The early, joyful stages of a relationship may lull you into a false sense of security, and the thought of having to work hard to make your partnership function, might seem like something other couples might need to do, but not you.
However, as is the case with most couples whose relationship has progressed past those early stages, they will find themselves having to work to ensure that both of their needs, wants and desires are being met fairly.
This is perfectly natural and often nothing to worry about, but it can sometimes be difficult to know whether the amount of work you’re putting in is acceptable, and there may be times when one feels the other is not as committed to the partnership due to their lack of give and take.
What qualities must be present for a relationship to be worth the work?
If both parties are willing to persevere to make the relationship work, and trust that it will all be worth it in the long run, then half of the battle has already been won. True perseverance means making a sustained effort, together, to face the challenges that may arise throughout life and trusting that this perseverance will be fruitful and lead to a more harmonious life.
Relationships can be learning curves for us all:
We should probably go a little easier on ourselves and remember that learning to live with, or date another person, can be a lot like learning any new skill. Even if you feel that you knew your partner very well before you got together, knowing them intimately and spending more time with them can bring out many other sides of their personality, and vice versa.
Understanding their nuances and characteristics can be challenging and may take time, and we may need to develop a whole new set of skills to respond to them appropriately. While this may sound as if it’s killing the romance of a relationship, it’s important to acknowledge and accept that not everything comes naturally to us all.
How long should the hard work last?
This is a difficult question and the answer will be different for everyone. Some couples will openly admit that they must continually work hard at their relationship in order to have some semblance of normality and happiness, but if they are not constantly miserable or feeling under-appreciated, then this may be normal for them.
The key is knowing yourself inside out, being honest about your expectations of your relationship and trusting your own experience. If you feel as if your hard work is beginning to get you down and you’re not certain how your partner feels about things, then it may be wise to involve an intermediary who can speak to you both professionally and from an outsider’s perspective.
If you’re concerned that your relationship is requiring too much work, or you simply don’t know how to begin working to make things better, then it may be time to make an appointment to talk things over with a trained counselor or therapist.