Rough Patches in Your Relationship and How to Get Past Them by Alek Sabin

Being in a relationship comes with inherent challenges that naturally arise when you decide to connect your life with another person. However, more relationships face major barriers than you might think, and working together to overcome these barriers could help your relationship become stronger than those that had no barriers in the first place.

So what are these relationship barriers that you should try working through if you think you’re in a
relationship that might stand the test of time? While of course, it would be impossible to come up with a
comprehensive list that details all of the hardships that relationships face, these are some of the most
common differences that arise, along with insights as to how couples work through them.

Spiritual Differences
Having different religious or spiritual beliefs can also be a major barrier, and it looks a lot like the
barrier of differing political beliefs. As with differing politics, many couples with different religious views
choose not to take it personally, and they look for things that they can agree upon. If you’re committed to
maintaining the relationship despite living by different set of beliefs, simply not bringing religion up often
might also help; but this depends on how each person involved comes to terms with their own spirituality,
and whether reflecting about spirituality regularly is a deep and inherent need for one person or both

Aristotle may have put it best when he said this: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it.” If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who believes
differently from you and feels that you want to have deeper spiritual conversations with that person, you
may still be able to have those conversations. You need not compromise your values when having these
conversations with someone who sees the world differently from you.

Financial Challenges
Planning for a future together can be extremely difficult when one person in the relationship has financial
setbacks, such as unresolved debt, poor credit, or addiction to spending money. Of course, the best
course of action here is to make a plan together for helping the one in debt get back on top of finances,
creating a budget and holding one another accountable for making smart financial decisions.

There is one advantage here for the person in debt: your outings and time together can be planned with a
budget in mind, and when you’re with someone who understands your financial situation, you’re less
ikely to encounter the awkward scenario of having to decline invitations to expensive things.

Mental Health Struggles
As of 2019, it has been reported that over 46% of adults in the United States will struggle with some sort of mental illness in their lives, at some point. When you consider 2 people in a relationship, that means it is incredibly more likely than not that at least one member in that relationship will deal with mental health challenges for a sizeable duration of time. It could be anything from general anxiety to something quite specific like body image issues.
Because of this, it is important to be well-equipped to help your partner through those times. It’s important to do research and educate yourself to help your partner so that you are setting your relationship up for continued growth and success. Examples of such research include learning about healthy coping mechanisms for mental health, or how you can help your partner during an anxiety attack. If the issue is body image, you could research ways to help improve the part(s) of the body that your partner is not happy with. There is plenty of help out there for the taking, and some can yield impressive transformations to really boost confidence that will then filter through into other parts of your partner's life, including your relationship. 

Political Disagreements
This might not be much of an issue if both of you tend to keep to yourself about politics—voting is a
private activity, after all—but if you both are rather strongly politically minded and tend to voice your
political opinions, this is something you’ll want to address. Many couples of differing political views, for
example, understand that differing opinions are not to be taken personally. You might stand on some
different foundational values, but that doesn’t mean that the two of you need to look down on one another.

In addition, it’s likely that there are some things that you can agree upon, even if those things pertain to
more abstract values. Many of these couples also choose to save their major political discussions for
time with others who might have similar views. If you know it’s going to stir up conflict, simply don’t talk
about it. (Just don’t let secret resentment grow below the surface as you do this.)

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