hate pestering issues interruptig our life.
So as your relationship issue expert exterminators, we can give you a quote of ….. lemme see ….. let’s crunch the numbers ….. still counting ….. how ‘bout you tell us. How much time you got?
Wait, wait, don’t run away. Remember, running away from your problems isn’t necessarily helping.
We’re not trying to take up all your time, but how much effort are you willing to give for how long?
It’s sounds like a con, but really, it’s not! This matters.
The speediness in how quick you can solve an issue depends on 2 things:
1. Your willingness to take baby steps:
You can’t expect things to be different on day 1. Forget losing 10 pounds on day one of your combo diet-exercise plan. You can’t get your teeth straighten on day 1 of wearing your braces. You can’t beat Serena Williams in your first tennis match. Probably not ever on that last one, but a girl can dream.
Real change isn’t possible overnight.
It would be unrealistic, too painful, or butcher our egos. And it’s not like you don’t know. Obviously this makes sense to you.
But we’re hard-headed and fool ourselves into thinking things can change drastically.
We’re swept away by fairy tales of strangers making us happy for the rest of our lives. Or, as all good stories, have a climax, we expect this huge climax where everything will fall into place to give us a happy ending. But it doesn’t work that way. Take trust for instance.
Can you trust a stranger to never let you down, not betray you, use you, abuse you in any way, on the first day of knowing them?
Please don’t say yes! The reason you need time, most specifically baby steps, because you need to build it slowly, whatever it is you want to build or create.
Smaller changes are firm, overnight changes are iffy.
For example, to build trust, you probably want someone who will be there for you day in and day out. You want to see their loyalty everyday. One day of adventure can’t replace those small everyday moments.
Hollywood really can’t make a movie out of this, I agree, this sounds boring, but it is what really fulfills us.
Don’t cause yourself more grief, disappointment, or pain. Forcing something to happen overnight isn’t stable.
I know, what a yawner. What monotony!
Might as well add a little more excitement in my life and only make an effort sometimes, only do the baby steps sometimes, or hope my partner slips, so we can have a dramatic fight, and keep things exciting and passionate.
Caution: You might not want to do that, here’s why.
If you only follow through sometimes, work at your problems sometimes, keep your promises sometimes, you’re not making things exciting and passionate, you’re looking pretty unreliable and uninvolved.
We’re not going to sugarcoat this for you and make things super easy for you—we don’t do it for our son, so we for sure won’t do it for you. We’re not going to tell you “oh, there’s a way to speed up fixing your problems without feeling monotonous, without the baby steps. You like things quick & easy, here’s some tips to make your partner do what you want for every problem you have.” Good luck with that!
Being consistent proves your reliable. No matter how redundant this sounds, it’s what makes you feel assured about your relationship.
You want things to change? You want your partner to consider you on the things that matter to you? Then roll up your sleeves and make tiny itty bitty steps.
Here’s how to avoid the expiration date on solving an issue:
What’s required is not to delay too long after a problem occurs to talk about it. While you may not solve it right away, but it’s no good for your relationship to ignore it for too long.
Research shows the happiest couples talk about their issues soon after they occur, if not immediately. Waiting too long can be damaging. It’s like a windy storm in the middle of the sea; waiting for things to improve might not be promising, you may risk capsizing.
Happy couples can still have nasty disagreements, as long as they have the right kind of damage control.
Furthermore, couples, who split, tend to have a history of not resolving issues, or talking about issues hours or days later, allowing for each person to stew in negative thoughts.
It’s common that one partner will have more urgency for things to be resolved, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the other partner cares any less.
When you’re flooded with strong emotions or tears, it’s not the right time to try to solve something in the heat of the moment.
Rather, give yourself at least 20 minutes to cool down.
The point is to address the issue as soon as you’re both level-headed and calmed down. Not any later.
A problem can get better or worse, and the timing of when you try to solve it will determine which way the problem will go.
We discuss how to manage recurring problems inside our online program Win Every Fight—where you use conflict in your benefit and how you can approach your issues to build on your happiness and intimacy as a couple. Hope to see you there!
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