This guest article from Psych Central was written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.
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In her new book When Love Stumbles: How to Rediscover Love, Trust & Fulfillment in Your Relationship, Gunther shares a six-step healing plan to help couples overcome eight of the most common “stumbles” or problematic patterns in their relationships.
She devotes a chapter to how couples can surmount each stumbling block. Inside, we cover the eight common relationship stumbles most couples grapple with, as well as the six steps to help overcome them.
Briefly, here are the eight relationship stumbles:
- From fulfillment to disillusionment: “You don’t seem to care the way you used to.”
- From excitement to boredom: “What happened to our spark?”
- From constructive challenges to destructive conflicts: “Why does every disagreement become an argument?”
- From sacrificing for your partner to self-preservation: “I can’t always put you first anymore.”
- From being a team to operating solo: “We used to do everything together. Now I handle most of my challenges without you.”
- From feeling unconditionally loved to being on trial: “Before, you loved me without question. Now I have to fight to prove my worth.”
- From focusing on the relationship to pursuing outside interests: “I know I’m gone a lot, but I need more stimulation.”
- From common goals to different dreams: “We just don’t want the same things anymore.”
Her process can help couples start having important conversations about overcoming these stumbling blocks in their relationships. Gunther suggests exploring these ideas first on your own and then talking it over with your partner. The key is to be honest and listen closely and openly to your partner. Don’t judge yourself or them. Also, if during the conversation, one partner gets too emotional, take a break.
1. “Go back to the beginning of your relationship.”
Remember the moments when you first fell in love, and share these memories with your partner.
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2. “Evaluate your current relationship.”
Talk to each other honestly about your feelings about the state of your relationship. Gunther suggests discussing both the negative and the positive. She also lists many questions to help you better understand your own feelings and communicate with your partner. Some of these include: