A Plan for a Relationship

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
I have been with my boyfriend for four years now. This website has really hit home for me. We've had some really really rough patches. Now things are better. I feel like I'm being overly picky about him. I guess that I was looking for prince charming, but now i realize that he doesn't exist.

I need to learn how to accept his faults. How do you know the line between a fault that you can accept and something that I should not have to put up with? I don't want to marry him if he's not something that I'm sure of.

Also, the website says something about having a plan when fighting. That's our main problem is that we don't really resolve our fights in my eyes. I just cry and he says he's sorry and I'm still upset. Can you help me with a plan or skeleton of a plan for when we start to fight?

Just so you know, he doesn't talk much when we fight. That's what drives me crazy. I talk and talk but he'll just be silent and look at me. HELP!!

RomanceClass.com Advice
While some people might say they're "100% sure" of a marriage, often those people are in the first few months of their relationship and still in the rosy-colored view of the world. People who have been dating or married for longer know that things AREN'T perfect - but that they are happy in general and that the person they're with is a best friend. They know that with this friend by their side, they can get through any difficulties life throws. Believe me, NO relationship is perfect. They all have ups and downs. It is the couples who can weather those ups and downs that survive. The ones that need things to be perfect run away as soon as they hit the first issue.

The key to a relationship is that you have to FULLY ACCEPT your partner - bad AND good. You shouldn't be "putting up with" things. That implies that you hate a part of the person but are trying to tolerate it. Those sorts of things will nag at you and eat you away like water torture. Either you accept it or you don't. I'm not saying you have to LOVE it. But for example, say that your boyfriend is always late. You can hate this, have it bug you every time, "put up with it" and eventually it'll drive you crazy. Or you can *accept* it, that he's just a late guy! You plan your life so you take this into account and it's a fun personality quirk of his.

It's like this. My dad used to live near a big city with lots of confusing one-way streets. Every time he went into the city he would get lost and get FURIOUS that he just wasted an hour getting lost. Finally, he realized this was pretty silly. He purposefully adjusted his plans so that he always headed into the city an hour early. If he got lost, he laughed about it and found his way out! And if he DIDN'T get lost it was an extra bonus and now he had time to do some sightseeing. It's all about how you approach things.

If your fights involve you yelling and crying and him staying silent, you really need to change how you handle disagreements. There shouldn't be any yelling or crying - which undoubtedly is making him silent because he doesn't know what to do! If he's being silent, then he's not escalating things - you are. So you need to take control here. If you guys hit an issue and you feel yourself getting upset - TAKE A TIME OUT. There is never any reason to continue a fight right then. When you feel you can talk about it reasonably without yelling or crying, then sit down with him and discuss it. If you get upset again, stop. Only you can control your emotions, and if you haven't been doing so up until now, it's time to start.

When you talk, explain that you will really say (NOT YELL) how you feel and that you want him also to say how he feels. It may be hard, but the whole basis of any relationship is two people who trust each other fully. If you haven't been doing this yet, it's really time to start. If you are bothered with how he feels, take time to think about it! But being upset at him telling you the truth is only going to make it less likely that he tells you next time. You have to be positive that he DID tell you his feelings, tell him how much you appreciate it, and then find a solution that you both can live with.

Sometimes you just agree to disagree. But you should never be yelling and crying. You should be TALKING.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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