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Monday, 31 January 2011

The 5 toughest tests of a relationship!!

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1. Planning a wedding
Being engaged is hugely exciting but once the dust settles many couples find the realities of joint event-planning less than scintillating. It’s a bit like working together – and that’s a whole different ball game from a romantic relationship. You need to treat this like you would a new work colleague: be patient, understand each other’s strong points, don’t expect the earth, and make your expectations and limitations clear from the start.

The dynamic differs from couple to couple, but there are usually issues: one of you might expect the other to do everything, or could be a control freak who takes over. Indecisive control freaks are particularly hard to handle: we suggest arranging regular meetings with bullet pointed agendas. Yes, it sounds boring but if you treat a wedding as a work project, you’ll get things done more quickly and have more time left to get excited about the fun stuff. This is your shared vision: be creative, share your dreams, make them happen – and make time to relax when the W word is definitely off the agenda.

2. Losing a job
Unfortunately, more and more of us will know how losing a job feels, but it needn’t be a disaster. Some of the greatest minds in history have been rejected countless times before they found their niche, and you can too.

If one or even both of you find yourselves between jobs, use the opportunity to make a list of your hopes and dreams. Think about your long-term goals, which are much easier to visualise when you’re not stuck in the daily grind with office politics weighing you down. This might be a chance to move house, city or even country together; you may find a joint project you can embark on.

But remember: this is also a time that can make a partner feel very vulnerable and lacking in confidence. Someone who’s lost a job needs sympathy and a good listener before they need a motivating pep-talk. Whatever you do, make sure you find quality time to make each other feel loved, supported and – when the time is right – capable and full of career promise

3. Losing a relative
Bereavement affects everyone differently: there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. But it’s likely that if you or your partner loses someone close, then your intense and ever-changing emotions will affect your relationship. We tend to take out our stresses on those closest to us, so the most important thing is to be open and honest about your feelings before you get to the “snapping” point. Try to share your thoughts while you’re sober and calm and remember that this is another time to give each other lots of physical love and affection – there may be a void that needs filling.

However devastating a loss is, it can throw a spotlight onto your relationship and show just how supportive and understanding your partner can be. If he really comes through for you now, you know he’s a keeper and the shared experience will bring you closer and bind you together forever.

4. Having an affair
Here’s a tricky one. Many would say that a dalliance signals the end of a partnership, that it’s a fatal sign that something – or someone - is essentially wrong. That’s often the case, but not always. Many wonderfully happy couples have patched it up after an affair and you have to take it on a case-by-case basis. Different couples have different rules, and a semi-conscious drunken one-night stand isn’t the same as a long-term love affair. Sadly, many people turn to others out of frustration with aspects of their relationships – aspects they haven’t felt able to confront their partner about.

However hard it may seem, the key is communication. Remember that talking through your worries could prevent a relationship meltdown – although we do suggest you pick your time and place (no-one likes a bleater). If you’re at the beginning of a relationship, vow to tell each other if anything happens with another party – and stick to that. Honesty brings you closer and if you decide to part ways, so be it. But don’t let a lack of communication bring a potentially strong relationship down.

5. Buying a house

This is said to be one of the most stressful situations anyone can suffer, and with reason. Horrid paperwork, agonising decisions, hard graft, social sacrifices and the futile desire for a crystal ball… Sharing a process like that with anyone is tricky and with a partner it can be even harder as so many emotions are involved.
Don’t shoulder the burdens yourselves: talk to other friends who’ve been through the same. And accept that buying property is going to haemorrhage more cash than you’ve ever spent on designer handbags. Make sensible, informed decisions – now is not the time to be rash. But try to keep a perspective on the big picture: you are in this for the long haul, and that takes sacrifices. Sacrifice ain’t fun in the short term, but it’s what could make you madly happy in five or 10 years time. You’ve got to be in it to win it. Good luck!


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