People looking for help with relationship problems often go to similar places. They call up their best friend and have a good old fashioned venting session. They lie on a couch and talk to their therapist about their partner's shortcomings. They scour the tear-stained pages of Cosmo or Men's Health for tips on making love work even after it's begun to fail.
They go to these places for a reason: each does indeed offer helpful tips and pointers. But, as useful as these places may be, sometimes people seeking advice need to think outside the box of tissues and try some areas more creative. So, the next time you're looking for help with relationship problems, consider these unique outlets:
1. Chat Rooms
Chat rooms may seem so 1990s or like they are only used by the two boys from Weird Science. But chat rooms are actually filled with people who have walked a mile in your shoes or many, many more miles. The key is to find the right kind of chat room. For example, a room filled with people talking about how to pick up women won't necessarily offer help with relationship problems. But, one filled with people talking about how to reconcile with their wives probably will.
2. Your Long-Married Grandparents:
For people who are lucky enough to still have their grandparents around, treasure them. Treasure them, but use them as well. I don't mean use them to get money or get free meals from Furr's Cafeteria; rather, use their life experiences. If your grandparents are still marred — or were until one became widowed — ask them to tell you how they did it.
They may see perfectly content and in love to you — because, let's face it, grandparents always seem that way — but they've surely gone through tough times too. And, most have decades of advice already locked and loaded: just give them a reason to pull the trigger.
3. Your Goldfish
Going to your goldfish for help with relationship problems may seem silly. After all, your goldfish probably can’t talk (I don't actually know your goldfish and would hate to be presumptuous). But, their assumed silence is kind of the point. Talking things out with your goldfish allows you to vent to ears that will never tell, spread rumors or judge. Their silence also allows you to engage in self-reflection. Get all of your anger out on your fish tank before you make the mistake of taking it out on your partner.
4. Your Partner's Best Friend
Getting advice from your partner's best friend may seem a little bit, on their behalf, like sleeping with the enemy. They are your partner's best friend, not yours. But, if you do this tactfully, they can also be a wonderful source of guidance.
The number one rule to this approach is not to bad mouth your partner. That'll only make their friend defensive and uncomfortable. Thus, instead of saying "Tommy has been such an asshole lately!" say something like "I'm worried about Tommy, he seems so down." If you play it right, your partner's best friend may be able to offer you worlds of insight, better allowing you to fix whatever is broken.
The works of the Bard may often be tragic, but they are also incredibly romantic. From a Midsummer Night’s Dream to The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare knew how to write beautiful love stories. So, while he might not directly help with relationship problems — not, at least, without a séance — reading his plays can help put two things into perspective:
- 1) Every relationship has its ups and downs.
- 2) Good relationships are worth fighting for.
Don't be afraid to explore the possibilities because you may find your best answers in the least expected places.
To learn where else to get help for relationships, click here.
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