Mandy Kloppers

Handling a bad patch in a relationship

Handling a bad patch in a relationship can be emotionally challenging. When things aren’t going well in our personal lives, it can have a knock-on effect on other parts of our lives – our jobs, our appetite, sleeping patterns and so on.

Bad patches can have varying degrees of severity, often due to the length of time the underlying issues have been left without being dealt with. So what can you do when handling a bad patch in a relationship?


Don’t catastrophise

When going through a bad patch, it’s common to wonder whether the realtionship will come to and end. Break ups are one of the most emotionally devastating experiences we can go through and the thought of a relationship ending can cause unbearable hurt. Many couples going through bad patches do manage to resolve their issues so it’s best to take it one day at a time and not catastrophise about what might be in a negative way.

Review your attitude

Have you become complacent in your relationship? Do you take each other for granted? Do you focus on all the negatives and overlook the positives? Make a list of all the things you do like about your partner. Are they patient when you spend an hour reading on the loo? Do they let you watch your favourite TV programme when their favourite programme is also on at the same time? Look for the little concessions that they make for you that they don’t have to. Examine your attitude – are you being fair? It’s easy to imagine that we will be happier without our partner, and in some cases, this will be true. Sometimes though, we have a perfedtly good relationship but lack of communication or a ‘negative filter’ have led us to feel less towards our partners and this can be temporary. Keep perspective and look at how you may be contributing to the bad patch.


Problems don’t just resolve themselves. Communication is key. If you find that you aren’t communicating, find a decent counsellor to help you open up the dialogue again. Couples often get into a rut where they pretend everything is fine and carry on as if there is nothing wrong even though both people know there are issues that need addressing. This could be anything from a lack of sex to growing apart due to not spending enough time together. Whatever it is, when communication diminishes, the chances for a longterm happy relationship reduces as well.

Problem solve

What are the issues? How can you find a win-win outcome where you both get your needs met? It’s a complete waste of time to argue about who is to blame or whose fault it is for your current bad patch. Instead, to effectively survive a bad patch you both need to put your heads together and find ways to deal with the problems. brain storm together without being critical of each other’s ideas. See yourself as a team rather than two individuals who can’t see eye to eye. if you are committed to the relationship, it is worth problem solving and communicating until you are both happy with the solution.

If you are fighting over who is more tired and who does more, get someone in to help with the housework. If that’s unaffordable, draw up a list of who does what and stick it on the fridge. Be creative.

Most relationships hit a rough patch at some time. It can actually be a good thing as it encourages you to take a fresh look at the relationship. Relationships take work – they need regular work to keep ging and if you neglect each other there will usually be negative consequences.

See the bad patch as a temporary glitch, a warning to put more effort back into each other. A bad patch offers you an opportunity to re-assess things which can’t be a bad thing.

Mandy X



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