How can I love solving problems

Good relationship: dealing with problems

"Dealing with problems" means not to push aside problems that arise in a relationship, otherwise they will keep coming back and there is a good chance that they will get worse and multiply.

Problems cannot be avoided, in every relationship sooner or later challenges come to the partner, small or even bigger problems. Then it is a matter of solving solvable problems and, in the case of "eternal" problems, working together to find a way to deal with them.

Helpful basic principles for dealing with problems, regardless of whether they are solvable or "eternal", are those already described: know each other, be in connection, respect each other. A solution, a compromise or even a temporary solution is easier to find if the partners show each other that they accept each other, understand each other and accept the other's perspective.

Solvable Problems are typically when they are attached to a specific situation in which the two partners (at the beginning) take different positions, have different opinions or pursue different goals. In contrast, problems "eternal Problems "if the problem is actually not caused by a specific situation, but by a deeper general conflict - in this case it is of little use to solve this one specific problem, as it will soon reappear in the same or a similar form due to the deeper conflict .
One and the same problem (for example: "She wants to go out and dance with him on Saturday evening - he wants to play poker with his friends on Saturday evening") can fall into the "solvable" category for some couples and "forever" for others . If it is not clear which category a problem falls into, it may be easiest to first solve the problem as specifically as possible (i.e. in relation to the situation). If it was a "solvable" problem, that is off the table - if it was of the "eternal" type, it will come back, maybe in the same, maybe in a similar way. Then it is important to change the approach to the problem (see below) in order not to get stuck as a couple, to become frustrated or to make it a stressful constant issue.

Solve solvable problems

Solvable problems are problems that relate to a specific situation without a deeper general conflict causing the problem.

The aim of the problem-solving process is to find a solution that both partners can live with without one or the other being ripped off or having to bend against their will. It may be that the solution is a compromise and that both approach each other. It can also be that the solution is introduced by one of the two and the other agrees, for example because he has understood the importance of a particular solution for the other.

In order to find a suitable solution to a problem, it is particularly important to find an appropriate communication style. That means in detail

  • Send I-messages ("I feel ..." / "I experience ..." / "I receive ...")
  • Perceiving and expressing feelings
  • describe instead of assess
  • be clear; do not expect the other to "read your thoughts", do not interpret yourself, but ask questions
  • if possible express things positively ("I wish ...") and not negatively ("I never get ...")
  • to listen
  • Admit wrong, apologize
  • signal approval to the other
  • Have a positive attitude towards the other person, have positive expectations for the outcome of the conversation
  • stay polite
  • Put yourself in the other's shoes

If something goes wrong in the dialogue, you can take a break, do something calming on your own and then come back into contact with each other ("which feelings, wishes and needs are currently important?")

If the conversation stops, you can try to summarize what has already been discussed and find out where there is already a common basis ("What do we agree on, what goals do we have in common, how can we achieve this goal?")

If necessary, there are offers (for example "A partnership learning program (EPL)") in which couples can practice very practically, with their own topics and communication patterns that are only helpful for themselves.

Learn to deal with eternal problems

How can you as a couple deal with "eternal" problems that keep coming back? In these cases the goal is not to find a common solution, but to learn to live with the problem together! Specifically, this means being able to talk about the problem as a couple without hurting each other and without increasing the problem.

In many cases "perpetual" problems involve very fundamental questions, such as "one of the partners wants a child, the other doesn't," "one of the partners has a strict parenting style, the other an easy one," "one of the partners is very economical, the other partner likes to treat himself to something ". Such differences then lead to specific problem situations that can be solved in individual cases (for example "we agree to take contraceptives this time" / "we agree that our child is not allowed to watch television tonight" / "we agree looking forward to not going on vacation this year "), but will soon be up for discussion again in this or a similar way.

So it is a matter of finding the cause in which a specific problem is founded. Typically, there are desires, longings, hopes or values ‚Äč‚Äčthat need to be discovered. The person in the relationship who has these wishes, dreams or needs sometimes first has to clarify for himself what exactly is missing, i.e. what is the cause of a specific conflict. If he knows this and communicates to the partner about it, he has the task of perceiving these needs and accepting that the partner has these needs.

Once that is done, both can talk about the feelings associated with it (for example, one of the partners may be sad that their need for their own children is not being met, and the other partner may talk about their fears that they are not a good father or mother These conversations are not about wanting to solve the current problem yourself, but about being in touch, understanding each other and thus defusing the topic a little. Perhaps it is possible to find a temporary compromise,