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When life throws the family a major curveball..


Regardless of what social media may seem to depict these days, tough times remain a reality for everyone. We all, at different times in our lives, face ongoing stressors such as sudden loss of job, unexpected health diagnosis, the death of a loved one, business venture failure, to mention just a few. However, one of the rewards of being in a HEALTHY relationship/marriage is that there is a partner to face these major life transitions with. Studies have shown that people who go through difficult situations but with adequate support system cope with it better than people who go through challenges alone.

The reality of life is that when glitches come, one person becomes intuitively stronger and the other party becomes precipitously weak and this doesn’t necessarily have to do with gender. It just implies that the one who is directly in distress seems to be fragile and the other person thus assumes the role of a pillar to lean on. The two people turn to each other for support and guidance and there is an instant sense of “we are in this together”. However, support doesn’t necessarily imply giving advice or opinions all the time, simple silence often goes a long way. Writing and dropping notes with words of encouragement helps the distraught partner to get through the situation easier.

It is also important to take a break from the difficult situation and make time to relax together. This could be in the form of planned or perhaps spontaneous healthy distractions, such as taking walks and watching funny movies in order to ease the situation. Healthy couples should adopt an attitude of “this too shall pass” and they can see [the situation] as a small piece of the puzzle of their lives and long-term relationship.

As individuals, we deal with situations differently. Partners should recognize this and respect these differences. It is fair to also affirm that men deal with situations differently from women. For instance, women may need to talk about what they’re going through with a girlfriend (BFF) while men may just need to engage in activities like playing soccer with friends.

Moreover, It is quite easy to fall into the trap of playing the hate game or pointing fingers, especially when one partner is responsible for the tough time, such as making a bad financial investment, but it is healthier to take the moment to not discuss an ‘had I known’ scenario just yet but focus on getting by the situation. This doesn’t mean the other partner has condoned the bad choices made, it just means that they are willing to let go of any emotional attachment.

The next time you scroll through the popular Instagram pages or view videos on snap chats and envy other people’s “relationship goals” or love stories, just bear in mind that all couples go through stressful events, crises and life-changing transitions. However, healthy couples get through them and get closer. As the popular saying goes-“We don’t always have choices about the cards we are dealt. But we do have choices about how we play those cards”