Relationships could take hard work to build but could break rather easily. Stress in a relationship is easy to come by. Working on issues that trouble a relationship and to mend it and keep it alive calls for willingness on both parties to a relationship.

We have or create or build so many relationships. There are filial ties, relationships with siblings, bonds between spouses, relationships with relatives and ties with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and neighbours.

There are natural relationships like between parents and children, or between siblings. Then there are acquired relationships like between spouses, colleagues, friends and business associates.

Any one-to-one relationship has two parties to it. And there may be differences that could lead to stress. There may be relationships that could easily be done away with. But most or a majority of the relationships we have or create cannot be done away with or at least cannot be done away with easily or are best not to be done away with. So, how do we keep away or deal with any strain or stress in any relationship?

Any relationship that we have is best kept smooth for the welfare and peace of both parties. Isn’t it?

Building a healthy relationship

What is a healthy relationship? One in which both parties can evoke and get the best from each other.

In every, or at least most, relationships both parties stand to gain. There may be benefit of one or more kind to accrue from a relationship – physical, financial, mental and intellectual, emotional and spiritual. The benefit may or may not be quantifiable. In a peaceful, healthy and sustainable relationship each gains from the other.

Stresses in a relationship

When humans interact in a relationship, there could be friction and tensions and the resulting strains and stresses. No one can say beforehand what could cause stress in a relationship. But it is definitely known that stresses result in bitterness and misery, and this could go to any extent. The ramifications are far too many.

These strains and stresses come from differences in opinions, perspectives, ideologies, goals and paths to the goal, even when the goals are identical.

Strains and stresses in a relationship destroy the very basis and foundation of the relationship and prevent the positive and mutually supporting outcomes that are feasible in a healthy relationship.

Working on your relationships

Healthy relationships are a source of happiness. They promote the well-being of the individuals. They foster the attainment of their respective or shared goals. They take life to the next level of association and interaction.

Just as in every relationship both parties benefit, there is also a certain compromise and sacrifice that is called for to keep the relationship going strong.

Seeking only privileges without duties, or then only rights without responsibilities, in a relationship, will not allow it to last the test of time. It may, if at all, flourish briefly.

When strains and stresses appear in a relationship it is time to mend it quickly, it is time to work on it swiftly.

Let us see how creases can be ironed out for building positive, healthy and happy relationships.

Compromise can salvage

Compromise is all about reaching the most agreeable position. This would require some effort on both sides to a relationship. Both parties have to give up something that is very safely guarded or held on to fiercely perhaps, and both parties have to accept something not so exciting or enjoyable. It may be smaller or greater in degree.

When it is important to save a relationship no compromise is too large.

See the bigger picture. As they say, don’t win the battle to lose the war. You may feel victorious over your small win, but at what cost is it?

So, be fair to yourself and the other to come to an amicable solution through compromise.

Often a quarrel and disagreement leading to a major breakdown of a relationship starts with something small. A woman used to feel irritated with her husband every day, for instance, because when the man came home from his office at lunch time, he ended up wanting a quickie of a nap, after the lovely lunch his wife had prepared for him, and not wanting it be a long one, he would keep his shoes on and recline on his bed. Now this was enough to irritate the wife – the husband reclining on the bed with his shoes on. A small cause for irritation every day; but it was irritation all right, and enough to lead to discord.

Dialogue is vital

It is important to communicate. Don’t close communication channels. Much can be averted and solved by speaking up. Share your thoughts, ideas and feelings frankly. And be liberal with the other. And be democratic too. Let the other person speak up.

Sometimes it is some third person’s supposed opinion that jeopardizes a relationship between two persons.

So communication and interaction is necessary to sort out issues. The mere voicing of opinions and thoughts often serves to clear the stresses in a relationship.

Honesty is the best policy

Say it. Upfront. And the other person will appreciate it. It will also help the other person speak up the facts. Compromise is then easier to work out. Else, the reality remains hidden. And any effort to work out a solution will not be based on facts but on imagination and preconceived notions.

Whatever may be the stresses in a relationship and whatever the way to resolve or put an end to them, honesty helps. It helps in arriving at the right solution. If facts are hidden, the stresses will multiply and the trouble will magnify.

Give dignity to the other

No one wants to feel humiliated. Give due dignity to the other. Every person deserves it, just as you do. So neither accept humiliation nor humiliate the other.

Giving dignity to the other also ensures you will be treated with dignity. Otherwise you may not be deserving of dignity.

Treat and talk to the other person with respect. Let it be a level playing field to sort out troubles in your relationship.

Friendliness can heal cracks in a relationship

Being friendly can solve many a problem, even crises. Just a smile can disarm a person. Showing a little kindness and softness or gentleness can mend breaks in a relationship. Don’t be stern and logical and rational all the time. Sometimes being illogical may be the rational way to handle a situation. Do it to save a relationship. The gains from saving a relationship are many. And there will be greater peace and harmony. Not only for the two parties involved but for others too, whether it is at your home or work place or in the neighborhood.

Be pro-active to sort out stresses in a relationship. Don’t expect the other person to salvage a situation. Of course, sometimes it may happen, but you can’t expect that to happen always. If you have to go the extra mile to clear the trouble in your relationship with someone, go ahead, and don’t grudge it. You may be the winner. You are not the weaker one if you help in making a relationship more strong and sound.

Being affectionate and loving doesn’t cost you anything

Often being affectionate and loving can solve any problem anywhere, at home or even in business. Courtesy and politeness can help bitterness between persons evaporate. Does it cost you to smile? Not at all. Instead it may pay off.

You open your heart in the process of showing affection and love. And an open heart can solve all crises. Because it goes with an acceptance of oneself and of the other with all weaknesses and deficiencies.

Diversity is a fact of life

Stresses arise because of differences. But differences are inherent to life. Uniformity is boring and makes of life dull and drab. You enjoy and appreciate diversity in cuisines and attires. So why not in ideas, perceptions and viewpoints? Appreciate this and half the problems may get resolved. Only a viable and feasible compromise would then have to be worked out. And that isn’t too tough.

Positivity can help at all times

Being positive can always help resolve stresses. If you see things in a more optimistic way, it can help. Often the very reason for stress in a relationship is because we tend to or choose to see the difficult and negative side to anything. If you could but choose to see the positive there is so much to feel blessed about. And there will be so much of joy to a relationship.

See the positive and treasure it. See the other person for what he or she is and value it with all your heart. Learn to ignore the negative in the other person. It may be there but you could always exercise choice by taking note of it and magnifying it or then by ignoring it and making the relationship less strained. Isn’t it?

Accept the reality as it is. It makes life less painful. It makes a relationship more meaningful. Build on what is positive. And it can strengthen the ties of a relationship for the greater good of both parties.