Couples face so many challenges along the way, it’s a wonder anyone stays together.

Whether it is finances, co-parenting, insecurity or any number of other issues, staying strong together through the tough times can be a pretty tall order.

Inevitably there will be ups and downs, but there are some ways you can work together to power through the difficult times in your relationship.

You may even come out stronger on the other side.

How to survive arguments in marriage and relationships?

Don’t make assumptions:

During difficult times, it can be easy to jump to conclusions about what one another is thinking or feeling. Resist the temptation to assume. Ask simple, straight-forward questions like “how are you feeling?” “and “do you want to talk about what’s on your mind?” Assuming you already know what or how the other is feeling can be a set up for misunderstanding and disconnect.

Schedule timed check-ins:

Sometimes a conversation needs to happen in a relationship, and it is difficult to find “the right time.” If times are tough in your relationship, schedule conversations every day (one hour, for example). If this time is set aside for talking about tough subjects, the “right time” will automatically be available to avoid lingering resentments.

Look for opportunities to praise and nurture:

Make an agreement with yourself that each day you will seek out ways to show your love and affection to your partner.

Look for the things you love about your partner, even the simple things, and point them out.

Make an agreement about physical touch and connection:

Often during tough times, physical closeness and affection can be the first thing to go. Talk about your need for physical touch.

Try to come to an agreement about being more physical, whether it is simple hand holding, back rubs or a hug. Human touch is so important and when you’re facing hard times is when you need it most.

Time alone/time together:

Be sure to give yourself a healthy balance of time alone and time with each other.

Spending time alone can help you get reacquainted with your own thoughts and feelings. Having alone time with your partner can help with reconnection and friendship.

Check your expectations:

Examine your expectations of your partnership. Your relationship shouldn’t meet every need you have and sometimes we forget this fact. Are there needs for connection and friendship that you can have met through other friends or peer groups?

Do you find yourself relying on your partner for self-esteem? Relying primarily on your partner for self-worth and validation puts undue pressure on the relationship.

Challenge yourself to identify things you like about yourself every day, independent of your relationship.

Some issues may require the help of a professional marriage relationship counselor. Teyhou offers online counseling or e-counseling in London and Los Angeles. Find someone who is experienced in couples work, Teyhou has several published on the topic of love and relationships. It may feel risky to bring your challenges to a stranger, but remember, therapists are trained, confidential and objective. Your information is safe and you may gain valuable perspective from someone outside of the situation.


  • Dr. Teyhou Smyth

    Performance Coach, Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Keynote Speaker, Licensed Therapist (#115137)

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