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Simon says, “Accept and deal constructively with the ups-and-downs in your relationship.”

Have you ever been on a roll, experienced those times when everything comes up aces? It is likely safe to say that you had little trouble accepting and dealing constructively with the good times. Long-term relationships have those “ups” too and they are equally easy to handle. In the ups-and-downs world of relationships, though, there is a most challenging aspect: the down times, times when there is conflict, times when things are not going well. Were it not for this tiny glitch, having a quality long-term relationship would be so simple that everyone could manage it on a problem-free basis, every time.

It is true too that this tiny glitch would not be there if you and your significant other would just stop growing and changing, if things always worked out as expected, and if the big world would only settle down and behave itself. Therein lies the problem. People and circumstances keep changing and that screws things up. Granted, sameness would soon get rather boring but it would have its up-side. You would not have all those problems to deal with and the ups-and-downs would be a meaningless concept.

Alas, change is here to stay. You and your significant other will have to just continue working on those problems that keep coming up from time-to-time. It does look like Simon could have a better strategy for you here but he does not. If you ignore the problems and issues that come up now and then, they will worsen and eventually force you to deal with them. Should you choose to walk away, that will not eliminate the difficulty either. The problems will follow you; and if they do not, you will run into new ones that may be more exasperating than the ones you left behind.

It is worth knowing that people tend to manage most problems quite well, all things considered. Even if they are not able to achieve a positive resolution, they accept the situation and go on. The exception is when nagging problems lead to tension and conflict. Simon’s advice is neither miraculous nor surprising. “Hang-in there when there is tension and conflict in your relationship.” Hang-in patiently and gently, listen and learn, think and talk, be attentive and self-disciplined, and do not forget that you really are getting “best effort.”

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