Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

How To Make Your Relationships Last

Bad communication is the #1 killer of relationships. Although it may not be what starts a fight, your verbal abilities will decide if your relationship survives the damage.

Because when things get heated, we tend to lash out.

And it doesn’t matter if we enter the relationship determined to be kind.

As we get closer to someone, it’s unavoidable to fall over certain traits and quirks of theirs that rile us up.

Their predilection for loud crunchy foods, how they peel an onion, their speech patterns, and the way they pack a suitcase for a weekend trip will eventually be enough to trigger strong feelings of frustration and bewilderment.

Before you know it, you’re having a discussion about a sprinkle of spilled coffee grains on the clean kitchen counter.

Even though the talk might be mature, the message is clear:

You’ve done something your partner doesn’t like.

And depending on your mood, that realisation might chip away at your self-esteem. If you’re particularly mushy and vulnerable, you may even question if your partner really loves you.

After all, a partner should just accept and love you for who you are. Right?

Who are they to criticise anything you do?

But that’s misunderstanding what relationships are all about.

Being with you doesn’t mean they have to put up with your immaturity and other horse shit.

Relationships should make our lives better, not worse.

So it’s your duty as a partner to continuously improve yourself and remove your rough edges. That’s an act of love.

Once you stop experiencing the discontent of your companion as a personal attack, you start to see their feedback as an opportunity to love them better.

Now, hold up. 

I’m not suggesting to smile and nod as your partner flies off the handle. There’ll be times when the comments slung at your head have been tactfully designed to hurt you.

We’re emotional meat bags, after all. 

But these moments of hurt can easily be healed if the love is strong and you’re both big on responsibility and making amends.

Fights don’t destroy relationships, bad conflict resolution does.

The more effectively you communicate, the more you help your partner understand and love you. Making forgiveness much easier.

So don’t close up, speak up.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach