When you realize the problems you have in your relationship are the same problems, or the same kinds of problems, that have been plaguing you for a period of time, it's time to come at them from a new approach.
And I do mean a new approach. It's kind of like when you go to your local shopping center. You probably use the same street and entrance every time. And you know what to expect. You know that over there on the left is the Gap, and up there on the far right is Nordstrom, and beside that is Pottery Barn.
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But what if you decided to drive around to the other side and take a new entrance? You'd see stores that you knew were there, but they get your attention in a whole new way.
So what about that problem you keep having with your guy? Can you figure out a way to look at it from a different perspective...approach it from a different entrance?
Here are some tips to help you do that:
1. The goal should be to sort out, together, whatever is going on so this 'issue' is no longer an issue. You both need to agree that you care about each other and want this to no longer get between you.
2. So the rules should be set out that there will be no name calling, no blaming, no anger. If any of those or other incindiary things begin to catch fire, then you must agree beforehand that you will take a break until you both cool down.
3. You need to tell him you take full responsibility for your part in this dance that goes on between you. That means you let him know that what you say, how you say it, whether or not you are trying to get a rise out of him, how you react and respond, all of it. Hopefully, he will realize that if you're willing to take responsibility for your part in this ongoing issue, that he should take responsibility for his side of it. But you can't make him.
4. Now, it's time to 'drive to the other side of the shopping center.' You need to see things from each others perspectives. Ask him: "Tell me how you see this situation. I want to know how you perceive my actions as well as yours." Then offer him your perspective.
5. Now that you understand each other's perspectives, which is often a big surprise, you must work together to come up with a plan to resolve things so this issue doesn't keep resurfacing. Work together the same way you would if you worked in an office together.
6. Remember that most of the time when things get out of hand, it's often simply a need to be right. Most hurt feelings, anger, resentment, etc. are pretty much a couple of kids having a squabble on the playground.
When you handle things this way, you get to be grown-ups. If it goes well, I recommend you tackle some of the other issues you've been dealing with and get them sorted out before they show up again.
Helping you make magic, everywhere you go,
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