The Absolute Worst Thing You Can Do When Dealing With Problems In Your Relationship

This damaging behavior can destroy even the best relationship.

unhappy couple having relationship problems Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Your relationship has been smooth sailing lately, with no issues in sight. But then, as it often does, an argument with your partner pops up out of nowhere.

Since then, it might begin to feel like your relationship is headed in a downward spiral. And no matter what you say, it only worsens things.

So, what's causing this shift, and how did things turn out this way?

Psychologist Stan Tatkin discusses the biggest mistake you can make when facing issues in your relationship.


The Worst Thing You Can Do When Dealing With Problems In Your Relationship

So, what's the biggest slip-up in a relationship? According to Tatkin, it's sweeping problems under the rug.


He encourages us to, "Deal with painful feelings and experiences and get them off the table as soon as possible."

But what if we brush off these uncomfortable feelings? What can happen then? Well, they tend to pile up. We grow to resent one another and begin arguing over the smallest mistakes.

As you might guess, this can really damage your relationship in the long run.

Tatkin continues, "Nothing worse than a partner, usually an Island that says, 'I'm fine now. Why aren't you?' Or, 'Can't we just move on?'"

You must be able to efficiently and effectively deal with those painful experiences together. However, this isn't easy.

Tatkin says, "It takes more work, more time, more skill, but that, again, comes out of the mindset that we are a two-person system." That wherever you go I go. And if you're not okay then I'm not okay.


Understandably, these problems are challenging to work through. After all, learning to resolve conflict in any relationship is never easy.

So, how can you two tackle your problems together? The National University highlights three ways to navigate almost any problem in your relationship.

RELATED: How To Solve Problems In Your Relationship Without Breaking Up

Three Ways To Work Through Problems In Your Relationship

1. Express your thoughts and feelings head on

It's natural to want to put off dealing with conflict. Because let's face it, we all hate the uncomfortable conversations that come with it.

However, being direct is the best way to rip the bandaid off.


National University suggests, "To do so, open the discussion by showing consideration for your loved one’s feelings by saying, 'I care about our relationship.' Or, 'I know you don’t mean to upset me.'”

Describe the behavior that is bothering you and be sure to take turns talking. If your partner cuts you off accidentally say, "Please let me finish before you respond."

2. Don't blame your partner

Don't put all the blame on your partner; chances are, it's not all their fault. Moreover, constantly blaming your partner can cause your partner to become defensive.

And when your partner gets defensive, resolving conflict will be impossible. So then, what's the best approach?


Use "I" statements to express your emotions, says the National University. For instance, say, "I'm upset," rather than, "You made me upset."

This not only removes blame from your partner, but it also holds you accountable for your own actions.

RELATED: 10 Tiny Ways Couples Can Immediately Resolve Any Conflict


3. One argument at a time

Ever found yourself arguing about three different topics at once? It's easy to let our emotions run wild during a heated discussion. However, staying focused on one argument at a time is key to resolving conflict.

National University writes, "Your ability to solve one problem will get lost in the shuffle of trying to solve many problems, causing an argument to go nowhere."

Plus, when you focus on one problem at a time, it's a lot easier to find ways to fix things together.


Dealing with conflict in your relationship is hard work, but with these tips, you can manage them better and make your relationship healthier in the long run.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Resolve Conflict In Your Relationship When You're Sick And Tired Of Fighting

Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.