Dealing with a partner who seems more like your number one enemy than the person you fell in love with is extremely difficult. No doubt this very stressful situation has taken its toll on you, and you may feel like everything you try to do to help the situation only makes things worse. First of all, know that you are not alone. Every couple has their problems, and thousands of men and women have gone through periods where they feel like their partner is more their enemy than their lover. Knowing that you are not alone may help ease the pain, but it will not solve the problems in your relationship. Below is a list of several tips that can help you deal with your difficult partner.
Identify the Problem(s)
The first step to solving this issue is to identify the problem or problems between you and your partner. Chances are that the problems between you did not occur overnight, so it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for the issues in your relationship. You should try, however, to identify at least a few major issues concerning you and your partner’s relationship. Identifying the problem(s) first will make it easier for the both of you to work through them one at a time. While this is a difficult and emotional process, it will help you recognize what you are up against.
When relationships are in turmoil, it is vital that each partner creates boundaries. These boundaries are designed to keep each partner safe and prevent arguments from escalating to a dangerous point. Some standard boundaries include no phone calls at work, no blocking a partner from leaving the room, no violence and no abusive language. You need to evaluate your own relationship and needs to determine what type of boundaries you require to feel safe and what will prevent you or your partner from allowing an argument to get out of hand.
Build a Support System
One of the most important things you can do for yourself during this difficult time is to build a support system. This is a group of people who you can turn to and discuss the problems you are having with your partner and how this makes you feel. Family and friends are the obvious choice to turn to for support, but sometimes in these difficult situations it is hard to share specific details with those closest to you. An alternative is to join an online support group. This allows you to chat with people around the world who are experiencing similar problems in their relationships. You can also join these groups without disclosing your name, which may make it easier for you to share some of your problems. Organizations, such as religious institutions and hospitals, may offer other types of support groups that meet regularly in your local area.
As difficult as it may be, you and your partner must start talking through some of your problems. These discussions should be used to work through your problems, not just to rehash the past. It is extremely important that both you and your partner have created your boundaries before you start talking. You should also be prepared to hear things that are painful and hard to deal with, but it is better to have everything out in the open. Remember that your problems took years to form and it is going to take time, hard work and patience to work through them
Pick Your Battles
As you identify problems between you and your partner, you may have a laundry list of complaints and issues, but you cannot work through all of these problems at one time. You must learn to pick your battles and decide what is truly important to you. Determine the top two or three issues that are most important, and work on them first. Focusing on just few problems at a time will make it easier for both you and your partner. You may also find that several other issues are resolved as you work through the main problems. A relationship is a continuous work in progress, and not a race to the finish line. Take your time and effectively work out your issues little by little.
Seek Professional Help
It is possible that the issues between you and your partner are too severe to handle on your own. In cases like this, it is essential that you seek help from a trained professional. A professional counselor can help you learn to communicate better with your partner and help you effectively work through your problems. If you or your partner are dealing with an addiction or struggling with a mental illness, it is especially important to seek professional help. These issues are too complex for you to deal with by yourself and a professional will provide the necessary services and medications.
If you are dealing with an abusive relationship, the most important factor is to protect you and your family. These types of relationships can be very explosive and dangerous and affect both men and women. If you find yourself in this type of situation, the best thing is to leave the relationship or put a distance between you and your partner until he/she receives the necessary help. If leaving is not a current option, start creating a getaway plan, so that you will quickly be able to leave if the situation worsens. Online forums, as well as local community organizations can provide you with a wealth of information about abusive relationships and give you tips on how to stay safe.
If your partner has become your enemy, you are likely feeling lost, alone and confused. The tips above can help you start dealing with your issues and working through them. Reaching out to others in similar situations, whether through local support groups or online forums, can provide you with support and additional resources. Most importantly, know that you are not alone and that help is available to assist you through your problems.