Emotional Wellbeing


Mandy Kloppers

How to survive a rough patch in your relationship


How to survive a rough patch in your relationship

There is a big difference between experiencing a rough patch and basically being incompatible. Rough patches usually come about when there is an unexpected illness, financial loss or other temporary set back. Do not confuse a rough patch with incompatibility which has more to do with the inability to communicate effectively and/or see eye-to-eye on many things. If you say “white” and your partner tends to answer “black” most of the time your issue may be incompatibility.

Back to the issue of rough patches – a rough patch is a period of unease. Perhaps one of you is under more stress lately or you feel the fun has gone from your relationship. It is common for sex to stop during rough patches and this can make things worse by decreasing intimacy and the sense of connection.

How to cope with a bad patch

Communicate – express yourself. Get it out somehow. If you can’t talk to your partner, see a friend or a therapist but learn to talk to keep yourself from becoming angry and resentful – maintain inner equilibrium to keep perspective.

Discuss difficult feelings – it’s much easier to pretend everything is fine but it is important to talk about what you are afraid of or what is bothering you. Try talking to each other and if the discussion gets heated, take a break. Another tip is to hold a small ball (like a tennis ball) when you are talking and once you are finished hand it to your partner to respond. Only the person holding the ball is allowed to talk. This encourages listening.

Work on yourself – look at the part you have playing in bringing about the current situation. Never get into the ‘blame game’ as that never solves anything. You can’t expect your partner to provide you with something that you don’t know how to give to yourself.

Rough patches can be worked through. Be careful not to catastrophise or make assumptions and believe that the whole relationship is at risk. All relationships go through rough patches. Hang in there…..

Mandy X