You CAN get through this.
When tension rises in your relationship, do you make demands or withdraw from your boyfriend? Relationships are complicated, and probably often, you and your guy enter a dance where one person pursues the conflict and the other pulls away from it.
In other words, if your guy is pulling away, you’re more likely to hit the accelerator and pursue him. It’s your way of resolving conflict and his way of avoiding it.
If you want to learn to handle your arguments in a safer and more effective way, take a look at some of this advice:
1. Stop pursuing him and give him a chance to breathe (and think).
You have to trust that your boyfriend cares about you and is committed to you. He’s not avoiding the intimacy; he’s avoiding the conflict. Wait until you both decide together that it’s the right time to discuss the issue. Doing this will avoid the emotional dance and help you move past the conflict faster.
2. Decide together that you will both change for the better.
Both you and your partner want to make changes, even when you’re stuck in this demand-withdraw pattern. It's unfair to tell him to change if you're unwilling to do so yourself, but if you have a common goal of resolution, you'll both fight less and love more.
3. Talk to him like his girlfriend — not his mother.
When he shuts down, it’s an effort to avoid the fight — not you.
When the timing is right (when you are both ready to discuss), approach the conversation in the same way you’d approach a friend. Talk calmly and stay relaxed. Listen and try to understand what he's is feeling. When you do, you’ll find the answers to why he withdrew and what you can do to avoid this dance again in the future.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the little things. It’s often in the small things he says or in a simple, caring gesture that he shows you how much he still cares. Instead of writing these things off, take a moment to appreciate his affections.
Is this dance a consistent struggle in your relationship? You’re not alone. Access the 5 Day Relationship Communication Challenge to show you how to avoid the distance and resolve conflicts faster with your partner.
This article was originally published at http://www.relationshipsuite.com/blog/. Reprinted with permission from the author.